Samsung TV Discovery service launches this quarter

The tool, which will appear on new Samsung smart TVs in Q1 and next quarter on mobile devices, allows users to find and play content from various providers like Netflix and Blockbuster.

Samsung America Senior Vice President Joe Stinziano describes new features for TVs, including a feature that allows users to search all video services and live TV in one screen. James Martin/CNET
Samsung today revealed more details about its TV discovery service -- except for the finalized name for the U.S. version -- as the Korean electronics giant gears up for the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

Samsung first unveiled the service last month during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. At that time, it said users would be able to use one app to navigate all of their different video services on their smart TVs and tablets, and use their mobile devices as remotes to control their TVs.

Today, it noted that the service will give consumers a way to find live TV and video content, as well as glean personalized recommendations based on viewing and preference history. In the U.S., the offering initially will aggregate content from Netflix and Blockbuster.

The offering will be called "TV Discovery" in most regions, though the U.S. branding has not yet been finalized.

It will launch on Samsung 2013 smart TVs this quarter in the U.S., Korea, and 14 European countries such as the U.K., France, Italy, and Germany. It will expand to mobile devices in the second quarter.

One of the biggest criticisms of smart TVs like those from Samsung is that they're too difficult to use. It can be frustrating and time consuming to navigate between all the different video streaming services on a device, as well as including live TV in the mix. Samsung has said it's making a big push this year to simplify its products, and TV Discovery is one product it hopes will appeal to customers.

"The more you engage with the service, the more relevant the returned recommendations for TV, movies, and other on-demand entertainment," Won-Pyo Hong, president and head of Samsung's Media Solution Center, said. "It could not be simpler."

 

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