Samsung has highlighted an under-appreciated feature in its Smart TV range in the new advertisement
Samsung has published a new advert on its YouTube channel that highlights one of the most under-rated features of its Smart 4K TV range. Dubbed Universal Guide, the built-in feature is designed to take the hassle out of streaming your favourite shows and movies from video on-demand platforms, catch-up services and digital stores.
As it stands, watching three episodes of three different shows you’re bingeing in lockdown could easily involve three distinct video on-demand services with their own apps and logins. And that’s when you know exactly what you’re setting out to watch. If you’re looking to browse for a certain type of shows, genre, or actor’s work then things can be even more laborious – have you tried typing on those on-screen keyboards with a directional pad for any extended amount of time?
And that’s before you even consider the faff of switching HDMI inputs to access different services.
Samsung wants to solve this headache for its Smart TV customers.
And crucially, save them from forking out for a solution from another technology firm, like the Amazon Fire TV Cube streaming gadgets, or Apple TV that lets users search a number of content providers from one universal menu, or in some cases, voice search.
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Samsung wants its Smart TV operating system, which is powered by its in-house Tizen operating system, to solve our collective siloed streaming nightmare. Dubbed Universal Guide, the AI-powered system will learn what types of show you like to binge at the end of a tiring day, as well as your favourite genres and more. This enables it to make intelligent suggestions based on your viewing history.
Since it’s keeping tabs on what you’re watching, Samsung will be able to offer quick shortcuts back into your current episode – regardless of which video on-demand app it comes from. So, if you’re halfway through a new Netflix series, as well as a drama on BBC iPlayer – small previews for both will appear in the Universal Guide menu and you’ll be able to jump back to where you left-off in both episodes with a simple tap… rather than navigating to the standalone app for the streaming service, logging in, finding the right series, finding the episode, and finally, clicking play.
The feature was unveiled earlier this year, but since then, Samsung has kept quiet about it
This is exactly what Samsung highlights in its latest advert. Showing a frustrated viewer paging through different menus, searching within different streaming apps, and browsing categories in a number of unnamed video on-demand platforms – it ends by showing the content appearing directly within the Universal Guide.
Of course, Universal Guide is not perfect.
Despite the seamlessness promised in the advertisement, one of the biggest hurdles facing Samsung is the amount of content providers it can sign-up to the new system. While the South Korean firm has had no qualms getting smartphone rival Apple to bring its streaming service to its platform, as well as a host of others – allowing Samsung to track viewing content to intelligently suggest shows from rival video on-demand services is something very different. And not everyone will be happy about it.
As it stands, Universal Guide will boast support from Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV, Chili, Rakuten, and UKTV Play in the UK. Samsung hopes more content providers will see the benefit of a unified solution built directly into your Smart TV and allow them to sign-up more services.
For now, it’s a brilliant pitch. It just needs a few more content providers to truly become the one-stop-shop for all your TV viewing that we’re all craving.