New York - Samsung
will begin a 3D VOD streaming capability on its 3DTVs beginning in June,
according to Tim Baxter, president of the Samsung Consumer Business division.
In his keynote at
NewBay Media's Connected TV and 3D event, held at the Roosevelt Hotel, here,
this morning Baxter said the capability will begin with 3D trailers and will
have a "broad service" offering by later in the year. (NewBay is TWICE's parent
In a separate announcement Samsung said the Explore 3D app
on its 3D LED and 3D plasma TVs is accessible with a single click from
Samsung's SmartHub interface, will offer access to dozens of pieces of free 3D
content - all in streaming high definition - including trailers from DreamWorks
Animation and other studios, music videos, educational content and full-length
TV shows from Wealth TV.
Later this year, Explore 3D will also offer access to paid
content available in streaming 3D - including feature films and shorts, plus
full-length 3D documentaries. The service is available now on all 2010 and 2011
LED Smart 3D TVs and Plasma Smart 3D TVs. Users simply sign up for a new
account via any PC.
The Explore 3D application is powered by Rovi Corp. and
includes its cloud-based metadata and RoxioNow platform. Rovi currently powers
entertainment services for a range of companies, including digital storefronts
from Blockbuster and Sears that are also available on Samsung TVs. In addition
to supporting Explore 3D, Rovi licenses its interactive program guide,
Advertising Services and DivX technologies for use on Samsung devices.
In his remarks Baxter said this is "an important time in our
industry [with a] change in terms of consumer behavior and content and a lot of
change in technology all coming together not just for TVs but much broader way
for the CE industry."
He said the industry "needs to create a demand in CE, create
Baxter noted that with 3D and connected TV there is "heavy
lifting associated with that." He noted, "You have to put [the 3DTV rollout] in
context with other technologies, such as DVD, Blu-ray, HDTV and LED. An
ecosystem has to be put in place" before a new technology gets wide acceptance.
He explained that in the 35 million unit annual sales market
for TVs in the U.S. "20 percent of that is connected TV" today and that half of
that is in the profitable 40-inch and above screen size "sweet spot" of
profitable and enhanced TVs.
In the past the CE industry provided "discrete devices with
one purpose. Now with smart TV, smartphones and other products" that
communicate and perform more than just one function, he noted.
"We are making them communicate, but it is not seamless. We
are working on it," Baxter noted and maintained, "The cloud environment is the
He quoted CEA statistics saying that the average U.S.
household had 32 CE devices and "I counted the number in my house and since I
am in the industry we must have double that."
But Baxter's point is that consumers "want to seamlessly
communicate with each other with these devices and over half of them will be
connected by 2015."
He said that Samsung with AllShare, the name of its DNLA
system and its TVs, tablet PCs, smartphones, Blu-ray decks, major appliances
and other devices and other devices the challenge is "how do we connect them
He noted that 70 percent of Samsung's line now consists of smart
TVs and the hub enables consumers to go onto the internet. Baxter said Samsung
took an existing remote "added a qwerty keyboard to it" as an input device so
they can "connect with friends who also have smart TVs. You have to communicate
with consumers" about these features.
And Baxter related a story how his 17 year-old daughter was
able to access a picture taken with his smartphone at a Samsung charity event
with actor Matthew McConaughey, view it, check his bio and the movies he is in
via their Samsung smart TV, buy the movie, view it and talk about it on Twitter
and Facebook with her friends. "Those are some of the aspects of the connected
experience, not just searching the web to view your [stock] portfolio."
He noted that Samsung celebrated this week its 5 millionth
app download on its smart TVs from its app store, "and that doesn't include the
apps loaded on the TV."
Consumers are using those apps around the country and around
the world, he added.
"We must build an ecosystem for apps. More 3D content is
coming... and consumers are demanding it. If we want to grow we must do it,"
Baxter said, "to create demand with our retail partners... and bring the
experience alive to our consumers."