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Samsung Readies TV, Movie Search Service For Tablets, TVs

Seoul, South Korea — A video-discovery service developed by Samsung will lets users of Samsung smart TVs and Samsung mobile devices search for specific TV shows and movies across multiple Internet-video sources and a home’s TV-service provider.

The service, called Discovery TV outside the U.S., will be demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. A brand name for the U.S. market hasn’t been finalized.

 With the service, consumers will be able to launch a cross-platform search for a particular program appearing on live TV or available via the Internet. Programs and movies selected by a Samsung mobile device can be streamed via Wi-Fi to a smart TV, and content selected via the TV or set-top box can be streamed to mobile devices for viewing in other rooms.

Consumers who use the mobile device to search for content from a local service provider will view an interactive TV-programming guide on the device’s display. Unlike traditional program guides, Samsung’s will lets user search for specific live-TV programs by genre such as comedy. Users will also be able to type a movie’s name to do a cross-platform search to see if it’s playing live on TV or is available for rent or purchase from Internet video services, an executive said.

The correct program guide will appear on the tablet after the user enters a ZIP code and select a TV-service operator.

On the tablet, complementary content will also be accessible from the GUI without launching a separate app, such as IMDB.

Consumers will to use IR transmitters on Samsung’s mobile devices to change channels on a set-top box to the desired program, control the TV, and control other components of a home theater system, including audio products. Current Samsung tablets already have an IR transmitter with universal remote capability to control set-top boxes and TVs.

In the U.S., the service will initially search for online content from Netflix and Blockbuster, but the company plans to add searches of more online services.

The service will be available on Samsung smart TVs in the U.S. in the first quarter and on Samsung mobile devices in the second quarter. On mobile devices, the search will include searches of movies and TV shows on Samsung’s Media Hub service.

The service also learns a user’s viewing habits and over time offers recommendations. Users can also share what they’re watching.

An executive told TWICE that Samsung mobile devices will be able to stream live-TV content from select 2012 and 2013 Samsung TVs for playback in other rooms.

 It wasn’t certain whether existing Samsung tablets would be able to offer the new service, an executive said.