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Fox, Samsung Partner On Innovation Lab

Berlin — Samsung and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment used the IFA Show here Thursday to give further details on their joint plans for native Ultra HD and other “high-quality” content availability through Samsung TVs and other devices.

During a press event, Mike Dunn, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment president, and Michael Zoeller, Samsung TV-A/V European sales and marketing director, revealed that Samsung will be the first partner in the Fox Innovation Lab, which was described as an initiative to work on short- and long-term projects “that will enhance the consumer experience of content through televisions and mobile devices of the future.”

Dunn said the Fox Innovation Lab will help the studio “work with partners on technologies that are five to 10 years out, to advance the technologies that benefit consumers.”

The executives also said that in expanding the partnership between the two companies, Fox movies mastered in 4K will be prominently featured in the Samsung Video Pack sold with Ultra HD TVs and previously announced in the United States.

The Video Pack is an external hard drive-based media player pre-installed with Ultra HD movies and television programs. Zoeller reminded that Samsung plans to move beyond the Video Pack with a device tied to a Samsung Ultra HD download service in the future.

Dunn said that Fox agreed to work with Samsung on the project largely because Samsung has agreed to implement the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) platform, a technology designed to help consumers securely and easily move content from device to device.

The SCSA is a consortium of companies in the entertainment and storage space founded by SanDisk, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Western Digital to provide consumers with new ways to build digital home libraries and move high-quality digital movies and TV shows across multiple devices.

The SCSA platform (informally known as “Project Phenix”) will seamlessly complement and integrate with online content locker services, such as the industry backed UltraViolet ecosystem.

Dunn pointed out that the challenge with Ultra HD movies is finding efficient and fast ways to move super large files around quickly to an Ultra HD TV or a tablet.

Dunn also sent a signal to the other Ultra HD device makers and the industry at large that Fox is making support of SCSA technology — and the benefits it delivers consumers in accessing and distributing content between devices — a key element in its decision to release Ultra HD and other high-quality content to other manufacturers’ products and platforms.

 Sources familiar with the negotiations said Twentieth Century Fox sought to use the Samsung partnership as a model for driving a new way of working with CE companies going forward.

 Dunn is the only home entertainment content company president currently on the CEA Board of Industry Leaders.

 He said that because Samsung is supporting SCSA, Fox is making “its entire summer lineup” available in Ultra HD including: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Other Woman,” “The Fault In Our Stars” and others.

Dunn called SCSA “a technology that will liberate high quality content for consumers, allowing them to move it easily from device to device.”