Samsung puts up cash, HDTVs for developers in 'Free the TV Apps' contest

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Samsung puts up cash, HDTVs for developers in 'Free the TV Apps' contest
Samsung's HDTV-based App Store has doubled in size since it was launched at CES but apparently that's not enough, so it's putting up 500 stacks plus several home theater packages in the "Free the TV Apps" contest. For those skilled in Java, XML and Flash Lite who are interested in getting their app up on TVs and Blu-ray players next to ESPN Next Level, Hulu Plus, a soon to launch 3D Video On Demand app and all the rest, the contest runs from today through November 11, and requires a working app submission and video description. By the end, 14 developers will walk away with between $1,000 and $200,000 each, plus a 3DTV, Blu-ray player and starter kit for each of them . We figure developing for a Samsung Apps platform with a few million network connected devices out there and more shipping every day is a secondary bonus (unless Google TV is where you'd rather be) but check out the video and press release after the break or the competition website if you're still not entirely sure it's worth the effort.

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Reinforces market leadership in smart TV segment with new content and experiences
RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ, August 11, 2010 – Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today kicks off its Free the TV Challenge to find the most innovative applications for IPTVs, Blu-ray players and Blu-ray Home Theater Systems. With a total prize value of half a million dollars, the Challenge is open to all developers in the US starting today.

Samsung also announced that the number of applications available through Samsung Apps, the world's first HDTV-based application store, has more than doubled since its launch five months ago. Beginning today, people can choose from a wide range of unique and premium apps across five categories – video, gaming, social media, sports and kids – including apps from ESPN and Hulu which are currently exclusive to Samsung. They can also download and enjoy the world's first 3D video on-demand app to view trailers of 3D movies.

"We are thrilled that content owners continue to embrace Samsung Apps and that we have doubled the number of applications available to owners of Samsung 2010 connected TVs and Blu-ray devices," said Eric Anderson, vice president of content and product solutions, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. "The Free the TV Challenge will continue that momentum by opening up these TVs to even more developers across the US who want to distribute their content on the biggest screen in the home. People want a connected entertainment experience with their devices and we encourage developers to free the TV by bringing new concepts, as well as existing apps from many platforms, to the TV."

Samsung Free the TV Challenge Opens Today

With the Free the TV Challenge, Samsung is unlocking a new era in smart TV by helping free the TV for developers, who can now tap into the expanding market for TV applications. Developers can go to to register for the contest, starting today. To be eligible, developers must live in the United States, submit the final app and provide a video that showcases how the app works to Samsung by November 11, 2010. The contest will be administered by New York-based startup ChallengePost, and entries will be judged based on the quality of the idea, functional implementation, and visual appeal. Total prize value is US$500,000. Roelof Botha from Sequoia, Mike Maples from Floodgate, Bob Borchers from Opus Capital and Jeremy Levine from Bessemer will serve as judges. Consumers will also have an opportunity to cast their vote online for the "People's Choice Award." Samsung will announce the overall winner at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV.

In addition, select applications submitted to the Free the TV Challenge will be made available to the large and growing community of Samsung Apps users. Samsung Apps is accessible on all 2010 Samsung Blu-ray players, Blu-ray Home Theater Systems and the majority of HDTVs with screen sizes 40" or larger.
Built with the developer in mind, Samsung Apps supports common web standards, like Javascript, XML and support for Adobe Flash Lite 3.1, and uses a single SDK for apps that runs across HDTVs, Blu-ray players and Blu-ray Home Theater systems. This eliminates many of the barriers to development by allowing applications to be written once and deployed across several platforms, ultimately enabling more versatile monetization for developers and a consistent, intuitive experience for consumers.

To further support developers, Samsung is launching a series of Free the TV Developer Days, where developers will get hands-on demonstrations of the Samsung Apps platform and a tutorial on the Samsung SDK, as well as participate in a Q&A session with Samsung engineers. The first session will be held on August 31, 2010 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA, and Pandora Founder Tim Westergren will speak at the event.

More information on Samsung's Developer Days and registration for the Free the TV Challenge is available at

New Apps Demonstrate Diversity of Content and Services

Samsung continues to see explosive growth in smart TV and has more than doubled the number of available applications in its library within five months. In addition to various free apps, Samsung today expanded its library of apps with the addition of ESPN's Next Level application, as well as a variety of other premium apps that offer a variety of 3D, sports, casual gaming, weather and family-oriented content at the touch of a button.
The new ESPN Next Level app, available as a free download exclusively through Samsung Apps, is expected to be a hit with sports fans. With four main sections, the app will allow fans to access in-depth looks at sports events and players in the news; predictive picks of the day's games across all major sports; research nuggets from the ESPN Research team; and insights from Peter Keating, Senior Writer at ESPN The Magazine, who gives his unique perspective on a variety of statistical subjects. Samsung and ESPN plan to introduce a ScoreCenter app in the Fall of 2010, based on the popular app currently available on mobile devices.
Samsung will soon launch the world's first 3D Video On-Demand app which offers viewers sneak previews of upcoming 3D movies. All apps are available from today and can be downloaded directly on the TV via their Internet-connected HDTV, Blu-ray player or Blu-ray Home Theater System*.

Samsung, the market leader in smart TV, is committed to expanding the types of experiences available to consumers. In 2008, the company was the first to deliver text-based RSS feeds, bringing news, weather and stock information directly to the TV with its InfoLink feature. In 2009, Samsung added Yahoo! widgets to the smart TV experience, as well as streaming video services with providers like Blockbuster and Amazon video-on-demand. With the launch of Samsung Apps this year, Samsung is broadening the smart TV experience, bringing services such as text-based information, casual games, sports, communications, social and location services, and HD and 3D video to consumers. The addition of these new premium apps underscores momentum around the platform as leading content providers continue to recognize the platform's flexibility in delivering the growing types of content that meet consumers' demand. Today, more than 60 industry-leading partners have made personalized, easy to use smart TV experiences available to consumers through Samsung Apps, including exclusive HDTV-based apps content from ESPN and Hulu Plus, among other leading brands like Blockbuster, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, USA TODAY and Vudu.

For more information about Samsung Apps, please visit,

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., markets a broad range of award-winning, digital consumer electronics and home appliance products, including HDTVs, home theater systems, MP3 players, digital imaging products, refrigerators and washing machines. A recognized innovation leader in consumer electronics design and technology, Samsung is the HDTV market leader in the U.S. Please visit for more information.

*Each HDTV and Blu-ray player with Samsung Apps may offer a different selection of apps. Visit for more information.
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