Samsung launches NewsON for smart TV in SA

2013-11-22 14:00
Samsung has launched a news service for smart TVs in SA. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Samsung has launched a news service for smart TVs in SA. (Duncan Alfreds, News24) (Duncan Alfreds)

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Cape Town - Samsung announced on Friday the launch of an online news service for users of its smart television.

NewsON delivers content on Samsung smart TVs in South Africa, Samsung said.

"NewsON is freely available for Samsung Smart TV owners via the Samsung Smart Hub. This new feature offers a snapshot of the latest news and weather via Yahoo - the first partner for the NewsON panel," the company said.

Users can browse news of interest and Samsung said that the application is designed to work in low bandwidth environments.

Smart TVs are a growing market as the industry races toward an internet of everything. Futurists predict that a wide range of devices, including fridges, microwaves and even washing machines will be internet-linked.


According to a variety of industry reports, smart TVs are growing rapidly as households acquire broadband connectivity.

The NPD Group predicts that 119 million US households will have an internet-connected TV by 2015. This represents an increase of 51%.

In SA, there are significant challenges in the provision of cable broadband to households.

The Draft National Broadband Policy under review by the department of communications and meant to be submitted to Cabinet by December highlights some of the roadblocks to cable broadband.

"ADSL connectivity is only provided by the former incumbent, Telkom, with only 800 000 subscribers. Although a large number of internet service providers can provide internet services over ADSL, their ability to differentiate their offerings and service levels is limited by that fact that there are only three points of interconnect on the Telkom network, which effectively makes them entirely dependent on Telkom for domestic networking," the policy says.

While mobile operators in SA are racing to offer high speed connectivity, cable broadband is widely regarded as a superior technology for the delivery of rich media online services.

Broadband delivery

Some have proposed that Telkom be split to accelerate the delivery of broadband services to households.

"Telkom should be split into two companies - one should be an infrastructure company that provides broadband and fixed line infrastructure to direct to consumer ISPs and telcos, this company should be prohibited from dealing with end consumers," CEO Simon Leps told News24.

Vodacom has moved to take over Neotel in order to deliver so-called "last mile" fibre links, though the deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

"As we've been rolling out a lot more fibre to connect our base stations, it gives us the opportunity to connect the businesses, housing estates in densely populated areas along the way as well," said Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.

Samsung said that users who wished to take advantage of the service should update the Smart TV firmware to version 1112.6 or higher.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Read more on:    samsung  |  broadband  |  tv

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