Hisense releases VIDAA2, a New Smart TV

written by: Richard Kastelein

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hisenselogoHisense has just released the VIDAA2, a smart television set, in Beijing last week. The two main features of the redefined VIDAA2 include new convergence (Juhaokan) and social (Juxiangjia) functionalities. These are major new improvements in comparison with the preceding version launched a year ago, the VIDAA, which was itself a major milestone due to its easy-to-use abilities. Hisense Chairman, Zhou Houjian, expects the VIDAA2, with the embedded convergence and social functionalities, will speed the smart TV manufacturers' shift from the 1.0 to the 2.0 era -- the former focuses on internet and content applications, while the latter focuses on the more advanced convergence and social aspects .

Hisense revolutionized the traditional TV set industry a year ago with the launch of the VIDAA, dwarfing conventional similar TV sets with its simple design of the controls and easy-to-use capabilities. VIDAA sold more than a million units within its first year. These are very high connection and performance rates for anyone in the smart TV sector. Hisense continued its string of innovations with the release of VIDAA2. Chairman Zhou feels that the convergence and social features will contribute well to VIDAA's bottom line.

What will TVs offer in the VIDAA2-led 2.0 era? Hisense provides the answer:

TVs will become an integrator of video content. Convergence means that traditional live broadcasts and internet video will become available through one device and this is what VIDAA2's Juhaokan is designed for. With the blessing of national TV and broadcasting authorities, Juhaokan integrates all video content from 11 leading Chinese video providers including major contributors such as iQiyi and Sohu. With one button, users can search across the full range of video content. VIDAA2 will start out with access to more than 800,000 videos, over 100 percent more than the number of videos available on any video website.

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With the move into 2.0, the smart TV takes on the mission of bringing families closer together and facilitates exchanges among family members. VIDAA2 does this through the Juxiangjia feature, which provides a private family social platform through which families can communicate and interact directly via the mobile point and the TV point. Users can upload text and photos, parents can see what their children are doing as soon as they switch on the TV, while any family member can "like" what they see at any time.


Two other features have been added to the VIDAA2: the "games"(Juhaowan) feature and the "app" (Juhaoyong) feature. Juhaowan comes with access to a collection of over 4,300 game apps, many of which are exclusive to Hisense or can be individually customized. Juhaoyong is an app store replete with the richest trove of content in the industry, with 26,000 apps that have been downloaded on average over 2 million times daily.

Chairman Zhou explained that TV as a medium is going through a period of transition and transformation as consumers trade up to get access to new features and replace existing units, strengthening the position of the medium across the technology landscape while the form is updated. No matter how the battle within the industry plays out, TV's position as the hub of family life will not change. The launch of both VIDAA and VIDAA2 demonstrates that Hisense, among all players in the field, has the best understanding of the market when it comes to user experience and can best handle the crossover and convergence of internet and TV. Chairman Zhou said he is confident that the VIDAA will go a long way in expanding the distance between Hisense and its competitors.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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