Samsung TVs Add Showtime App And Dongle To Help Ditch Cable Boxes
Samsung revealed a couple of new additions to its smart TV platform this week with the goal of bringing the company’s TVs more access and flexibility in watching favorite content choices without the need for a cable box.
First, the company said it has added support for Nagra’s digital rights management (DRM) equipped “TVkey” USB dongle (which was just named a CES 2017 Innovation Award honoree). The TVkey brings fast and simple access to content, including 4K Ultra HD programming, from a pay-TV provider directly to the Samsung TV without the need for a set-top box.
Then Samsung said it has added an app for live Showtime streaming as well as the Showtime Anytime on-demand app, bringing access to a full range of recent and classic movies along with the network’s library of original programming.
Showtime has been in the news this week related to the launch of the new DirecTV Now live OTT pay-TV service (not yet available through Samsung’s smart TV platform), which due to hardball negotiations does not include access to CBS Network or Showtime content, at least to start.
For similar reasons the CBS/Showtime content is also not included in the Hulu, YouTube or SlingTV live and on-demand streaming services, although it is included in the PlayStation Vue service.
Read more on Samsung’s smart TV upgrades after the jump:
The Showtime Anytime and Showtime streaming apps now available on Samsung TVs will bring viewers who own select 2015 and all 2016 Samsung smart television models access to the channel’s premium content. Samsung TV users can subscribe to the Showtime streaming service at showtime.com/samsung for a monthly price of $10.99. New subscribers will be offered a 7-day free trial at sign-up.
In addition, the Showtime Anytime on-demand app is now available on the aforementioned Samsung smart TV models for those who subscribe to Showtime through participating television providers, giving subscribers access to thousands of hours of programming.
Showtime offers a range of acclaimed original TV series including: Homeland; Billions, Ray Donovan, The Affair, Shameless and the upcoming series Twin Peaks.
Subscribers to the Showtime streaming app will have access live Showtime content from the network’s East and West Coast feeds.
Meanwhile, the TVkey DRM USB dongle will allow owners of select newer Samsung TV models the ability to view premium content directly on new TV sets through a simple sign-up process with their pay-TV provider to experience high-quality services, including 4K Ultra HD and HDR, directly on select Samsung TVs using the TV remote control.
The Showtime apps and streaming services have been available previously on a number of streaming media adapters, including Roku boxes, and some other competitive smart TVs.
Nagra said its dongle system provides the highest level of content protection and a fast and secure way for pay-TV operators to bring advanced services directly to new consumer TV sets.
Compatible 2015, 2016 and future Samsung smart TVs must be equipped with special hardware to use the TVkey dongle.
Using the Samsung on-screen guide and menu system in newer sets, TV users can see favorite program options at a glance. The guide integrates set-top-box and VOD content experiences directly into the TV user interface. This speeds up and simplifies switching between cable and streaming content.
TVkey is the first direct-to-TV pay-TV solution allowing access to 4K Ultra HD and HDR content directly on new TV sets. The USB dongle solution is said to enable easy and secure access to premium pay-TV content without the need for a set-top box.
Samsung and Nagra are scheduled to demo the TVkey system for the first time in North America at CES 2017 in January.
By Greg Tarr
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