We’ve tested Samsung’s best smart TV apps
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You’ll want to get the best out of your new Samsung TV by finding the smart TV apps that suit you and your preferences. There are many great streaming apps available these days, so you don’t have to stick with Netflix.
In the last few years, Samsung’s smart TV apps have seen many updates, including new streaming services Disney Plus, and Apple TV Plus.
This is great news if you want to switch between platforms. You might prefer to watch Netflix originals like Stranger Things and Shadow and Bone. If so, you can head over to Disney Plus to view a selection of classic TV shows like 24 and The X Files.
This gives you a lot of options, but it can be difficult to choose the right smart TV app for you. Where do you start?
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Over the years, we have tested many of the most popular Samsung TVs. This has allowed us to narrow down our list of must-download Samsung TV apps to keep you entertained.
Here’s our selection of top Samsung TV apps that you can download now. Samsung’s website has a complete list of all available apps (opens in new window), but our roundup will save you time.
1. Samsung TV Plus
Samsung’s TV Plus app is at the top of our list for the best smart TV apps. It offers free live streaming TV right out of the box and no subscription.
TV Plus is a similar product to the bunny ears of old. While it does not have all the local channels, you can still receive them using an indoor antenna (opens new tab). It also has many specialty channels that cater to gamers, chefs and music-lovers. It comes pre-installed with every Samsung TV, so there’s no reason to not try it.
Netflix is the industry standard for online video streaming services since its inception almost a decade ago.
Netflix has a wide selection of movies and TV shows, but it is also investing heavily into its own productions, such as Stranger Things and Sex Education.
Netflix has the most content. However, there are some differences between the US and UK stores. Disney Plus might have taken some of its best treasures.
The Netflix smart TV app is the best way to start video streaming. Check out our list of the top shows on Netflix.
Continue reading: Check out our Netflix review
3. Disney Plus
Disney Plus is the streaming service that allows you to watch Disney animated movies, Pixar and Marvel films, Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars, as well as 20th Century Fox content such The Simpsons.
Disney Plus is stocked with original content from Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel, which puts it in a strong position to compete against Apple TV Plus and Netflix. Baby Yoda, the Mandalorian, and the opportunity to view the Marvel movies in a specific order. This is just the beginning.
Continue reading: Check out ourDisney Plus Review
- Love Marvel? Here’s how to watch Marvel movies.
4. Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus, the tech giant’s first venture in the world of original content streaming is The Morning Show. It features notable titles like Jason Momoa’s epic See, Sesame street spin-off Helpsters and teen fantasy Ghostwriters. Hailee Steinfeld’s Emily Dickinson biopic and NASA drama For All Mankind.
The content is limited to original content and the show and film selections are not as extensive as you would like. However, Apple TV Plus will continue to grow and the library will be full over the next year. With support for 4K streaming and HDR streaming, these new shows will look amazing on your Samsung TV.
5. Amazon Prime Video
Although Amazon might not be the first streaming service, it is a formidable provider of TV content. That’s why it should be included in the top smart TV apps for 2020. In recent years, there have been a steady stream of new shows like Good Omens and The Man in the High Castle.
Amazon has a large selection of movies, including exclusives. Recently, Amazon added the darkly comic biopic I, Tonya and the second installment in the John Wick series.
Amazon, unlike Netflix, which requires you to create an account to view the available titles, makes Prime listings directly available on its website. This means you can verify that your favorite titles are available before you sign up for a subscription.
For a preview of what’s available on Prime, you can also check out our roundup of the top shows on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
6. Hulu (US)
Hulu updated its subscription tiers in 2017 to bring it in line with Amazon Prime and Netflix. Hulu had offered two tiers in the past: a free service that is supported by ads and has a limited selection of content; and a paid subscription which offers a wider range (on which ads still exist).
You can now subscribe to a lower tier with no commercials, a premium tier with less commercials, or Hulu Plus Live TV, which offers limited commercials and on-demand content as well as some live TV channels.
Hulu’s exclusive offerings, which include shows like The Mindy Project, Bob’s Burgers and The Handmaid’s Tale, are what really make it stand out. Be aware that ads will still be displayed on some shows and series, regardless of which tier you subscribe to. This is true even if you are on the premium tier.
This next pick is slightly different than the other smart TV apps. Instead of streaming videos via a service, PLEX lets you curate a collection on a media server that you can stream to any device.
PLEX can be found on almost all devices, but it looks amazing on Samsung Smart TVs.
Why install PLEX if Hulu, Netflix or Amazon already have it? Because PLEX costs nothing. The base version of PLEX has no monthly fees, so you can build and maintain your local video server.
