Home Icon
samsung-evolution-kit-2013-03

Is Samsung’s Evolution Kit missing in action in 2014?

By Leigh D. Stark | 12:16 pm 13/01/2014

Samsung has a great solution for allowing TV owners to easily update their set from year to year, but one year after its introduction, where is the Evolution Kit?  

When Samsung first announced that customers could upgrade not just the software on select Samsung TVs, but also the hardware, many were impressed.

The idea first appeared in 2012 when Samsung announced its “Evolution Kit,” a box you could plug in on the back of select 2012 TV models to add 2013 features, such as new interfaces and faster processors. Some commentators described it as a “getting  new TV every year”.

Fitted with Evolution Kit, the 2012 ES800 Smart TV on the left gains a quad core processor and displays a 2013 Smart TV interface. The ES8000 with dual core processor on the right displays the 2012 Smart TV interface.

Better yet, Samsung said supported TVs would be upgradeable for a number of years, possibly as many as five from when the TV model was released.

Generally, when you by a TV in one year, you know that it — like so many tech items — will lack features and functions that follow on models released in the next year. With a Samsung upgradeable TV, you could at least some new functionality into an older model TV,  and for not too much money at all. Around $300.

We first saw Evolution Kit technology at CES in 2013 where Samsung unveiled the accessory at the keynote. Later in the year, we saw the Evolution Kit installation in action at the Samsung Forum in Jakarta.

And Australians could actually buy the Evolution Kit in 2013, with the small box bringing a quad-core processor and new software to 2012 Series 7 and 8 models TVs. Select 2013 models Smart TVs are also Evolution Kit capable, making them ready to receive Samsung’s 2014 Smart TV upgrades.

But while the company has mentioned Evolution Kit support in its 2014 Ultra HD televisions, there is no mention of a new Evolution Kit accessory in 2014, which leaves something of an upgrade question mark for buyers of 2012 and 2013 Evolution Kit-ready models.

Last year's Evolution Kit installed on a 2012 model Samsung Smart TV.

Of course, Samsung is not obliged to release an Evolution Kit every year, and not all new features can be supported by models from previous years, but without a 2014 Evolution Kit accessory there is some neat 2014 functionality that might just bypass owners of 2012 and 2013 Evolution Kit-ready TV sets.

This includes improvements to the voice control feature, including being able to channel channels, open websites or TV applications by simply speaking the instruction out loud.

The motion control feature has improved, too,  with a “finger gesture” feature that lets users change the channel, raise or lower volume levels, or control other TV functions with just single finger movements. Video is able to be paused using gestures, too.

Without a 2014 accessory module, owners of Evolution Kit-capable 2012 and 2013 Samsung Smart TVs may be locked out of improvements to voice and motion control features.

“Samsung’s 2014 Smart TV models deliver significantly improved voice interaction and motion control features so that our consumers will be able to enjoy our Smart TV more intuitively,” said Kyungshik Lee, Senior Vice President of the Service Strategy Team at Samsung’s Visual Display Business division at CES this year.

“We will continue to develop content that integrates voice and motion recognition for added convenience.”

Given that Samsung’s 2014 TVs offer an enhanced Smart TV experience, and that hardware standards such as HDMI are beginning to trickle through, we are hopeful of  seeing an Evolution Kit for 2014, but so far Samsung’s people have not responded to our enquiries about the matter.

Considering the company’s 2014 Ultra High Definition TVs will support the (2015) Evolution Kit , however, it seems more likely than not that Samsung is keeping the accessory in its inventory.

Perhaps in all the UHD and OLED excitement of last week’s CES, Samsung simply overlooked making a public announcement about the module. Similarly, there has been no official media release yet about the company’s 2014 Smart TV LED and plasma televisions, which if last year’s line-up is to be followed, will number more than 40.

We’ll post an update as news becomes available.

Latest reviews

  • Review: DeLonghi PrimaDonna Elite coffee machine

    DeLonghi’s latest machine may have a name deserving of people who fancy themselves over the top, but its quality speaks volumes enough that its actually deserved.
  • Review: Benq WiT LED desk lamp

    Benq may not be a brand you typically associate with lights, and we know it best for monitors, but your next work light could come from some neat R&D…
  • Review: KEF M400 headphones

    A brand synonymous with excellent audio, KEF is at it again with a pair of on-ear headphones that aim to bring audio to a compact and fashionable package. Does…
  • Review: Amazon Kindle Oasis

    Electronic books have already delivered a future where we can bring all of our books with us, but the next development will be one of super thin tablets that…
  • Review: Acoustic Research M2 (ARM2) media player

    While the phone has overtaken the conventional media player, those of us with special needs and high resolution audio are embracing a new generation of media devices, and Acoustic…
  • Review: Husqvarna 136LiHD45 Hedge Trimmer

    If a guy who rarely enters his backyard can use a hedge trimmer, it’s a winner, and that means Husqvarna’s battery powered 45cm trimmer wins the gold, ticking the…
  • A phone with a difference: LG’s G5 reviewed

    LG’s quest for the ultimate flagship phone has been all about constant evolution, and for its 2016 attempt, we’re seeing the best one yet. Is it enough to unseat…
  • Review: Telstra Tough Max

    Telstra's Tough Max isn't like your ordinary phone, because if you need something that feels like it has been made for Australia, this may well be it.
  • Review: Apple iPad Smart Keyboard for 9.7 inch iPad Pro

    One feature on the iPad Pro can only be used with style of accessory: the dock connector, and it can only talk to keyboard cases. Right now, Apple’s Smart…
  • Review: Aftershockz Bluez 2S Bone Conduction earphones

    Imagine if you never had to wear an earphone again and could just hear the music in your head. That doesn’t have have to be a dream, because the…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More