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While 70% of Samsung televisions are now connected TVs (or Smart TVs as the company likes to call them), Vassilis Seferidis, Director of European Business Development for Samsung Electronics Europe, has been highlighting another statistic that he thinks is important for the rest of the industry: 70% of Samsung televisions now support DLNA.
The significance of this is that there is a growing population of displays in the market that can process IP video streams but also work with RUI (Remote User Interface) to reproduce mirror images of a Pay TV user interface and so enable whole-home TV services that use connected TVs as a thin client receiver. This model will enable Pay TV companies to deliver their services to more televisions in more rooms without the cost of additional set-top boxes. This approach to video home networking could gain traction now that the DLNA interoperability guidelines have been extended to support premium video including HD, harnessing DTCP-IP (Digital Transmission Content Protection over IP).
Samsung recognises that whole-home TV is an opportunity to make money from connected TV. The company has spoken already this year about its desire to cooperate with Pay TV companies and its more general expectation that it can share in the profits being made from content services that appear on its Smart TV platform. There is a clear view that removing the cost of STBs is a valuable service to operators. And this is a way to sell more TVs as well, especially if Pay TV operators could be persuaded to cooperate in the marketing of connected TV sets that they approve of.
“I want to emphasise that connected TV goes beyond applications in the app store. It can be used by Pay TV operators to reduce Capex and generate new revenue streams,” said Seferidis at the OTT TV World Summit last week. “We are engaged with them about new business models and how we can work with them in Europe.”
Quoting research from the U.S., he also made the point that the growth of popular OTT services like Netflix and Hulu has not hurt Pay TV, concluding that the overall market for video services has increased. The message is that while connected TV may have been regarded as a threat to pay television, the two could be good for each other.