Providing Content How You Want It, When You Want It, Where You Want It: The Design Story Behind The FreestyleBy STF News
People today are expressing themselves more freely, showcasing their own individuality through their own unique identities. The Freestyle, Samsung Electronics’ all-new portable screen and entertainment device, has been designed to match the versatility embodied by today’s users by allowing them to express their diverse tastes and interests with flexibility.
From Every Angle
These days, nomadic working is a lifestyle that is being embraced by people all over the world who are taking advantage of the ability to work more freely, anytime and anywhere they want. Even if our working habits err on the side of ‘flexible’ instead of ‘nomadic’, we all share that desire to have ownership over our lifestyles and lean towards products that help us overcome physical constraints and traditional methods of living, working or doing.
The Freestyle, which is highly portable, does not require any type of fastening and can be adjusted to be used at any angle, is one such product, as users can enjoy the best screen quality anywhere and in any way they desire. “We worked on creating a form that can accommodate all kinds of usage and placement styles,” explained Chulyong Cho, one of The Freestyle’s designers.
Unlike conventional, boxy projectors, The Freestyle’s versatile cradle allows rotation of up to 180 degrees, enabling users to show high-quality video anywhere – tables, floors, walls or even ceilings – no separate screen required.
The Freestyle also features an auto keystone function that displays a 16:9-ratio screen anywhere without distortion. The projector automatically focuses to ensure a clear screen, and retains its level to prevent any inconveniences in viewing. This function helps users display the screen from all kinds of different positions from floors to walls to ceilings.
Me, Myself, and I
In an era where the diversity of our personalities reflects who we truly are, people are rejecting the idea of being limited to one identity. The Freestyle similarly contains such multitudes, exceeding the identity of being a simple device as it can be transformed into a subtle mood lamp.
As was noted by designer Jaeneung Lee, “Users can also enjoy a wider spectrum of experiences through accessories.” For instance, The Freestyle can be directly connected to light stands that use E26 sockets1, allowing users to hang their Freestyle from the ceiling so that it can project downwards and deliver a truly unique experience.
Furthermore, with the ambient mode, users can express themselves through unique styles of light and sound. This feature projects a variety of visual concepts into a user’s interior to create a new atmosphere, and users can also harness The Freestyle’s translucent lens cap to project images as a form of mood lighting.
Built for Diverse Tastes and Diverse Uses
The Freestyle has been designed to take into account all kinds of personal tastes and preferences, and is available in a range of color options for users to pick and choose from. “We aspired to create a device capable of matching the lifestyles of all kinds of people and preferences,” explained designer Minsun Kang.
The Freestyle’s cover is also made out of a soft rubber material to both protect the product as well as to exude warmth and usability to any user. “With The Freestyle, we are proposing new ambient experiences that have been based on real insight into the way users are consuming content,” noted designer Jenny Jung.
Furthermore, the overall design of The Freestyle makes it a versatile device capable of matching the diverse lifestyles of any user. Those who enjoy camping can safely and easily bring their device along on a trip; those looking to enjoy content immediately need not worry thanks to external batteries2 that support USB-PD and 50W/20V output or above; those looking to relax can transform their room into a gallery with the ambient screen feature; and party people can harness the projector’s range of lighting modes to create the perfect atmosphere.
When designing The Freestyle, Samsung’s designers aspired to create a device that let users view what they want, when they want, wherever they want. The Freestyle goes beyond the capabilities of regular devices thanks to its free and flexible movement and a design ethos that takes after the lifestyle of today’s users.
* The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may differ from the actual products. Product specifications may vary by country, region and model.
1 Light socket connection feature will be first applied in the U.S.
2 Samsung is not liable for 3rd party external batteries.
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By STF News
Now more than ever, streaming has developed to be at the core of home entertainment. New streaming platforms are continuously being released and the industry’s growth is accelerating faster than ever before as more and more people are enjoying their favorite TV shows, movies and more from the comfort of their own homes.
Powered by the Tizen OS, Samsung Electronics’ TV lineup provides users with a central hub for seamless streaming experiences. Along with Samsung’s cutting-edge picture quality, state-of-the-art sound and user-friendly OS, the company’s partnerships with leading content providers such as HBO are bringing users’ at-home streaming experiences to the next level.
In order to learn more, Samsung Newsroom sat down with Jennifer Mirgorod, Head of Partner Management and Marketing for WarnerMedia, to hear about the state of streaming, the future of the industry and how HBO’s partnership with Samsung is bringing users a truly premium experience.
Q: Please introduce yourself and your role at WarnerMedia.
A: As head of partnership management and partner marketing, I’m responsible for the distribution and marketing of WarnerMedia’s streaming services including HBO Max, its transactional video business and the linear television networks. I lead the team managing our multichannel video programming distributor partners in North America as well as our global platform partnerships, including with Samsung.
