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Samsung Set-Top Box Uses Mediocre Smart TV Software To Compete With Roku, Apple TV

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Samsung set-top box uses mediocre Smart TV software to compete with Roku, Apple TV | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Dante D'Orazio - Oct. 17, 2013

    -- Samsung isn't known for its software, but that hasn't stopped the company from pushing its Smart TV interface, which offers access to video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, and MLB.TV, as well as a selection of other utilities.

    The company has just announced what it's calling the Smart Media Player, which is essentially an Apple TV or Roku competitor. It brings the Smart TV user interface featured on Samsung's LCD and plasma televisions (as well as some Blu-ray players) to any TV set, but there is little reason to purchase it — especially since it will cost $149.99 when it goes on sale on the 23rd.
     
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57608020-94/samsung-$150-smart-box-packs-in-streaming-apps-cable/


    Summary:
    The Korean electronics giant says the player includes more than 100 apps such as Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, as well as Samsung's recommendation tool.


    by Shara Tibken October 17, 2013 11:15 AM PDT


    -- Samsung on Thursday made its latest push into into the smart TV market with a new "Smart Media Player" that lets users access both apps and live cable content.

    The product, model No. GX-SM530CF, includes more than 100 smart TV apps such as Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, VUDU, and YouTube. It also allows viewers to access live cable content without having to pay the expensive monthly rental fees associated with a cable box.
    The media player will retail for $149.99 and will be available October 23.

    Samsung noted that the Smart Media Player supports content from major cable providers, but it's unclear whether it works with all of them. It said that customers can rent a CableCARD from their cable provider and insert it into the device, providing access to local channels and content. Also unclear is whether the product can access the cable company's on-demand video channels, a problem that has plagued third-party CableCard devices like TiVo.

    There's also no mention of DVR capabilities.

    We've contacted Samsung and cable providers and will update the report when we have more information.

    While Samsung is well known for its mobile devices, TVs are what really made the company a household name. Along with selling the displays themselves, the company also has been making a big push with smart TVs and media streaming boxes. Earlier this month, the company announced US availability for its $299 HomeSync media center that lets people store, sync, and stream content from their Samsung devices to their TVs.

    The HomeSync and the Smart Media Player are two ways Samsung is trying to create an ecosystem and attract more buyers. However, both boxes face steep competition in the media player and streaming content arena, including from Apple, Roku, and Google. New entrants such as Sony and Intel also are trying to address the market. If Samsung's Smart Media Player works seamlessly with content from cable providers, it stands a good chance.

    Samsung noted that using the Smart Media Player's provided remote, viewers can switch easily between cable content, movies, games, and other smart TV content with a "simple finger swipe." The player also includes S-Recommendation, Samsung's software that helps customers discover what they want to watch without surfing channels. It becomes smarter over time and will recommend content to watch live or in the future.

    In addition, the Smart Media Player comes loaded with AllShare, which allows viewers to share content from their mobile devices to their TV from anywhere. And the Screen Mirroring feature lets viewers easily share video and buttons on their TV via a compatible smartphone or tablet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013

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