Samsung Smart TV, Not So Smart

Earlier today I switched on my Samsung Smart TV to use The Streaming Service Formerly Known As LoveFilm. Opening the Smart Hub I was presented with the ever-useful ERROR_MODEL_BIND error message. For the uninitiated, this means the Samsung Smart Hub servers are down and so Samsung Smart TVs throughout  the world go dumb.The Samsung Smart Hub is the interface on which the various apps sit (iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant etc). All the apps go through the hub so if the hub servers are down, none of the apps will work.

This means that there is a single point of failure for the entire Samsung Smart TV system. No server, no apps. Thankfully this is not a regular occurence, but it does raise some questions.

  1. Why does there appear to be a single point of failure for the Smart Hub system? It seems that a failure somewhere on the Samsung network takes out the service worldwide (whenever there is a failure, there are messages from users all over the world on Samsung’s Facebook page). What level of redundancy is provided for to protect the network?
  2. Why do the apps on the Smart Hub rely on the hub server to work? Surely the iPlayer app only needs to connect to the BBC’s servers? The Amazon Prime Instant app should only need a line to Amazon. Netflix should communicate direct to Neflix. There should be no need for an active connection to Samsung’s servers for the other apps to function.
  3. Why do Samsung make no effort to communicate the problem to their users? There never seems to be any information on any of the social network pages operated by Samsung. It needs little, just a statement of what has happened, what is being done and when we can expect it to be resolved.
  4. Who on Earth thought that “ERROR_MODEL_BIND” would ever be a useful error message? The full error message is “Network is not connected. Check Network Settings to use Internet services. (ERROR_MODEL_BIND)”. It seems I’m certainly not the only person to have tried and failed to diagnose the problem for what it is.

The Samsung Smart Hub system does generally work very well and I am happy with it most of the time. I just wish that these failures didn’t make the whole system unusable.


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