Q: Streaming services have seen massive growth over the last year. What are some notable trends the industry has seen over the past year?
A: Since my career in media began more than 25 years ago, I’ve witnessed the entirety of the streaming industry’s lifespan. We’ve seen massive increase in its popularity over the years and the global over-the-top services market size is projected to reach $86.8 billion by 2026.1
As more streaming platforms emerge, content is so critically important to any platform. This trend, then, has been of rising importance for ensuring that the most iconic titles – from Warner Bros. and across our entire portfolio – live on HBO Max. The relative scarcity of premium content in our industry has made owning franchises like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and the DC Universe, among others, has been an incredibly powerful differentiator for WarnerMedia.
Q: With more consumers “cord cutting” and moving to OTT services, how do you see the market for premium content playing out over the next decade?
A: The past few years have been described as the era of “peak TV”, with hundreds of new television series being released each year, and one thing has remained clear: consumers crave premium content. It’s premium stories that make their way into the zeitgeist and resonate with large audiences, regardless of the platform on which they premiere. HBO has long been the home for exactly that type of content and, with HBO Max, we fully expect to build on that.
Q: What changes has HBO made to its platform to promote growth and provide subscribers new experiences?
A: There are quite a few things we’ve done both to the product itself as well as our approach to provide the best possible experience to our customers.
Throughout HBO Max’s first year, our product team has focused on evolving the app by adding new features to ensure that the platform provides a premium experience that is fitting for the premium content it houses. That means adding new personalization features including “For You” trays, age-targeted kid profiles, improved design, improved content details pages, accessibility features and others. We also took a bold step late last year and decided to release our 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical slate in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day, giving customers the ultimate choice on how they wanted to consume content, which proved to be a solid strategy.
Our tech team is also working hard to deliver the best viewing experiences which includes support for HDR10 and 4K streaming. As we regularly update and release new content via HBO Max, you’ll see more and more content available in these formats.
Q: What have been some of the biggest benefits of HBO Max being available on Samsung Smart TVs?
A: There have been plenty of benefits we’ve found in partnering with Samsung and leaning into Tizen’s distinct operating system. Thanks to Tizen OS, Samsung’s TV and projectors allow us to take HBO Max into many different large-format surfaces and enable high-quality as well as varied interactions with users.
It also offers an integrated, streamlined experience for users for more enjoyable viewing. The HBO Max app will be featured on the launch bar for 2021 and 2022 televisions for convenient access, and we’re leveraging the strength of Tizen’s Universal Guide feature in those regions where it’s available. We have also deepened our integration of HBO Max content into Tizen’s search functionality to provide a more seamless experience for customers from start to finish.
Q: Is there anything you can share on the HBO Max roadmap that, along with Samsung’s Smart TVs, will help provide consumers with more valuable experiences?
A: Samsung is a valued partner of ours and we’re looking forward to building on a solid foundation we’ve built together since the launch of HBO Max. Samsung customers can expect key updates to the app experience in the coming weeks including the addition of 4K, Dolby Atmos and 5.1 audio. Also on the roadmap are enhanced functionality with Bixby, as well as the addition of ‘Continue Watching’ and ‘Personalized Preview’ features that will help to create an even more seamless and customized viewing experience.
Q: Lastly, are there any exciting movies and shows that HBO Max subscribers can look forward to later this year?
A: Absolutely. We are excited about a number of new series and movies set for release throughout the second half of this year and plans for expansion into new markets.
Our team is excited about the recently launched Gossip Girl series reboot, as well as the original film No Sudden Move, plus new Max originals The Sex Lives of College Girls from Mindy Kaling and the next chapter of Sex and the City called And Just Like That. There’s also the return of HBO-favorites including Succession, Insecure and Curb Your Enthusiasm. On the movie front, new Warner Bros. theatrical releases have been and will be released on the platform on the same days as theaters with titles including Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, The Many Saints of Newark and Dune, among others.
1 Over the Top (OTT) Services Market Latest Industry Trends, Size, Share, Statistics, Applications and Competition Strategies by 2028, Fortune Business Insights
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By STF News
In order to provide more users around the world with easy access to diverse, high-quality TV content, Samsung Electronics is expanding its Samsung TV Plus service to 10 additional countries globally – bringing the total of countries the free Smart TV video service is available in up to 23.
Following the recent rollout of Samsung TV Plus to Australia, Brazil and Mexico, the service will be available in India and 9 new European countries – the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland and Portugal – starting from March 30th with India. Users around the world will also be able to enjoy enhanced mobile app experiences, as well as exclusive arts contents.
Samsung TV Plus launched in India on March 30th
Samsung TV Plus: A Truly Global Streaming Service
Delivering instant access to news, sports, entertainment and more, Samsung TV Plus has become one of the fastest-growing streaming services in the world following its debut in 2015. By May, users in these 10 new countries will be able to gain access to Samsung TV Plus’s free Live TV content across the Smart TV platform, bringing the service’s offering up to 23 countries and comprising of over 1,000 channels worldwide.
