Edward Swift - Content is king for smart TVs

Publish Date
Monday, 15 December 2014, 4:17PM
By Edward Swift

When it comes to TVs, it used to be that you’d find a reliable brand in the size that you want, and you’d buy it. There wouldn’t be too many brands out there, so there wasn’t too much choice. The other thing is that they were expensive. Buying a large HD TV 10 years ago wasn’t really possible. Hell, even buying a large TV was considered a luxury item. I had a friend in high school whose dad bought a 50 inch TV. It wasn’t a flat panel TV – it was a good 50cm thick, and even then that was smaller than a number of tube TVs.

But now in 2014, the landscape is different. We have a much wider range of brands to choose from  (which means a much bigger range of prices as well), a wider range of technology in our TVs, and we can get anything from a 20 inch to a 110 inch screen (if you’ve got the money). So other than price and reputation, what is going to be the other factor in choosing a TV? Content.

With some much content available on demand these days, and even more on the way with Netflix launching next year, content is king. There are many ways that you can get your favourite programmes in your TV. You can (obviously) watch it live, record it and play it back, connect up a computer to the TV and stream it, watch it on Apple TV or ChromeCast, or even rent or buy the DVD/Blu-ray copy and binge watch that series you've been meaning to get stuck into.

However this is where Samsung have come in. They’ve made it even easier to get all that content in one place. At this stage they’re the only TV manufacturer that has teamed up with local content providers to give viewers a seamless experience when watching on demand content on their Smart TV range. That means that you’ve got TVNZ On-Demand, 3Now, Lightbox, Video Ezy on Demand (just to name a few) at the push of a button. Not only that, if you’re a sports fan they’ve also teamed up with Coliseum Sports Media to have an app for watching English Premier League live on the big screen without having to hook up a laptop to the TV. No doubt they’ll also have the golf next year in an app as well as Netflix.

Other smart TV manufacturers have the capability to do this, and smart TVs from a multitude of brands also have apps including The Wiggles, YouTube, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra app. However in terms of local content, those TV generally stop looking for local apps when they get to Australia.

The fact that Samsung have looked to supply viewers with local apps shows they’re serious about the New Zealand market. On top of that, it’s sending a message to other TV manufacturers that they need to come up with local content solutions. I hope they listen, because at the end of the day it can only be good for the consumer.

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