Samsung Wants More Apps; Inks IMAX, DreamWorks

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New York - As part of the second wave of its 3D TV rollout, Samsung has unveiled a Samsung App developer challenge, plus exclusive 3D content deals with DreamWorks and IMAX.

The Free the TV Challenge is designed to find the most innovative applications for IPTVs, Blu-ray players and home-theater systems, with a total prize value of half a million dollars, Samsung said.

The challenge is open to all developers in the U.S. starting today.  

 Samsung also announced that the number of applications available through Samsung Apps has more than doubled since its launch five months ago.

Beginning today, consumers can choose from a wide range of apps across five categories -- video, gaming, social media, sports and kids -- including apps from ESPN and Hulu, which are currently exclusive to Samsung. They can also download and enjoy the world's first 3D video-on-demand app to view trailers of 3D movies, the company said.

 Eric Anderson, content and product solutions VP of Samsung, said, "The Free the TV Challenge will continue that momentum by opening up these TVs to even more developers across the U.S. who want to distribute their content on the biggest screen in the home. People want a connected entertainment experience with their devices, and we encourage developers to free the TV by bringing new concepts, as well as existing apps from many platforms, to the TV."

Developers can go to

to register for the contest, starting today.  To be eligible, developers must live in the United States, submit the final app, and provide a video that showcases how the app works to Samsung by Nov. 11.

Samsung today expanded its library of apps with the addition of ESPN's Next Level application, as well as a variety of other premium apps that offer a variety of 3D, sports, casual gaming, weather and family-oriented content at the touch of a button.  The ESPN app is available as a free download exclusively through Samsung Apps. With four main sections, the app will allow fans to access in-depth looks at sports events and players in the news; predictive picks of the day's games across all major sports; research nuggets from the ESPN Research team; and insights from Peter Keating, senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, who gives his perspective on a variety of statistical subjects. 

Samsung and ESPN plan to introduce a ScoreCenter app in the fall of 2010, based on the popular app currently available on mobile devices.  

Samsung will soon launch what it claimed is the world's first 3D video-on-demand app that offers viewers sneak previews of upcoming 3D movies. All apps are available from today and can be downloaded directly on the TV via their Internet-connected HDTV, Blu-ray player or Blu-ray home-theater system.

In addition Samsung announced the exclusive availability of the 3D Blu-ray version of DreamWorks Animation's 3D "How To Train Your Dragon." The 3D BD will be featured in Samsung's 3D starter kit, which also includes two pairs of Samsung 3D glasses for at-home viewing. 

Samsung also announced a strategic marketing partnership with IMAX under which IMAX will license limited use of its trademark and two IMAX 3D films from its original 3D film library, "Into the Deep" and "Galapagos." The 3D Blu-ray versions of the films are exclusive for the next 12 months to Samsung's 2010 3D starter kit, which also includes two pairs of 3D glasses and is free to people who buy a Samsung 3D TV and a Samsung 3D Blu-ray device. The starter kit will be available starting this fall.

Giant Screens Film's "Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs" will also be available as part of the IMAX deal.


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