Samsung has a tendency to kick off CES news early with new smart TV features, and this year is no different. While last year’s announcement of SmartThings integration tried to turn the TV into a smart home hub, this year’s tweaks are meant to make the TVs better at being TVs.
For anyone who finds new music through the shows they watch, the music feature should prove useful. Like the Shazam app, the Samsung Music service can detect what song is being played, even if you’re watching a live program. When previewed on the Hub screen, Music will provide recommendations using apps including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Napster, Deezer, Sirius XM, Vevo, Melon, and Bugs.
The Sports feature has been built for fans of teams. While setting up the feature, users can mark down which teams they’re interested in — the television will push out an alert when one of those team’s games is starting. Games can be watched straight from Sports, meaning fans don’t need to look up which channel the game is on. While watching a game using Sports, other information like stats and other scores can be brought up on the side. At the outset, Samsung will also have additional content from NBC Sports and the UFC.
Samsung will also expand its TV Plus feature in the United States to include digital movie rental service Fandango. TV Plus assigns streaming video services to channels on the television, turning streaming movies and videos into programming that users can channel surf through.
The new features will be rolled out in updates to existing Samsung smart televisions, and they’ll presumably come installed on the new televisions Samsung will likely announce next week at CES. As usual with Samsung smart television updates, they may not come to all models (particularly those released before 2015).