For users in India, Samsung TV Plus will be available on any Samsung Smart TV model launched from 2017 to 2021. On March 30, the regional Samsung TV Plus service will launch with 27 channels, including 22 global channels and 5 Indian local channels including Republic, 9xm, and The Q.
Expanding the Samsung TV Plus Experience
In addition to the 10 new regions added to the Samsung TV Plus service, viewers can look forward to a more refined TV Plus app experience, new Smart TV features and never-seen-before art and lifestyle content.
The Samsung TV Plus mobile app1, launched in the U.S. in September 2020, will see an expansion of its service to Canada, the U.K., Germany and India this April. App users in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Austria will also be able to enjoy mobile Samsung TV Plus experiences within the first half of 2021.
Samsung TV Plus mobile app
Samsung TV Plus is also bringing new content to arts enthusiasts the world over. Launched last week in the U.S., Samsung TV Plus is adding a variety of new channels to its global linear TV lineup, including ‘Loupe 4K’, the art platform’s first-ever 4K streaming art channel.
Loupe 4K, 24/7 art and synchronized music linear channel launched in US
“The growth of Samsung TV Plus has everything to do with the quality of the content, the ease of access and the multi-screen experiences offered,” said Sang Kim, SVP of Product & Marketing for Samsung Electronics. “We are working hard to deliver more to our customers wherever they are – including our mobile offering.”
Samsung TV Plus is regularly being updated in order to provide the best possible user experiences. Users can now take advantage of improvements made to the app’s Player UI, including a simpler player bar for more intuitive control. As Samsung TV Plus’s video-on-demand (VOD) offering continues to expand, users can expect to enjoy even more VOD content seamlessly and free-of-charge with the Samsung TV Plus Smart TV and mobile apps.
New player bar updated this week
1 The Samsung TV Plus app is available free of charge on the Galaxy Store and Google Play in applicable regions for select Galaxy device users running Android O OS or higher.
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By STF News
TVs and mobile devices – while highly capable on their own – shine even brighter when they are brought together. For those used to consuming and sharing content on their phones, being able to watch videos on bigger screens, enjoy music with more vivid sound, and share photos seamlessly are exciting prospects. Particularly in outdoor environments where people come together socially, users can benefit greatly from being able to share their mobile content through the medium of their TVs.
With the ‘Mobile View’1, 2 feature available in a range of its latest TV offerings, Samsung Electronics has made all of these use cases possible with just a touch, and without the need for additional connections. As we see the border between mobile and television platforms being removed, Newsroom looked into the ‘Tap View’, ‘Multi View’, ‘Music Wall’, ‘My Album’ and ‘Smart View’ features to find out just what the future of outdoor viewing looks like.
‘Tap View’ – A Mobile Screen as Big as Your TV
In the past, trying to view a smartphone video on a bigger screen at home often required you to navigate a host of complicated settings and additional components. But now, Samsung has introduced the ‘Tap View’ feature, which allows you to enjoy mobile content on a large screen by simply tapping your smartphone on the edge of the TV. With Tap View, you can even enjoy content on a big screen without having to connect to Wi-Fi or data networks. To prevent devices from sustaining damage, you should not tap hard, but rather gently touch the top or side of the TV with your phone.
For those who want not just a bigger screen but also bigger sound, the new ‘Tap Sound’ feature embedded in latest Samsung soundbars3 is the answer. By lightly tapping your smartphone on the soundbar, you can quickly and conveniently enjoy richer sound quality, making the feature perfect for environments such as outdoor parties with loved ones.
To activate the Tap View and Tap Sound features, launch the SmartThings app on your smartphone and select the menu icon in the top left corner, where you can turn on Tap View and Tap Sound. From there, simply tap your smartphone on either the TV or the soundbar to enter a whole new world of sound.
‘Multi View’ – Powering Multi-Tasking With Two Screens on One TV
According to a Samsung survey, 92% of respondents say they enjoy using other devices while they are watching TV, with most users doing things like consuming other content or browsing social media. Thus, the ‘Multi View’ feature was introduced to allow you to display your smartphone screen on your television, and then divide your TV display into multiple screens so that you can keep using the TV as well. This allows you to view all of your content on one screen, making it easier to divide your attention without missing anything.
Users of the outdoor TV The Terrace will also find this feature useful for a range of reasons. Viewing real-time comments from your mobile while watching a sports match, being able to display kids’ programs at the same time as a movie and viewing strategy pages while playing video games on your TV are just some examples.
‘Music Wall’ – Ramp up the Excitement of Your Events
What better way to enhance the sensory experience of listening to your favorite music than enjoying it visualized with vivid colors with the ‘Music Wall’ feature. When using Bluetooth to play music from your smartphone on your TV, this feature creates a visual spectrum that mirrors the ambiance of the music on your television screen.
