HDTVs are the next consumer electronic battlefield and Samsung is apparently testing out Android on its sets in order to step up their offering in response to the latest from Sony, Apple and others. Currently, Samsung is the world’s leader in HDTVs sold but there’s a shake-up looming and Samsung no doubt wants to retain its title. Android may or may not be the answer.
Samsung isn’t new to the connected-HDTV idea. It was one of the first companies to out an IPTV with apps and Internet connectivity back 2006. Since then, the platform has grown and matured into a solid offering that now even includes an HDTV app store full of games, lifestyle apps, and more. But it’s not all that great. Play around with it for a few minutes and its the limitations are clear. The robust Android system might be the answer if Samsung is willing to throw out everything its built over the last few years.
HDTVs in general need to grow up a bit and that’s what companies like Sony with its huge IPTV offering and LG’s Plex partnership is starting show. TV manufaturers are no longer satisfied with just making a monitor. Instead they want to create an almost computer-like product that can do so much more than a standard TV. Samsung’s Android implimentation would no doubt look radiclly different than the OS found on smartphones, but if the core system is the same, it might be draw in developers. A more likely solution however is for Samsung to simple retool its existing platform rather than throwing the millions it previously spent on its development out the window — that or license Plex like LG.