The app craze is spilling further into the world of home theaters, with Samsung launching an application store for select 2010 Blu-ray players, HDTVs and home theaters.
Samsung’s store is an upgrade to its existing Internet@TV platform, which launched last year as a strip of widgets running along the bottom of the television screen. These included Flickr, Yahoo and others. The new app store will include offerings from Accedo Broadband, AccuWeather.com, The Associated Press, Blockbuster, Fashion TV, Netflix, Picasa, Pandora, Rovi, Travel Channel, Twitter, USA TODAY and Vudu. More apps will be added later this year.
But Samsung’s approaching things differently. The company wants to blend television with Web apps, for instance, by letting people view fantasy football scores and chat with competitors as the game airs in the background. Samsung also hinted at interactive apps that work with the company’s Wi-Fi-enabled phones, such as game of Texas Hold ‘Em poker, where players see the cards on their phone while the TV acts as the table. (That example seems a bit silly; you’d need a handful of people with Samsung phones to make it happen. And what’s wrong with actual cards?)
Count me as skeptical of the more advanced features Samsung is promising, but when it comes to offering more content on TVs and Blu-ray players, that’s never a bad thing.
A press release from Samsung mentions purchasing apps through a new storefront, so don’t expect this to be a free ride. It’s not clear, however, which apps will cost money. Samsung says a bundle of them will be free off the bat, with paid apps coming in the summer.