Samsung has released a new update for its Family Hub refrigerators that adds Samsung TV Plus — the tech giant’s free, ad-supported live TV service — to refrigerators with built-in tablets.
The business revealed that the upgrade, which was announced last year, will arrive this July on Family Hub 2.0 units during its second annual Bespoke Home event on Tuesday (2017 and later). Only the United States and Korea have live TV options.
Users of Samsung’s smart fridge may currently watch television on the built-in touchscreen by mirroring video from a Samsung TV or content from a Samsung smartphone. But if you don’t have one of those gadgets, your fridge is doomed to be boring.
However, watching TV on a Family Hub can be a frustrating experience because it can only use a little horizontal space in the middle of the vertical 21.5-inch screen on the fridge. A better kitchen TV is a Google Nest Hub Max or an Amazon Echo Show 10, although those take up counter space. Samsung’s refrigerator also functions as a smart speaker, with Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby speech assistants sharing space in the gadget, which is an uncommon pairing.
On a Samsung TV, Samsung TV Plus offers over 200 channels of free, ad-supported live TV and on-demand programming; it’s a completely random collection of things. Yes, there’s CBS News and CNN Replay, as well as a plethora of cuisine and kids’ stations, but there’s also a channel dedicated solely to Baywatch, as well as another for Antiques Roadshow.
An art model is another feature Samsung is bringing over from its TVs to its smart fridge. Art Gallery, an app that turns the device’s screen into a work of art, will be available on Family Hub refrigerators. It looks great on Samsung’s Bespoke range of Family Hubs, which was also unveiled late last year. These are available in a range of colors and include a bezel-less screen that integrates the art into the fridge door. You can also create your own style.
The art mode on the fridge, like The Frame, Samsung’s popular TV hides the bright, attention-grabbing screen when it’s not in use, hides the brilliant, attention-grabbing screen when it’s not in use. The Art Gallery service will be available for free at first, and there will be no need to subscribe.
Samsung also improved the fridge’s internal camera technology, which can now scan food labels for easier food and beverage identification and management
When you put things in, the cameras scan them and, based on what it sees, offer recipes on the touchscreen. The upgrade improves camera coverage as well as the food recognition algorithm and food catalogue, allowing you to recognize more things.
The Family Hub fridge also serves as a hub for Samsung’s SmartThings smart home platform. While Samsung has stated that Matter as a Controller will be available on all of its smart appliances, including the Family Hub refrigerator, this was not included in this release. This fall, Samsung will unveil Matter, a new smart home connectivity standard it co-developed with Apple, Google, Amazon, and others.
Samsung’s SmartThings Home Life suite will be available in 97 countries later this month, according to the company. The service is already available in the United States and Korea, but it is now expanding globally.
SmartThings Cooking, Energy, Clothing Care, Pet Care, Air Care, and Home Care are all part of the SmartThings app and provide centralized and integrated control over your Samsung appliances, allowing you to connect them all through six SmartThings services: Cooking, Energy, Clothing Care, Pet Care, Air Care, and Home Care. More information on these features may be found in my conversation with the CEO of SmartThings US.