South Korean giant Samsung is one of the first brands to include a web browser on TVs back in 2011 for providing smart user experience. It barely worked, but it was the gimmick that pushed other TV manufacturers to innovate.
Fast forward to 2020, pretty much every Smart TV is now powered by Android. LG uses its proprietary webOS, and Samsung puts Tizen OS in its TVs. Even though these are entirely different platforms, all of them come with a built-in web browser.
Tizen OS offers a lot of apps in general, but its restricted platform misses out on regional streaming services. Those who have recently bought a Samsung Smart TV already have noticed the inclusion of a web browser. Using the web browser, you can at least access the web version of the services and enjoy streaming content.
If you are not familiar with Samsung’s Smart TV browser interface yet, then you should continue reading this beginner’s guide.
- Assuming that your Samsung TV is already connected to the internet and linked with your Samsung account, start by pressing the Home button on the TV remote to open up the Smart Hub menu.
- From the Smart Hub, highlight and select the Web Browser app. It comes pre-installed, so users won’t have to download and install it from the Samsung app store.
- You can use either the remote or a wired/wireless keyboard-mouse combo for navigation. Remote pointer controls are available on the 2015’s flagship J-series Samsung Smart TVs. You can even use the Samsung Smart View app [Android] [iOS] to control your TV via your smartphone. It makes web browsing much easier on your Smart TV.
Guide to Samsung TV Web Browser
Since the web browser on Samsung Smart TVs is different from other smart TV platforms, a couple of things need your attention. For beginners, here are some of the must-know features of the Samsung TV Browser.
The home screen of the Samsung TV Browser consists of three primary tabs: Featured, Most visited, and Bookmarks.
The Featured tab gives you shortcuts to a few of the most popular websites, such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, and many more.
The Most visited tab offers quick access to some of the websites that you frequently visit via the web browser. You won’t have to search for the same site every time.
The Bookmarks tab is straightforward. Websites that you bookmark in your browsing session get saved here. In addition, you have the option to add a URL manually or remove all the bookmarks.
The navigation bar above the home screen of the Samsung TV browser is an essential element. You can select the URL bar and search for your preferred website. It also works as a dedicated search bar. An on-screen virtual keyboard will always pop up when you click the URL bar.
The back (<) and forward (>) buttons on the left side of the navigation bar help you navigate between cached webpages that you visit in a single session.
The zoom controls on the right side of the navigation let you zoom in or zoom out on a webpage.
On the top-right corner of the screen, click the Hamburger icon (☰) to expand the drop-down menu. You will find quick shortcuts to Bookmarks, History, Zoom, and PiP (Picture-in-Picture) option, as well as the Settings menu of the Samsung TV Browser.
The Settings menu offers a lot of customization. Here’s a rundown through a couple of the essential options:
- General: For an immersive experience, you can choose to hide tabs and toolbars automatically while browsing. Other than that, you can set up PiP to watch TV in a pop-up window and browse the web at the same time.
- Home Page: Contains customization settings related to the home page.
- Search Engine: You can choose between either Bing or Google as your preferred search engine. This will apply to the URL bar.
The Samsung TV Browser offers almost all the basic functions of a web browser. However, it has its flaws, similar to other web browsers on the Smart TV platforms. For instance:
- You can’t download any files via the browser due to the restrictions of Tizen OS.
- Some websites might take a long time to load properly.
- Navigation with remote is not ideal.
- You can’t open more than three tabs at once.
- HTML5-based web players run poorly on Samsung TV Browser.
Despite its flaws, the built-in Web Browser in Tizen OS is perfectly usable for casual web browsing on the Samsung Smart TVs.
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