One of the primary attractions of the Samsung D8000 and the new models in general is the Smart Hub, a topic that we have touched on previously. The feature offers a wide range of applications and video-on-demand (VOD) services. While testing we found its implementation to be slick and streamlined. The only blemish was the blinking main page of the Smart Hub whenever you returned to it after closing any app. On the whole though, if Singtel and Starhub follow through on their promise to deliver locally tailored content, the Samsung Smart Hub would definitely become a major selling point.
To delve a little deeper into the Smart Hub’s functionality, applications like YouTube work similarly to the real deal, providing you with options to browse by genres and categories, search and even flag questionable videos. A social media hub is also part of the Smart Hub parcel and is available for those addicted to Twitter and Facebook. Since a TV is accessible by almost anyone in your household, Samsung solves the problem of protecting your online accounts by introducing a SmartID profile for the TV giving you two layers of protection. Both free and paid video-on-demand and television channels are accessible through the Smart Hub as well.
To round-up the features, the Smart Hub also boasts an in-built browser. This however, falls well short of the experience most people would be used to on notebooks and smartphones. Typing with the remote using a T9 dictionary is a chore, made worse by the unresponsive buttons. Both tabbed and cursor versions of scrolling are choppy. Also take note that a software upgrade was required before the browser could function and you might have to do the same as well.
If you've a Samsung Galaxy Tab or Galaxy S mobile phone, you can get Samsung's Smart TV Remore app to help control your TV. This should help in text entry inputs as well. Unfortunately, we didn't have either of them to try it out in time for this review.