3D video-on-demand service hampered by costly SA broadband

Samsung’s recently launched Smart TVs offer South Africans access to 28 types of freely downloadable 3D content including films, music videos, children’s classics, and documentaries, Samsung said in a press release issued today (21 July 2011).

According to Samsung, 70 free 3D videos will be available through the “Explore 3D” app available through Samsung Apps, the television app store available on Samsung’s Smart TVs.

However, Samsung Electronics SA’s product and marketing manager for Smart TVs, Corrie Labuschagne, said that the service “has not seen as great an uptake locally” as it needs a connection with download speeds of at least 4Mbps (megabits per second).

Labuschagne said that uptake has been hindered by South Africa’s connectivity infrastructure, but hopes that this will begin to change with the recently laid West Africa Cable System (WACS) and the frequency spectrum set to be freed when the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting is completed.

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The full press release is below.

Since its inception, the uptake of 3D technology and its complimentary products and services has been increasingly swift the world over. Samsung Electronics (Pty) Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, launched their 3D Video-On-Demand (VOD) service in April 2011 for their range of Smart TVs and has since seen the service’s popularity skyrocket with the millionth milestone in content views worldwide already being passed.

Available locally, the 3D VOD service allows consumers to access 3D content free and online from Samsung Smart TVs. Consumers have access to 28 types of free 3D content including films, music videos, children’s classics, documentaries and trailers from partner Dreamworks and by the end of 2011, 70 free 3D videos will be available through the ‘Explore 3D’ App.

Corrie Labuschagne, product and marketing manager for Smart TVs at Samsung Electronics South Africa states; “The popularity of the 3D VOD service on our Smart TVs is testament to the quality viewing experience and content we offer customers. From our unique 3D colour technology to our 3D glasses with Bluetooth connectivity, we are committed to giving viewers the most immersive 3D experience possible. With more free 3D content to come, we will continue to develop our Smart TV offering to bring more excitement of 3D to the Smart TV platform ensuring more consumers access 3D content for free and on-demand”.

To access Samsung’s video-on-demand service, consumers with 3D Smart TVs simply need to download the ‘Explore 3D’ App from Samsung Apps, the first and biggest App store available for TVs.

The following Samsung Smart TVs available locally allow you access to 3D content:

D8000 3D LED & Plasma Smart TV

D7000 3D LED Smart TV

D6600 3D LED Smart TV

D6000 3D LED Smart TV

“It needs to be noted though that given the fact that a download connection of at least 4Mbps is needed, this service has not seen as great an uptake locally hindered by the country’s connectivity infrastructure and the improvements that are still taking place here,” says Labuschagne. It is hoped that the West Africa Cable System (Wacs), a submarine telecommunications cable that has recently been laid, coupled with the migration from analog to digital spectrum dividend platforms that this will begin to change and the service will grow exponentially into the future.”

Smart TV pricing

Samsung provided the following recommended retail pricing for the above mentioned TVs.

  • D8000 3D LED Smart TV 55inch: R52 999
  • D8000 Plasma 64inch: R44 999
  • D7000 3D LED Smart TV 46inch: R19 999
  • D6600 3D LED Smart TV 40inch: R12 999
  • D6000 3D LED Smart TV 32inch: R 7 499

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3D video-on-demand service hampered by costly SA broadband