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CES: Samsung Says Its Smart TVs Will All Use Tizen Operating System


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CES: Samsung Says Its Smart TVs Will All Use Tizen Operating System

 

Outside a ballroom at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, hundreds lined up before Samsung Electronics‘s (005930KS) press conference for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. That meant many others, including this reporter, were turned away from a filled ballroom and sent to an upstairs facility to watch the proceedings on a big TV, how fitting!

 

(Samsung CEO Boo-Keun Yoon will give the opening CES keynote address this evening at 6:30 Pacific time.)

Samsung America’s president, Tim Baxter, kicked things off.

 

He talks about having delivered the “largest UHD TV lineup.” Baxter said half of the company’s UHD set sales are curved models, proving consumers see the value of curving displays.

 

Baxter says the company is in its third generation of wearable technology, and has 60% market share. A huge opportunity is the smart home, he says, where a third of consumers express interest, but fewer than 2% actually own the products.

 

Baxter meanders through various product categories, including new products for the cooking crazy, such as a special tablet computer for chefs. Then there is the “Milk” music service, which is coming to the company’s television set. A new version, called “Milk VR,” will combine the service with the company’s “Gear VR” virtual reality headset, delivering a 24-hour stream of virtual reality videos. Users of Gear VR can download the Milk VR app today.

 

After announcing Milk VR, Baxter brings on stage Davis Alpert, executive producer of the series “The Walking Dead.” He notes his production company will be producing a series of short-form videos exclusively for Milk VR.

 

And then, it’s off to EVP Joe Stinziano. This gentleman, you’ll recall, had to put up with the antics of Michael Bay on the stage a year ago.

 

He notes Samsung has led the market for TVs for nine years. Customers, he says, “absolutely love our curved displays.”

“But we need to do more,” he says.

 

The company is bringing together an “eco-system,” the “UHD Alliance,” consisting of studios, distributors and others, to set guidelines.

Stinziano brings up Mike Dunn of 20th Century Fox Studios, a member of the Alliance, who briefly says nice things about Samsung’s products.

 

Stinziano moves into talking about a new version of UHD sets, “SUHD,” which uses Samsung’s “nano-crystal semiconductors” to boost color and brightness. The technology can be seen in the recent movie “Exodus,” in which things such as the armor worn by the soldiers was enhanced digitally in post production to get a more striking look.

 

The new SUHD sets, explains Stinziano is designed with art and architecture in mind, in things such as the bezel.

 

Henceforth, all Samsung “smart” UHD TVs will be powered by the Tizen operating system, which Samsung has been backing for some time now. Tizen, which already powers Samsung’s wearables, such as the “Galaxy Gear,” has been speculated upon for some time by Wall Street and industry analysts as Samsung’s bid to provide a counter-balance to Google‘s (GOOGL) Android.

 

Samsung’s move to Tizen is in contrast to Sharp (6753JP), which this morning said it would move its line of smart TVs to Android.

From here, the presentation takes a strange turn, with a discussion of how Samsung appliances in the kitchen — “where some of people’s fondest memories are — is being transformed by Samsung appliances to let people “discover their inner chef.”

 

Celebrated chefs Michel Troisgros, Chris Kostow, and Daniel Bouloud are invited on stage. They cheer Samsung innovations, such as a “virtual flame” that is displayed on the electric stove to let cooks know how intense the heat is. Samsung is taking the chef collaboration further with a new cooking app for Android, and a new “chef tablet,” a Galaxy brand tablet pre-loaded with the app.

 

Source: http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2015/01/05/ces-samsung-says-its-smart-tvs-will-all-use-tizen-operating-system/

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