Hate your cable set-top box? So does Samsung, apparently. They’ve cut deals with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV to offer various features that will allow you to watch TV either without a box, or access your cable subscription through an app on the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The Comcast partnership focuses on the Galaxy Tab, basically turning it into an epic remote control of doom.
While you’ll still need a set-top box for this one, it’s still reasonably cool. Comcast is developing an app for both the Galaxy Tab and the iPad that will allow you to access some features of your cable subscription on those devices. It’ll act as a “virtual TV guide” and a mobile video player. You’ll be able to watch on demand streaming content, pause it, and continue watching on your TV (or vice versa.) If you have a Samsung smart TV, you’ll be able to use the tablet as a remote control with the ability to change channels and program your DVR.
Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable customers can actually watch live TV on their Galaxy Tabs, and have been freed from the constrains of the set-top box, provided they have a Samsung smart TV. The smart TV will be able to access content recorded on a DVR elsewhere in the home (without the need for a box), and a Samsung rep at CES told Consumerist that having such a TV will eliminate the need for an installation visit — provided, of course, that your home is already wired for Time Warner Cable.
DirecTV’s deal is the fanciest. It involves a “server” that will control all the TVs in your home. Samsung is embedding a technology called “RVU” in their TVs that will allow full DVR control from a central server hooked up to the TV of your choosing. A rep from RVU told Consumerist that a single DirecTV server box can power up to 4 TVs at once with full DVR control and HD video. The box will have 200 hours worth of shared storage, picture-in-picture capabilities and the power to record up to five shows at once
For your current TVs, there will be small “Apple TV sized” adapters that you can plug into the HDMI input.
The RVU enabled Samsung TVs will go on sale in February or March of this year, with the service from DirecTV going live sometime this summer.
Does this sort of thing decrease the likelihood that you’ll cut the cable cord? Does it at least make you want a Galaxy Tab?