Samsung Woos TV App Developers at London Event for Connected TV (Smart TV)

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Beneath the arches of a Victorian railway viaduct at Bank End, in a swank event held in Vinopolis spaces, Samsung reached out to the UK developer crowd with a passioned plea to build and innovate together in the emerging TV application market around their new internet connected TV products yesterday.

S.H. Shin, President and CEO of Samsung Europe told the crowd:

"The development community is critically important to Samsung and it's Smart TV." He also noted that currently 40 percent of the devices that Samsung sells with Internet@TV are being activated and right now over 50 per cent of the new models of TV and Bluray products are internet enabled.

Deals with Facebook, Twitter and Skype have ensured that the major players in the Social TV landscape are involved already. But Shin exclaimed effusively that,"We want more!" Note that has wrote that the TV Applications and Widgets Market Worth over €1 Billion Euro by 2013 and that  One Billion TV Apps Downloaded by 2015: GigaOM Analyst Michael Wolf. It's a rapidly evolving market that could even overshadow the explosion of tablet devices.

Then he led into the Samsung TV Challenge in Europe - where the company is generously awarding over €500.000 euro in a series of competitions in Germany, France and the UK (but open to all developers in Europe) for the best TV applications in a contest that should attract mobile and web application developers to have a crack at the TV App market.

Neil Ferguson from Future Publishing also gave his take on the emerging TV app landscape with some key points.

"We look at seven points," said Ferguson, "Content is King, Visual and Aural extravaganza, branded, Video, Entertaining, Premium and Profitable."

Blinkbox's co-founder and COO Adrian Letts pulled out some interesting stats while pitching his wares at the event, noting with particular interest that TV is the fastest growing sector in  the IP market and is expected to overtake mobile and the PC by 2013 in terms of overall bandwidth use, or data consumption. A five-fold growth in three short years is expected.

"In 2014, 90 per cent of all TVs shipped will be internet connected," added Letts.

He also nudged up a spreadsheet with some analysis that they came up with forecasting the market - but I am not totally sure I agree with his findings, despite backing it with some pretty solid methodology claims. 

UK Model presented by Blinkbox

Channel 4
BT Vision

Market Value
Market Value
£225 Billion
£1 Billion

James Grant, a senior engineer at the Samsung Research Institute came in the afternoon session to reveal the 'nuts and bolts' of their developer programme in terms of SDKs and APIS. 

His demo of the design and documentation behind Samsung's TV App architecture was impressive and it seems they have gone to great lengths to make the visual editor and wysiwyg editor intuitive with plenty of drop and drag features, pre-coded functionality that simplifies many of the mundane coding tasks - and helps create  cleaner code by standardizing it. It's now incorporating  Lua, Flash, SDL and a Device Engine. There are some 289 device APIs available. In 2011 Samsung will allow TV developers to start charging for apps and a DRM upgrade is expected shortly.



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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