Saturday, January 12, 2013

Does a "smart" TV user need multi-line input?

I encountered one of Samsung's SMART TVs while visiting an acquaintance. All in all, it is a good product. But, I ran into a snag when trying to show him how to access various web sites, including GMail.

There was also a Logitech K400r wireless keyboard connected to the TV via a USB dongle. Together with the fact that the TV was connected to the internet via WiFi, this seemed to be the perfect platform for checking one's email or even updating a Google docs document during commercials.

There is one real snag though: To enter text in a textbox, say on a web page, you focus on the control, either by clicking on it using the mouse pointer or using the arrow keys on the remote. Once the control is activated, an on-screen keyboard appears. You can enter text using various methods, but it seems that it is simply impossible to start a new paragraph by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard or the Enter key on the remote.

Of course, I sort of understand why that is: When moving from control to control on the screen, you use the Enter (whether on the remote or on the keyboard) to activate the control for input. Then, when you press Enter again during typing, the software de-activates the control, the on screen keyboard disappears, the characters you type on the external keyboard disappear into the void.


Is it me, or am I wrong in expecting to be able to remain in text input mode until I am done all the text I want in a document or textbox?

Absent that, am I wrong in expecting to be able to find some key on the on-screen keyboard that will allow me to enter a couple newlines?

To be sure, I made my friend go through about 40 minutes of software updates for the TV to no avail.

Of course, expecting to be able to review and make minor changes to slideshows on Google Docs was really too much.

The TV even has a feature called "Social TV". Apparently, people are supposed to share their thoughts on via social networking sites while watching TV. I could actually see myself using this feature. Being able to type up my blog entry while watching another news conference on the debt ceiling or the Middle East.

Apparently, someone at Samsung thinks the only thoughts worth sharing are those that are typed as a single line character stream.

In all my efforts to discover a work-around, the one thing I have not done is to read the manual.

Is there any way to input anything smart on this Samsung?

Help if you have experienced the embarrassment one feels after saying "here, let me show you a bunch of cool things this device can do" and failing at every turn.

On second thought, please help even if you have never felt that ;-)


  1. I faced the same issue today. Brought a new wireless keyboard and tried posting few comments in facebook. Later noticed that, i am able to type the comments but not able to post it either by using keyboard or, by using Samsung Smart TV remote. After few retries i opened the google doc and tried to type few characters in there and this time i noticed that i am not able to key in any character as well. Not sure if this is the issue with control which appears while typing or, browser issue.

  2. stupid tv. not able to post any comment..