When Samsung unveiled its 2015 smart TV lineup at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, owners of Evolution Kit-compatible sets wondered if they, too, were in line for an upgrade to the new Tizen smart-TV platform. The South Korean giant was quick to reassure them, saying it would release a special hardware kit for this purpose sometime during the second quarter. Well, the wait is almost over.
According to Tizenexperts.com, the 2015 Evolution Kit (SEK-3500U) will be compatible with Samsung's F9000 series (2013) and HU series (2014) ultra HD televisions. The kit's addition will bring them at par with the company's latest smart-TV offerings--some of which it began shipping last month--both in terms of software and hardware capabilities.
As you may know, Samsung's 2015 smart TV range is the first to run on Tizen, a Linux-based operating system the Korean firm developed in partnership with Intel and a few other companies. Once you have plugged the add-on device into the TV's proprietary Evolutionary Kit port, you will be able to update your TV to Tizen and the new five-panel Smart Hub user interface. And with the update including HEVC and VP9 codecs, the site says you can look forward to delighting in some glorious, buttery-smooth 4K/60p video action.
On the hardware front, the upgrade kit includes an octa-core processor, extra RAM, a new touch remote, and HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2. Samsung has the 2015 Evolutionary Kit listed for preorder for $400.
Why this matters: Introduced in 2012, the Samsung Evolution Kit initiative presents TV owners with a way of revitalizing their aging sets from time to time. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, let's get real: Not everyone is going to want to do so every one or two years. And let's not discount streaming sticks and other streaming paraphernalia--a much more affordable way of making TVs smarter. We, therefore, don't foresee such upgradable TVs going mainstream anytime soon.