Why pay for two separate devices when only one can serve the functions of the two? With the new update coming to Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerators, you can now watch the TV on your fridge in your household.
Kitchen and dinner times will never remain the same as Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator can now also function as a TV, following a new update released by the South Korean company. The gadget already has a touch-enabled tablet built-in, allowing Samsung to add TV functionalities easily.
The Family Hub can now display Samsung’s ad-supported Samsung TV Plus service.
As revealed at the second edition of the company’s yearly Bespoke Home event, owners of Family Hub 2.0 from 2017 and above will start getting the update next month. However, Samsung TV Plus is only available in the US and South Korea.
Family Hub owners have always been able to watch TV on their refrigerators, but they would have to mirror content from a Samsung TV or Samsung phone.
Meanwhile, the TV watching experience on the Family Hub is not the most exciting. The content can only be displayed in a small area on the vertical touchscreen display on the fridge. The problem is that the 21.5-inch screen is in portrait mode, just like your smartphone. It is obvious you would get a better TV experience from devices like the Google Nest Hub Max or Echo Show 10, although you would have to sacrifice some counter space.
However, if it is any consolation, the Family Hub can work as a smart speaker. It comes with Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby voice assistants, the rarest bedfellows in smart home appliances.
Samsung TV Plus, on paper, is an interesting service, with more than 200 channels you can watch for free if you don’t mind sitting through ads. There is also on-demand content. However, most of them are random content. For example, there is a channel that plays only Baywatch and another that only offers Antiques Roadshow. However, there are lots of food channels, which is a no-brainer considering the nature and main functions of the device.
One more feature, which was imported from the brand’s TVs, is art mode. The Family Hub can actually display works of art tapped from Samsung’s Art Gallery. Samsung announced the feature for its Bespoke line of refrigerators, but the Family Hub is now getting it too. The artwork is displayed without a frame, allowing it to blend nicely into the rest of the fridge. Samsung allows you to pick your own style.
When not in use, the art mode can help you avoid a bright screen, especially when it is dark. The art service will be free at launch and doesn’t require a subscription.
Other upgrades include a better camera technology inside the fridge for scanning the labels on the food, improving its ability to manage the food and drinks. The refrigerator can now scan your food to come up with recipe suggestions based on the ingredients you keep. It will also help with cataloging your items better.
The fridge can also serve as a hub or control center for Samsung’s SmartThings home platform. However, there is no reference to Matter in this update, even though the company has promised to enable it as a controller. Samsung is part of a consortium that developed the new standard for communication between smart home devices. Other companies contributing to Matter include Google, Apple, Amazon, etc.