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Android Hubs, Part 1: The Media Hub

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In part 1 of his series on Android Hubs, Eric Butow takes you on a tour of Media Hub, one of four hubs available from Samsung that allows you to shop for, buy, and rent movies and television shows from the Samsung catalog.
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When you start Android 4 on your Galaxy Tab 10.1, you'll see three icons at the bottom of the home screen that represent three built-in apps on your Tab 10.1: the Music Hub, the Media Hub, and the Social Hub, as shown in Figure 1. In this article, I'll talk about the Media Hub.

Figure 1 Open the Media Hub app by tapping on the icon on the home screen.

You can open the Media Hub either by tapping the Media Hub icon on the home screen or by tapping the Apps icon and then tapping the Media Hub icon in the Apps list.

The Media Hub screen opens and displays the app's terms and conditions in the Terms and Conditions window. After you review the terms and conditions, tap the I agree to the Terms and Conditions checkbox and then tap Accept.

The Music Hub opens the What's New screen so you can see the latest featured movie in the What's New page for movies and television shows. You'll see featured movies as cascading tiles at the top of the screen and other featured artists and categories in tiles at the bottom of the screen, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Spotlighted artists and offers appear at the bottom of the screen.

Flip through the featured movies at the top of the screen by swiping the tiles to the left or right. The tiles move in the direction you swiped, and as soon as a cascaded tile appears in the center of the screen, you'll see a description of the movie as you saw in Figure 2. The description includes the name of the film or television show, release year, film or television program rating, and a brief synopsis.

In the offer and spotlight files at the bottom of the screen, swipe to the left and right to view all the offers. The Offers tiles update every few minutes so you can see more information. For example, a tile that spotlights an actor will show the names of movies in which that actor appeared.

Open the featured movie on the screen by tapping on the tile. A window appears (shown in Figure 3) that contains more information about the movie, including the genre and actors. At the bottom of the window, you can view the theatrical trailer for free by tapping View trailer.

Figure 3 The three buttons at the bottom of the window allow you to view the trailer, buy the movie, and rent the movie.

If you want to buy the movie so you can watch it anytime on your Galaxy Tab, tap Buy. The amount it will cost you to buy the movie appears in the button. If you want to rent the movie, tap Rent; the Rent button contains the price to rent the movie for a limited time. Note that if the movie isn't available for rent, you won't see the Rent button on the screen.

After you tap Buy or Rent, the Samsung Confirm Password screen appears so you can type your Gmail password into the Password box. When you're finished, tap Done in the upper-right corner of the screen. After the system logs you in, you'll receive a notification in the status bar that you have a Gmail message welcoming you to Samsung Media Hub.

You will need to tap Buy or Rent in the movie window again to open the payment window. Tap Add new payment method in the window, as shown in Figure 4, to either add a new credit card number (as well as billing address information) or enter a voucher code if you received one from Samsung.

Figure 4 The total price of the movie you want to buy or rent appears below the name of the movie.

When you finish entering the information, tap the checkmark icon in the upper-right corner of the window. Then you'll be able to continue buying or renting the movie. The next time you buy or rent a movie or television show, you'll see your payment method in the buy or rent window, so you don't have to enter that information every time. If you decide against purchasing the movie, tap the X icon in the upper-right corner of the window.

You can view a list of movies by category by tapping Movies in the menu bar that appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. The list of categories appears on the left side of the screen, and the list of movies within that category appears to the right of the list, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 Tap Movies in the menu bar to view a list of movies within the Staff Picks area.

Swipe up and down within the category list and then tap the category name to open the list of movies. Then swipe up and down the category list until you find the movie you want. Tap the movie to open the movie window so you can get more information about the movie, view the trailer, buy the movie, and rent the movie if rental is available.

You can view TV shows on your Galaxy Tab by tapping TV Shows in the menu bar to view shows that aired during the previous six days within the Shows that Aired category, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 Tap TV Shows in the menu bar to view a list of television show categories on the left side of the screen.

Tap one of the dates to replace the list of dates with a list of shows for that particular date. Tap the show to open the show window (see Figure 7). The show window not only includes information about the specific episode and show genre; you'll also see the show rating, air date, run time, file size, and where you can download the show (a smartphone and/or tablet).

