Second Screen company TunedIn acquired by traditional publisher Axel Springer


Berlin based TunedIn, a Social TV app that facilitates social discovery as a basis for selecting streaming video  has been acquired by the traditional publishing company Axel Springer. The German publishing mogul was already working with TunedIn before the acquisition, so the take-over was not a complete surprise.

TunedIn will probably combined with another acquisition Axel Springer  did a year ago when they took over recommendation technology APRICO from Philips to strenghten their Axel Springer Digital TV Guide that already includes Watchmi – Personal TV from TV DIGITAL.

It is to be expected to see more of these kind of acquisitions in the near future. It seems there is a run for TV check-in services / Social TV discovery apps. GetGlue, Dijit, Viggle Miso, but also a platform like Vinson that was (re)launched yesterday in Barcelona are gaining momentum. Especially now Samsung is not only expanding in hardware with their HomeSync but also in apps with TV Discovery, a new Xbox that is almost there and of course Apple’s TV hobby Apple TV or iTV will show tight integration of mobile devices, apps and a big screen. More and more, the intelligence seems to be in the mobile device leaving the “Smart TV” as a pretty “dumb” but excellent display.


Samsung HomeSync, the new Android mediahub

Samsung HomeSync

Samsung is not only selling a lot of Smart TV’s and smartphones, as of now, you can also get a media hub from the Korean consumer electronics giant. With this box, it’s completing their hardware ecosystem by creating an Apple TV competitor.

The HomeSync is an Android powered device that can stream films, series and games and it allows owners of a Samsung smartphone to beam content on their phones onto the television. Indeed, just like Apple TV does with AirPlay. But there are also many other ways to connect to the HomeSync. It comes with a USB 3.0, Micro USB and optical audio connection and it supports WiFi 802.11n and bluetooth 4.0

To operate the Samsung HomeSync, there is a Jelly Bean Media player and since it is an Android device, Google Play store can be accessed for extra apps.

Users (up to eight separate accounts can be set-up) will have the ability to store content encrypted.

Under the hood is a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 8GB flash and a 1TB hard drive.

TV Discovery, Samsung’s first steps towards Social TV?

Samsung TV Discovery

Samsung has a great advantage over a few of its competitors. It is not only big in smartphones (Galaxy SIII and the soon to be launched Galaxy SIV) but the consumer electronics company also sells a lot televisions. And televisions are Smart TV’s these days.

The combination of tv and smartphone or tablet is rather obvious. Already, ton’s of people are using their devices to comment or check-in on shows and films whilst watching. And there are already many apps on the market that help you discover new content and even stream this content to the tv.

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Samsung announced their answer to this integration between smartphone en television: TV Discovery.

TV Discovery will be available on Smart TV’s and mobile devices from Samsung and will help viewers to search for streaming content ranging from traditional live television to video-on-demand or streaming services from the web like YouTube. And it will be possible to stream from one device to the other.

To make the discovery easier, TV Discovery will try to learn from your behaviour and based on that, suggest content to be watched.

TV Discovery will launch on Smart TV’s in the US, Korea and 14 European countries during this quarter and on mobile devices in the second quarter of 2013

Samsung F8500 LED Smart TV, the first Samsung with a Quad Core processor

Samsung F8500 LED TV

One of my frustrations with Smart TV’s is that many of them are not very fast. It always seems to take much longer to switch a channel or to access a menu then you are used to on your computer.
Let’s hope the Quad Core processor of the new Samsung F8500 LED Smart TV is solving this problem.

Apart from the Quad Core processor, the TV has a 55 inch LED screen with a ultra slim bezel, a webcam and the latest version of the Smart Hub interface. With that, it’s possible to use the new remote control that supports motion control and voice commands for controlling your television. And of course the Smart Evolution system that allows you to upgrade your TV. Just replace a box at the back of the television with a new one and you can have improved speed and features.

Listen music with Deezer on your Samsung, LG or Toshiba Smart TV

LG Deezer

Streaming music service Deezer is coming to your television. The French Spotify competitor struck a deal with major Smart TV manufacturers Samsung, LG and Toshiba expanding their global reach substantially.

With a library of  20 million songs and a user base of over 26 million people worldwide, the company is gaining serious traction with this new deal.

The only question that remains is whether or not people are going to use their television to listen to music. It does not seem the most logical thing to do, but as televisions turn more and more into a screen that displays all sorts of streaming content (gaming, video, audio) possibilities it might make sense.

For Deezer it will be probably good news anyway. Being in bed with Samsung Smart TV’s creates a nice position in the massive Samsung ecosystem.