If you’ve seen this lurking around your app tray, don’t be afraid to click it; it’s not your typical bloatware or crapplication.
Admittedly I hadn’t done much research on the application myself, but I recently acquired a $25 credit and figured I would give you guys a look at what Samsung’s Media Hub is all about.
Media Hub provides users with an application that gives direct access to popular movies and TV shows. It takes a a minute to setup the account/payment options, but once you do you have instant (as instant as your network allows :P) access to a variety of content ranging from chick flicks to super hero movies, and sitcoms to cartoons.
Samsung’s partnership with top studios and networks has given Media Hub a very diverse and modern library of shows and movies:
All of the top networks are represented in the lineup: FOX, CW, NBC, CBS, ABC, as well as many popular cable channels such as Comedy Central, MTV and USA. I was disappointed that FX didn’t make an appearance as Archer and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia both have huge cult followings, but I can get my funnies from Family Guy, The Office, Southpark and How I Met Your Mother among others.
It would have been nice to see some edutainment networks as well like Travel, Food, and Discovery to help slow down some of that brain deterioration we must be getting from watching all those sitcoms and cartoons.
If I could describe Media Hub’s movie selection in one word, it would be diverse. When I first started browsing through categories, it was apparent that they were catering to the mainstream crowd with recent hits like Iron Man 1 & 2, Batman, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Inception. But my curiosity brought me to the search button which brought me to the entire library. I was impressed by Academy Award winning choices like The Departed, Braveheart, and Forrest Gump, but equally delighted to see Blade II, Team America: World Police, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Although the library doesn’t have every movie in existence, if it doesn’t have your first pick, I can guarantee it will have your second or third; who wouldn’t want to watch Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult?
In addition to genres, Media Hub has a “Recommended!” category. I’m not sure how this algorithm determines the recommendations, but seeing as how I have seen 4/10 movies it listed, I guess it was kinda close. Although I must admit it is hard to find a correlation between the recommended movies I hadn’t seen: Private Parts, JFK and A History of Violence… perhaps it’s just a random selection after all.
The application has a simple UI that works. It allows you to rent and buy movies and TV shows and share them with up to 5 other devices. The content is all digitally linked to your account, so losing the physical data does not mean losing their license. Media Hub has a solid and up-to-date library of both TV shows and movies as well. Unfortunately there is some fine print:
Those two lines could definitely be a deal breaker for users who want to download movies at $17.99 a pop. While I might be willing to pay a couple of bucks to watch a TV show on my phone, I would have a hard time justifying paying $18 to stare at my relatively small phone for a couple hours when I could get a account for only 7.99 a month and watch from a variety of sources.
If Samsung want’s to make their Media Hub application competitive, they are either going to have to dramatically lower pricing or allow the content to be shared to other sources. That said, the fundamental framework of the application is well designed and has excellent potential as a true media hub, but until viewing options can be diversified, this application is best for occasional purchases to pass time at an airport or during a wait in a long line.