Figure 7 The show window contains information about the show so you can decide if you want to purchase it and view it.

The Buy button at the bottom of the window contains the price to download the show. Tap the Buy button to open the Samsung Confirm Password screen and enter your password. Tap Done to log in and you will return to the show window where you can tap the Buy button again so you can purchase the show. If you need to add a new payment method such as a credit card, tap Add new payment method as you did for a movie.

You can close the window and not pay for the show by tapping the X icon in the payment window and then tapping the X icon in the show window. You can swipe up and down in the category list within the TV Shows screen as you saw in Figure 6, and then tap a category or network name to view shows on the right side of the screen. Swipe up and down the list of shows and then tap the show in the list. If there are more choices, such as specific seasons of a show you can view, a new screen will appear on the right side of the screen with a list of those choices.

Tap My Media at the top of the screen so you can view all movies and TV shows you've downloaded as shown inn Figure 8. The screen displays all movies you're currently downloading in the Downloading category.

Figure 8 If you haven't downloaded any movies or TV shows before, you won't find any movies you're currently downloading or are in any of the five categories in the category list.

Each category name has the number of movie and TV show files within the category to the right of the category name. There are five categories within the category list, and information within each category appears to the right of the list:

  • Downloading: Shows you all movie or TV show files you're downloading and the status of the download.
  • Downloadable: Contains movies or TV shows that you started to download, but were paused either by you or by an interrupted Wi-Fi connection. Instead of starting from scratch, tap a movie or TV show in this category list to resume the download from where you left off.
  • Downloaded: Contains all the movies and/or TV shows you downloaded to your Galaxy Tab.
  • Expired: If you rented a movie or TV show and the viewing time has expired, those movies and TV shows appear in this category, so you can either re-rent or buy your selected movie or TV show to watch it again.
  • Archive: If you don't want a movie or TV show to appear in the Downloaded category, you can move it to this category.
At the bottom of the category list, tap Refresh to refresh the movie and TV shows in the category. Just above the Refresh button you'll see the time the list was last updated.

In the menu bar you'll see several options on the left and right. The Music Hub logo appears at the left side of the menu bar. If there is a left arrow immediately to the left of the logo, return to the main Music Hub screen by tapping the logo.

On the right side of the menu bar, tap the Search icon to open the Search box shown in Figure 9. To the left of the box, tap Title to choose between searching by title of the movie or TV show, or searching by the name of a person who appeared in the movie or TV show. Then tap in the Search box, type your search term(s), and then tap the search button in the keyboard.

Figure 9 Type the search term in the Search box within the menu bar.

If the Media Hub finds any movies and/or TV shows that match your search term(s), a list of matches appears on the screen. Swipe up and down the list if necessary until you find the movie or TV show you want and then tap on it to open up the movie or TV show window and get more information, view the trailer, and buy and/or rent.

If you don't find what you want, tap the Search icon at the right side of the menu bar, type or change the search terms in the Search box, and then tap the Search button in the keyboard. Return to the previous screen by tapping the Music Hub logo.

Tap the Settings icon to view a menu with more options depending on the screen you're in. In all screens, the menu will display the Help option so you can get quick guidance on what to do on the screen. On most screens you can tap My Profile to view your profile information, as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10 The My Profile page contains profile information within three different categories.

On the left side of the screen, you'll see three categories, and information within each category appears to the right of the category list. The My Payment Methods category is selected by default, so you can see how you pay for movies and TV shows. Tap New at the right side of the menu bar to add a new credit card or voucher code.

You can also view your purchases in the My Purchases category and also manage any devices connected to your Galaxy Tab (such as a Wi-Fi connection) in the Manage My Devices category. Search for purchases or devices by tapping the Search icon at the right side of the menu bar so you can type the search term(s) in the Search box.

In the My Media page, you can type Sort By so you can sort the list of media by the most recent downloads or alphabetically.

Now that you've taken the grand tour of Media Hub, enjoy using it to download and view your favorite movies and television shows on your Galaxy Tab.

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