A bunch of Samsung’s new TVs are now web-connected, as are its newest Android-based smartphones and tablets. That means they can use internet protocols to get movies and TV shows directly from Comcast via its new Xfinity TV app on Samsung’s Smart TVs or via the new Xfinity app for the Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet. Time Warner Cable has similar apps that let users access programming. Yesterday, Time Warner Cable cut the same deal with Sony. The companies made the announcement during the keynote speech of Samsung executive B.K. Yoon at the Consumer Electronics Show, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas.
What this means is that the legacy geographic barriers between cable TV companies are now disappearing. If you lived in Time Warner Cable territory, you could never access shows in Comcast cable TV territory. Now you can by accessing the programming through the internet. Comcast’s XfinityTV.com has 150,000 movies and shows on the web that are now available for viewing on Samsung devices, said Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast, speaking at the keynote.
Another interesting thing is that the connected TV allows the cable content providers to supply content directly to Samsung, rather than sending it through a cable TV box, so you could watch cable TV shows without getting a cable TV box. Yoon said the deals reflected the fact that users want to access content anytime, anywhere, in any form. In that sense, the deals reflect one of the major themes of the show: that technology can break down walls between industries, markets and users.