A DIY video streaming service may sound like a lot of work, and a poor experience. However, PLEX has made it extremely easy to set up and is incredibly flexible as a streaming service.
8. HBO Max (USA)
HBO Max is the culmination of years of complex HBO services including HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO Now. So you can forgive some confusion. HBO Max is the only HBO app and the home to classics like The Sopranos and The Wire, as well as Game of Thrones.
HBO Max has been in the news largely because it features a slate of Warner Bros. movies that are released on HBO Max on the same day they release in theaters. This has been a controversial move but it has brought Dune as well as Suicide Squad streaming to stream faster than they would otherwise.
Many top HBO shows like the brilliantly-crafted True Blood and The Wire are available on Amazon Prime Video. However, HBO’s apps have access to shows right after they’re broadcast, rather than waiting until the boxset becomes available to everyone.
YouTube was once a place where you could find amateur footage of anything from skateboarding failures to cat videos. But YouTube has been home to many other content in recent years, including scripted comedy and reality TV shows as well as documentaries.
This platform is not defined by amateur production values. Content creators now use professional video production staff to create a vast array of content that caters to all niches.
We are huge fans of the LinusTechTips channel (opens new tab), as well our TechRadar YouTube channel (opens new tab),) but there are many channels that cater to all interests, from beauty and fashion to gaming.
YouTube offers full movies that can be rented for 30 days or purchased outright.
10. Spotify / Pandor
Spotify is the first player in music streaming and the best app to use for music discovery or playback through your TV. You can log in to your Spotify account here and access the same songs, playlists and library on your smartphone. This is the best music streaming site with over 40 million songs and thousands of new songs every day.
Spotify is still the best music streaming app, but it’s only available on Samsung smart TVs after 2015. Pandora is available for older sets.
Although you may be familiar with Pandora as an internet radio station, it is actually much more than that. It’s not internet radio, first of all. It works like personalized, algorithmically generated music stations. Pandora doesn’t need to navigate between stations. It learns from you feedback and will skip songs that you don’t like. Pandora will play a song you like and it will be played more often.
11. BBC iPlayer (UK)
The BBC is known for producing some of the most popular TV shows, including Killing Eve and Doctor Who.
Previously, shows were only available for 30 days following their broadcast. However, that policy has changed. The BBC now offers complete seasons of many shows, as well as the entire runs of some of its most popular series.
iPlayer offers the best selection of shows among all streaming services, as it includes (with a few exceptions) every broadcast on the BBC. This means that you can stream popular dramas like Sherlock alongside the current episode of the long-running soap Eastenders, or Sunday’s favorite Antiques Roadshow.
Yes, the UK TV licence is required to legally use the service.
BritBox is an online portal that offers British TV boxsets, original programming and other content. It brings together all the best legacy and modern TV content from some of the UK’s largest broadcasters.
The TV streaming platform was originally created to export classic British TV content to the USA and Canada. However, there are many catch-up services available for ITV and BBC content.
BritBox has a huge back catalog of British shows, including Doctor Who, Gavin & Stacey and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. There is even ITV’s Love Island. Some of these shows are available on the BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub catch up services if you live in the UK. While Netflix and Amazon do license a few BBC shows, this may be the best way for you to access these classic TV series in the US or Canada.
What is the advantage over iPlayer It is possible to get it in Canada and the US.
13. VUDU (US only)
VUDU is another streaming video service. However, unlike Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu this smart TV app does not offer a monthly subscription that includes all you can eat.
The site offers frequent sales and rentals of titles. Rents start at $0.99 to $5.99 and purchases range from $4.99-$24.99.
VUDU has a smaller movie library than Netflix, but its model is to have titles available for streaming as soon as they are released. Netflix, on the other hand, tends to have older movies in its library.
VUDU is not recommended for streaming as a sole service, but it can be used to supplement Netflix and Amazon Prime.
If you want to stream your favorite TV shows and movies on your Samsung Smart TV, we don’t blame. It might be a refreshing way to mix binge-watching and TED talk wisdom. The TED app delivers mind-blowing, informative TED talks directly to your Samsung TV. While some talks are better than others it is a refreshing change of pace. It’s great to be able to view some of the most well-known TED talks, which you may have seen on a tablet or phone years ago, on a large screen.
15. All 4 (UK).
All 4 is Channel 4’s version of iPlayer and includes content from Channel 4, E4 or More 4. However, unlike the BBC’s iPlayer service, you can access more popular shows indefinitely.
This means that you can sit down and view every episode of the Peep Show since its debut in 2003.
Other top choices include The IT Crowd and Black Books, both written by Graham Lineham. Guilty pleasure Grand Designs is also included