Originally Posted by noworthen
Yes, the 5500 allows you to use an external HDD on the top usb port only (the bottom port can not power a HDD) not just a usb stick. I'm not sure if the lone usb port on the 5000 puts out the necessary power for a HDD.
I have not used the browser extensively as it is a bit clunky to use with the remote control. That's why I want to get a wireless keyboard/touch pad for it. It has 2 search engines built in as defaults that you can pick between: I think they were google and the microsoft one. It has some limitations compared to a regular browser (such as no java script) but does most things like playing flash stuff like youtube, etc. When you go to type something like a url into a field an onscreen keyboard pops up like a smartphone but it is more difficult to use since you have to navigate with the remote instead of a touchscreen as on a smartphone. A wireless keyboard should make it much easier to maneuver.
The 5000 does not allow a hard drive, only USB flash drives.
I also really like the network share function on the 5500 you mentioned earlier. Before I bought it, I didn't realize it had that function and then after I connected it to my network, it automatically found my media server and I saw it in the source list to my surprise with all my videos/music/photos available to play on my TV.
You can also get media content from your smartphone over wifi with the proper apps on your phone. It's part of the AllShare function. It has two sections - Content and Mirroring. Mirroring is limited to Samsung devices but Content is for any phone/tablet and if you have a media app on your mobile device that can connect to TVs you can connect it through that and send your media from your phone to TV.
Also, using the wireless connection allows for remote control of your TV through remote control apps on your phone connected to the same network. I use my phone to change volume or change channels when I'm in different room from the TV that the IR remote can't work from.
The browser is better than most smart device browsers. It's not a computer replacement but it's not meant to be. It's meant to primarily view media content and it's useful for that. You won't be able to view everything of course and it has it's limitations, but I can watch video from all the sources I'm personally interested in on it so it works for me. As I stated earlier in this thread, the navigation is very slow so have a bit of patience, but that does not affect the video quality. Once you get the video playing, it's smooth (as long as you have a decent internet connection of course) and all the videos I've played I've had no problem going fullscreen either. To make navigation less tiresome, just bookmark the pages you go to most, as close as you can get to where you would be choosing the video to play. When you are not playing video, PIP even works in the browser so you can watch TV while you're waiting for those webpages to load (PIP will stop when you play a video). Keyboard and mouse and definite improvement and I got a cheap $20 wireless combo that works great - no need to buy the more expensive Samsung one.
Also, make sure to check out all the apps that are not pre-installed in the Smart Hub. When you go to the Smart Hub, find the app called Samsumg Apps and you will be able to browse the whole library of apps you can install. For instance, Plex has an app if you have a Plex server set up. Lots of video and music apps in there too, some news stuff, and there's some kids stuff like the Angry Birds Toon channel (or maybe some adults watch that too - ha) and some very simple games. Most apps are free to install - occasionally something is paid, but all the ones I wanted are free - that's up to the developer, not Samsung.
Anyway, so much you can do on this TV when you utilize all it's features, it's pretty impressive for the price.
Oh, one more thing to add to the difference between the 5000 and 5500 is the IR extender that allows you to use the Samsumg remote to control your other devices.
Another thing, is an ethernet port.
And this doesn't apply to the North American models, but some (maybe all?) of the the European/Asian 5500 models allow recording/PVR to a hard drive.Edited by jprc - 12/14/13 at 3:17pm