And the Music Wall feature is especially well-suited to outdoor environments. When listening to calming classical music, you will see a smooth, visualized motion that resembles flowing water on your TV screen, while playing exciting electronic music will create energetic visualized motions to enliven your experience. The Terrace delivers an average brightness of 2,000 nits (and a maximum brightness of 4,000 nits), which is three times brighter than that of regular TVs. For a broad range of genre and tempo types, users can create a host of music visualization combinations to complement a wide range of experiences.
‘My Album’ – Sharing Memories Through Photos
Another feature available when using Mobile View is ‘My Album.’ With 2020 models of Samsung TVs, uploading and displaying photos on your TV has become quicker and easier. Whereas before displaying pictures on your television required you to access the SmartThings app and go through a series of steps, now pictures can be exported directly from the Gallery app. Simply select the pictures you want to see on your TV, press ‘Share’ and select ‘View pictures on TV,’ and watch your photos spring to life on your television before your eyes. For users with multiple TVs, a preferred television for viewing photos can be selected.
In outdoor settings where people gather together and take group pictures, the auto gallery and slide show features make taking and displaying high-quality photos easier too. In cases where individual images have different aspect ratios, these features automatically adjust the photo layouts and play them in a series on your TV. The number of art filters has also been increased from three to a maximum of fifteen, allowing for a wider range of effects to ensure you find the one that best matches your shot.
‘Smart View’ – Connecting Your Smartphone and TV
Another way to display a range of mobile content on your TV is through the use of ‘Smart View’. Samsung mobile devices can be wirelessly connected to Samsung smart TVs or Chromecast devices, allowing users to enjoy photos, videos, presentations, and games on their televisions.
First, swipe down from the top of the smartphone screen twice to open the ‘Quick Setup’ panel. From there, press the Smart View icon to select the device you prefer to connect to and immediately enjoy mobile content on your television.
Both inside and outside the home, The Terrace TV and innovative Mobile View are enabling people to enjoy a higher standard of content more conveniently. With The Terrace, your smartphone and outdoor television strike a high-performance partnership that will elevate you to higher levels of viewing.
1 All of the ‘Mobile View’ features except for ‘Tap View’ are available on Android OS and iOS-based smartphones. The Tap View feature is only available on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
2 Only available from 2020 QLED TVs, Outdoor TV, select TU series and Lifestyle TVs
3 HW-Q950T, HW-Q900T, HW-Q800T, HW-Q70T, HW-Q60T, HW-S60T, HW-S40T, HW-LST70T
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By STF News
Samsung Electronics today announced that the company has received ‘Tried and Tested Accreditation’ for its 2020 Smart TVs from the United Kingdom’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) which is the first time this accreditation has been given in the TV industry.
RNIB awards its “Tried and Tested” accreditation to products, websites, apps or services which meet RNIB criteria for accessibility for consumers with impaired vision. This distinction enables the users to make easier purchase decisions and also underscores Samsung’s commitment to improving accessibility features on its TVs.
Samsung has worked with RNIB since 2013 to ensure that Samsung products are suited with the proper features to offer accessibility for all consumers.
Since 2014, Samsung has focused on enhancing accessibility features for users who are visually impaired, providing features such as ‘Voice Guide’ that enables the TV to read aloud program information and ‘High Contrast’ mode that displays graphic information with opaque black backgrounds and white font for enhanced visibility. In recognition of these features, RNIB presented its ‘Inclusive Society Award’ to Samsung Electronics in 2016.
Since then, Samsung Electronics has continued to improve and expand the accessibility features on its TVs to better achieve digital inclusivity for deaf and hearing impaired people as well as blind and partially sighted people. Features include:
With upgraded Voice Guide feature, users can listen to key information on programs as well as instructions for the remote control and accessibility features. Users also can adjust the pitch and speed of the Voice Guide to suit their preferences.
The Digital Magnifier which enhances and expands text and images on large screens while mirroring the Samsung Galaxy smartphone to a TV.1
The Focus Enlarge feature magnifies specific fonts related to TV control, volume and menus.
Automatic recognition and enlargement of the sign language area for the hearing-impaired as well as ability to adjust and move the subtitle positions.
“With a growing variety of content and features, people are now having more fun with their smart TVs,” said Kangwook Chun, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is fully committed to providing comprehensive accessibility features on its TVs so that every user can enjoy their favorite content much more easily,” he added.
David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said, “RNIB is delighted to award our Tried and Tested certification to Samsung in recognition of the accessibility features within their TV. RNIB and Samsung have worked together since 2013, and each year the accessibility features on their televisions have been improved and expanded.”
1 Digital Magnifier may not be available on some Samsung mobile devices.
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