Samsung is stressing the software capabilities of the new TV range more than the hardware because of the undeniable fact that even the high-end 4K TVs now cost circa Rs 30,000 in India
In a move to counter growing rivals, Samsung announced the launch of a new range of its Tizen OS-powered smart TVs, called Unbox Magic, in India on Tuesday. As many as 11 models have been launched, starting with the 32-inch model that starts at Rs 24,900 (MRP) while the top-most model comes with an 82-inch HDR panel that is priced between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 17 lakh, Samsung told FE Tech along the sidelines. The new Samsung Unbox Magic range is available to buy from Samsung Smart Plazas, partner offline retailers, and e-commerce websites.
Samsung, however, is stressing the software capabilities of the new TV range more than the hardware because of the undeniable fact that even the high-end 4K TVs now cost circa Rs 30,000 in India. There are five software cornerstones of the new TV range – personal computer, music system, home cloud, live cast, and two-way sharing. Some of these features have been existing on Tizen OS for TVs for a while, but Samsung has modified them, in addition to introducing some new tools.
First up is the personal computer feature that is claimed to transform TV into a computer. What Samsung is touting is essentially the PC Mode on Unbox Magic series that, with the help of wired/wireless keyboard and mouse, lets you access Office 365 via the inbuilt browser. Of course, you need to have an Office 365 subscription to be able to work online.
Office 365 is bundled within the remote access tools readily available to use, but you can access Google Drive tools such as Docs, Slides, and Sheets using the browser. You can also access files on your laptop remotely over a shared IP address such as the same Wi-Fi connection. Samsung claims the functionality is secured by its proprietary Knox standard.
The Music system is a redesigned app with cheeky graphics and granular controls. For now, you can play locally-stored music on the Unbox Magic series but Samsung says it is working to integrate streaming apps. Notably, Spotify, Gaana, and some other music streaming services are available on Tizen OS but as standalone apps. You can create playlists on TV and customise music on the player. The Unbox Magic range has four speakers in total – two up-firing and two down-firing. Depending on the equaliser settings, the TV will belt out music via either the down-firing speakers or all four of them.
Home Cloud is a personal space available to you on the TVs so that you can store and lock your files such as photos, videos, and music. Samsung is touting storage space of up to the level of external hard drives, besides Samsung Cloud. However, Samsung Cloud files will be accessible only over an Internet connection and cannot be downloaded or saved offline on to the memory drive.
Live cast lets you share a live video over bandwidth to the TVs using the SmartThings app, which is available on most Android devices. The live stream will work over cellular or Wi-Fi networks to multiple TVs at the same time. However, the data speed may affect the quality of the video. The two-way sharing lets you share videos, music, and even live TV from phone to TV and vice versa. The file formats supported by one device will be playable on the other, according to Samsung.