Samsung Electronics' 88-inch SUHD TV is on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas in January. The company plans to unveil more entertainment content to meet growing demand. / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics
By Lee Min-hyung
Samsung and LG will compete fiercely for smart TV leadership at an upcoming international electronics fair, shifting their focus from high-tech features to more content-rich platforms.
At a previous Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) in Las Vegas, the two technology giants have highlighted hardware-based features of their smart TVs ― which include screen size and image resolution. But they are expected to reduce promotions for such features at CES 2016, early next month and capitalize on what they will deliver through the smart device.
The move comes amid growing demand for more content-rich smart TV platforms, as the lack of enough entertainment content has been cited as the biggest stumbling block stopping consumers from buying a smart TV.
Last week, both companies unveiled a glimpse of their new strategy for smart TV business next year. Samsung said it would unveil games compatible with its smart TV platform, while LG announced the latest version of its smart TV operating system (OS) as part of moves to offer more content.
Expectations are that the companies will continue to forge partnerships with content-service operators after the tech fair, seeking to meet growing demand for more diversified content.
Samsung Electronics said it would unveil six games at the CES, with about 400 streaming games to be launched by the end of next year. It added that it would diversify the range of smart TV content, which is far less than that of smartphones.
The company said it also would unveil smart TVs with new features ― including voice guidance, sound amplifier and graphical interface. In particular, the company highlighted the voice guidance feature, which helps users access smart TV content easily with their voice.
The company said Sunday that it had won the "CES 2016 Best of Innovation Award" in recognition for such new features, which the company believes will add enhance TV viewing.
On Thursday, LG Electronics also unveiled "Web OS 3.0," an upgraded version of Web OS 2.0, and said the new OS would be publicized at the upcoming tech exhibition. Its new smart TVs, to be launched next year, will be equipped with the new OS, the company said.
"Web OS 3.0 allows the television to memorize specific programs that users prefer, and notify them when the programs are on air," LG said.
The company said the new OS also enabled users to use their smart TVs to check operating conditions of other electronic devices, such as air-conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines.
The move reflects that television will be at the center of the home Internet of Things (IoT) platform, on which tech giants are betting big to be one of their next-generation growth areas. Expectations are that Samsung SDS President Hong Won-pyo, who will give a keynote address at the tech fair, will highlight how the IoT-converged smart home platform will grow bigger and change people's lives.
Jo Seong-jin, president of LG Electronics' home appliance and air solution division, previously said the company would unveil its own platform to connect and manage home appliances at the same time.
"We are going to unveil a gateway and solution to build a connecting link between devices until March next year," he told a press conference in October. "The smart home ecosystem will be established via the gateway.
"We are developing new technology to build our own smart home platform, which is operated through our network system, not that of mobile carriers."