Tag Archives: software

Mobile phone disruption coming soon to a TV near you

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“If you like developing for a 3-inch screen, I have a 55-inch screen for you,” challenged Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, as he invited mobile application developers into the world of television. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, he introduced Samsung Apps, a consolidated app store for televisions, mobile phones and Blu-ray players.

Samsung opens app store for TVs
 You’re welcome
Samsung is a major mobile phone and television manufacturer, with a mobile phone app store already serving subscribers in Europe and Korea. It connected the dots simply and elegantly. If you can run your calendar and tweet from your mobile phone, why not do it on your TV? If you’re watching a movie on your TV, why not walk away and keep watching it on your mobile phone?

The answer to both might be “because nobody wants to”. That’s fine, those are obvious applications that Samsung already has on the table. By creating app stores, with all credit to Apple for walking point, mobile phone companies created and proved out a business model that disrupted their own industry and will do the same to the television business.

Details are still thin, but Baxter said Samsung Apps, and the devices it supports, will be an open platform and that they will be releasing a software developer kit. They’ll start with free apps in the spring and add premium apps later this summer.

The next TV superstar will be the software developer who figures out what to do with a CPU-enabled television besides watch linear content. It doesn’t have to be a major Hollywood blockbuster. It almost certainly will be a high concept, low complexity application created by one or two independent devs that does something no one ever thought to do on a TV before.

Ho-Hum IPTV is Software Dev Opportunity

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Internet protocol television is the it’s-good-to-be-boring story of CES 2009. Everyone (or nearly so), from Netgear to Sony, integrates some kind of IPTV functionality in their consumer product lines. It’s going from being a distinct and geeky category to just being a standard feature of mainstream television products.

It’s good news for software developers and component manufacturers. Drive manufacturers, to pick one example, have an opportunity to sell their products into television sets, more set top boxes (not just DVRs), and home media centers.

There’s a window of opportunity opening briefly for software developers. No one has completely solved the twin problems of navigating and storing content. Boxee offers an open source users interface. It could turn into a common development platform, but only because it’s open source.

Storage isn’t a technical problem. Hard drives are big and cheap, and solid state drives are rapidly heading in that direction. The problem is finding and accessing your stuff, once you’ve downloaded it to one device and you want to access it on another.