Samsung Smart Remote

I have owned the Samsung UN55H6400 Smart TV for 18 months. I love the TV and the remote. However, recently, the Smart Remote has lost some of its vocal recognition functionality. I am no longer able to change channels by name.

All along, I have been telling the remote "Tennis Channel" and it would automatically change to that station. Saying "HBO" would bring up a list of all HBO channels that it found (HBO, HBO2, HBOL...etc.) and let me select the one I wanted with the remote pointer on the screen. Now, when asking for a channel by name, it displays the word "HBO" and then "Channel was not found. You cannot change the channel." It will no longer find anything by name.

Similarly, I was previously also able to call up programming by topic. If I said "Brad Pitt" or "NY Yankees", it would display anything it could find with those subjects - from YouTube, a live broadcast...etc. - in boxes across the bottom of the screen. Now, it just brings up a box to do a web search.

In effect, the Smart Remote is not so smart anymore.

While I did upgrade cable boxes to an enhanced Arris DVR, I checked with my neighbor who has the same TV, but with an older Scientific Atlanta cable box, and she has lost these functions, too. So, I am assuming this is due to a recent Samsung software upgrade (I have version #2141). The remote only seems to work now with a strict list of commands available under the Help reference.

I spoke to a Samsung customer service rep who insisted that from her "extensive experience on the customer support line", Samsung has never offered these features. I had to abruptly correct her and tell her with 100% confidence that YES, THEY DID. I do not know know the channel numbers for HBO, Showtime, ESPN, CNN and all the dozens of other channels I've watched on this TV. I have always called them up on my Smart Remote by name. ALWAYS. And, when I watched the World Series in November, I asked the TV for "World Series".

The rep conceded to enter my complaint into the database and I am hoping that others will also report this issue so that Samsung software developers re-implement these features.

Has anyone else had experience with, or heard any info about this issue?

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Re: Feature has changed.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. There was an upgrade that has changed this particular feature. We were using a third party company in order to perform this search, the way that you were doing it before. However, the contact we had with them actually ended. Now, the only way to perform the voice recognition to change the channel is to say the channel number.

Again, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

HD Tech

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Re: Feature has changed.

Thank you for your response. Is Samsung working on an alternative? (You guys can't develop this software yourselves or pay another developer?) In my opinion, this was a HUGE selling point to buying the Samsung product and the main reason to pay the premium price for this television. I didn't need the bundled 3D option, which I see as more of a passing fad.

My 80 year old aunt, who has poor vision, also bought the TV when I showed her how the Smart Remote vocal name recognition worked. (This remote is a real asset to senior citizens.) Dropping this feature is really more than an inconvenience, but a significant reduction in service. I truly wouldn't invest in a Samsung TV with a Smart Remote again, when I can just use a regular remote to press the channel numbers. Not worth the extra money.

Please pass these comments along to your management. Thanks.

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