Samsung Smart TV
Samsung Series 5 32 inch M5500 full HD TV (AU32M5500AWXXY)
To use the Samsung Smart TV you will need an aerial to access free to air digital content, Wi-Fi network to access the Internet, and if you use other Samsung smart devices, your Samsung account.
Check with the store where you are purchasing a Samsung TV from that it does include Voice Guide in particular as its not available in all regions. The model at the top of this article was purchased in Australia and did include Voice Guide.
You are able to plug in various HDMI devices such as a Chromecast, Xbox One, Apple TV etc.
An external hard drive can be connected for recording of programs - this was not tried.
Note - Both the Xbox One and the Apple TV have accessibility options including Narrator (speech output) for the Xbox One or VoiceOver (speech output) for the Apple TV).
The Smart Remote for the Samsung TV can also be used to navigate the Apple TV
If you are a Voice Guide user, you will have full control over your live tv watching experience (knowing what is on), changing channels with speech feedback, spoken Electronic Program Guide, all sources connected to the TV will have their device names spoken, parental control and scheduling is accessible with speech, and the general settings of the TV can be all accessed using Voice Guide.
At the end of this article, I have the link to take you to the podcast on using the Samsung TV with Voice Guide.
The cost of this TV was round about $660 Australian.
Set up of the Smart TV is reasonably straight forward:
Connect the stand legs together, pull out the protective cover on the bottom middle of the TV, and insert the stand leg connecter.
Put the two AA battery in the Smart Remote. Note - the whole back of the remote slides off.
Plug the power cable in from the TV (left hand bottom side) if facing the TV) in to a power point.
Turn the TV on via the Smart Remote (top left button) or the Power on/off button on the bottom right hand side of the TV.
Note - sighted assistance will be required if you can’t see the screen to complete the initial setup of the TV.
Set up process contains the Samsung welcome screen, language (choose English Australia), connecting to a Wi-Fi network, and logging in to your Samsung Account if you have one (this step can be skipped).
To select the Accessibility Short-Cut menu on the Samsung TV to access the various accessibility options, press and hold the Volume rocker (left rectangle button on the smart remote), Press Up or Down buttons on the circular cursor keys, and press Select button in the middle of the circle to toggle the options on or off.
To turn on Voice Guide, select the first option in this menu by pressing the Select button in the middle of the cursor circle.
Note - from the Accessibility Short-Cut menu you can access Learn Remote which allows the smart remote to be explored without the buttons being acted upon when pressed. To exit the Learn Remote, press the Return button twice directly located above the volume rocker.
Accessibility options include - Voice Guide (speech output), Audio Description, High Contrast (white on a black background for icons/text), enlarge (large fonts), Sub Titles, Learn Remote, and Menu Learning Screen.
Main features of using the Samsung Smart TV, particularly for a Voice Guide user:
Access the Smart Hub when pressing the Smart Hub button (directly above the Volume and Channel rocker buttons) - Live TV in the middle./ To the right of the Live TV option, Smart Hub icons added by default or user. To the left of the Live TV option, Apps (App Store - Voice Guide doesn’t work with most apps at this time), Search, Source (access connected HDMI devices), and Settings.
Live TV - spoken channel number, program title, and program description.
Channel change spoken with channel number/name, program name, and program start/end time.
Electronic Program Guide - spoken channel number/name, program title, and Start/End time. Browse with Down or Up between channels or with Left or Right buttons within a channel.
Settings - access all settings on Smart TV including Accessibility - Settings, General, Accessibility.
Devices plugged in to the HDMI ports have their names spoken - Xbox One, Chromecast, Apple TV etc.
Can use a Bluetooth speaker or head set with the TV.
Voice Recognition - pressing/holding the Voice Recognition button (top middle of the Smart Remote) speak command, and then release to have spoken command carried out. For example - toggle accessibility features such as Turn Voice Guide On (off) or Turn High Contrast on (off), What is the Time, speak channel number (22, 24 etc), volume 10 or volume 50 etc, Apple TV (if plugged in.
Mute - if TV muted, pressing mute (press the Volume rectangular rocker button) to turn sound back on or held down will bring up the Accessibility Short-Cut menu.
Can voice dictate when searching.
The apps that come pre-set on the TV - 7, 9, 10, ABC iView, and Internet - do not work with Voice Guide. These can be removed by pressing Down arrow button on the remote to Remove, Press Select button, and then confirm that you want to remove this item (tile) if you can’t or have no reason for them to sit on the Home Hub screen.
Layout of Smart Remote going from Top to Bottom:
Top left - Power On/Off button.
Pointing up arrow made of 3 buttons - Left 123 (on-screen keyboard), Top of arrow Voice Recognition button, and Right Colour buttons button.
Circular style button containing - Top of circle Up Arrow button, bottom Down Arrow button, left Left Arrow button, right Right Arrow button, and in the middle of the circle an indented button which is the Select button.
Down pointing arrow made of 3 buttons - Left Return button, point of the down arrow Smart Hub Button, and Left Play/Pause button.
Two rectangular rocker buttons side by side - Left Volume Rocker (push up or down), and Channel Change Rocker (push up or down).
Genera layout of Ports on the Samsung Smart TV:
Looking at the Back from Left to right:
Left - left side towards the bottom is an indented area containing ports for aerial, HDMI, Optical Out etc.
Right - right side towards the bottom is the port to plug in the power.
Front of the TV
Bottom of the TV in from the right edge, on/off button.
Podcast demo of the Samsung Series 5 32 inch Smart TV using Voice Guide