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Samsung's Baxter Unveils 3D VOD Plans

6/06/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – Samsung will begin a 3D VOD streaming
capability on its 3DTVs beginning this month, 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, on
May 24, 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 company.)

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 solutions.”

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 next frontier.”

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, as well as its TVs, tablet PCs, smartphones,
Blu-ray decks, major appliances and other
devices, the challenge is “how do we connect them
seamlessly?”

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.”