Everybody is comfortable with the concept of apps on their mobile devices nowadays. Indeed, what exactly would an iPhone or iPad actually be without apps? But the concept is growing rapidly, and spreading to other forms of home entertainment kit. Pure radios now sport them, as do Logitech Squeezebox radios, and the sort.
However, one area where apps are on the cusp of taking a firm foothold is the good, old fashioned telly. We're already au fait with the concept of the connected TV, now all we need are the applications to download onto our humble sets, and we'd be as happy as puppies in a toilet roll factory. This, dear friends, is the start of something big...
- Samsung Internet@TV
- Free (with Lovefilm Unlimited rental subscription)
- Internet@TV on C7000, C8000, C9000 series LED TVs, some plasma TVs and Blu-ray decks
You might think that you're being spoiled with Freeview HD and the plethora of channels on offer, but, to be honest, you can often flick through all of them and still find absolutely nothing worth watching. That's where VOD comes in.
Video on demand is not exactly a new concept, and some Virgin Media customers are too young to remember when that specific provider added catch up services to its platform, but it's definitely a novelty to have it on your TV without the need for a set-top-box. Or, at least, it's not often you can have access to over 2000 movies, without the need for any other kit save a broadband connection and router.
That's what Lovefilm offers owners of Samsung's current range of connected TVs and Blu-ray decks. And, for all intents and purposes, it's a completely free service.
The film rental company has a permanently stored app on all Internet@TV equipment which, when accessed, offers a portal to a vast array of film titles, some old, some new, some borrowed, and not so many blue (although...).
There is a catch though, you do need to be a subscriber to Lovefilm's Unlimited DVD rental scheme in order to get into the system, but if you are every film is available whenever you want to watch it. They start almost the moment you click on "Play", and, for such things, are decent quality (clearly the higher up Samsung's kit food chain you go, the better they will look).
The only thing that's lacking is high definition. In the US, Netflix runs a similar service, and streams HD content, but the broadband speeds over there are universally better. Lovefilm will probably step up a grade when the UK's networks hasten, but until then, it's SD all the way.
Nonetheless, it's a tidy, tasty streaming setup that rewards owners of Samsung kit. And for that, it's Pocket-lint's App of the Day.