Simply stellar: hands-on with Samsung’s 2015 Series 9 TV

Apps and control

Of course, there’s more to a modern TV than just watching the content you have in your library, or what you’re purchasing from the local DVD or Blu-ray store, and these days, TVs are smart.

They won’t dictate philosophy, but they’re smart enough to connect you to the internet and let you access content without needing another box to help you out, such as an Apple TV, or a console.

Apps, anyone?
Apps, anyone?

Samsung’s Series 9 will let you do much of this, providing a small amount of space on the TV with quite a few apps available on the store, including low-level arcade games, but also some decent multimedia apps, with connections to Quickflix, Pandora, and ABC iView.

Game developers take note: even Unity popped up in our travels.


A quick glance at ABC’s iView showed a fairly simplistic menu system, though with it you’ll be able to login and grab ABC videos with ease without needing an extra device.

Likewise with Seven’s Plus7, which provided us an easy way to watch Gordon Ramsay, among other things, this week.

A web browser pointing to GadgetGuy with the Tizen interface being shown.
A web browser pointing to GadgetGuy with the Tizen interface being shown.

And the smarts of Tizen are also very easy to use, with a simplistic box system at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to control left and right, jumping between apps very easily, and make your way to the app and games stores without problems, while also letting you quickly jump into the apps you do want to use, like YouTube, like Netflix, and even a web browser.

There’s even native support for 24-bit audio files, which will be particularly handy if you have a compatible soundbar or speaker system.

You even get a good 4GB of storage to install apps onto, which should be enough provided you don’t decide to download everything on the Samsung TV app store.


Controlling the TV is easy enough, for the most part, with two remotes to choose from.

There’s your regular conventional remote, which offers a directional pad, several buttons, with the TV being able to connect your Blu-ray player and soundbar through to the remote, and this is the one we were at ease with most of the time.


And then there’s the secondary motion remote, and while our demo unit was in Korean, yours won’t be.


This has a few ways of working, providing the most useful commands on a remote, as well as an optical trackpad and mouse motion button. Essentially, you get the ability to control the TV waving your arms about, but this will only kick into gear when you place your thumb (or another finger) over the mouse button, the little square with the circle on it in between volume and channel rockers.

With your thumb in position, you can wave your arms about and move the mouse, which lets you quickly and easily get around places, and if you’re having troubles, there’s a directional pad underneath. Essentially, this remote is the one that will let you get around your TV more fluidly, and of course, you can always go back to the basic remote if things get difficult.

Where it goes awry, however, is with the voice control.


Yes, voice control is still included with TVs, but honestly, we’re not sure if it should be. If you happen to pass by a home and hear someone whispering, talking, yelling, screaming “Hi TV”, practically pleading with the television to start up and let you talk to it, you’ll know that person is trying to activate the voice activated functionality on their Samsung TV.

Dead set, if you were walking around the 41st level of a certain Sydney skyscraper this week, there’s a good chance you heard someone doing just that, before he gave up and just decided to use the remote instead. In fact, it wasn’t until a demo movie said something similar to “Hi TV” that the entire system started working, and after it went to sleep, we couldn’t get it started again.

That said, the voice control is the only bad set of words we have to say about the Samsung Series 9 TV, which looks amazing and handles itself well, with only a hint of lag in the remote, and generally when we were using the Freeview component. Beyond that and the voice control, our brief experience was one that boasted solid design and good looks, and we’re more interested in the latter of these, because if the TV doesn’t show great imagery, we could care less about its design.

Form is important, but function is more useful, especially when we’re talking TVs, and when it comes to that, Samsung’s Series 9 rules what we’ve seen for 2015 thus far. It’s a simply stellar TV, and worth checking out if you have the cashflow.

Just stick to using the TV without voice control. It’s better that way.

If you lived here, you'd be home by now. And there'd be a nice TV to watch, too.
If you lived here, you’d be home by now. And there’d be a nice TV to watch, too.