By Claire Reilly

Samsung is making a strong push into the Smart TV space with the rollout of new content services on its 2013 line-up of flat panel TVs. While the brand has previously spruiked its Smart Hub platform — including Australian language voice interaction and an “On TV” screen that shows a personalised selection of free-to-air programs currently airing — the brand is also offering Australian customers a new feature only available in six countries worldwide.

While it was unavailable at launch for Samsung’s 2013 LED TV line-up, the brand has now launched a new “Movies and TV Shows” aggregation service that brings together content from Samsung’s own Video Hub as well as paid services such as Quickflix.

The new service is about bringing “a simple ecosystem” of content to users, according to Samsung’s Head of Content – Smart TV/AV, Evan Manolis, who demonstrated the interface to Users can scroll through new releases to rent or buy, filter content based on new programs, favourite films or standard definition, HD or Full HD content, and once downloaded, content can be stored in the cloud for viewing across Samsung devices.

While the service is available to customers who have already bought a 2013 Samsung TV, and through a $99 dongle that can be purchased for pre-2013 Samsung panels, the brand is also focused on selling the Smart Content message to consumers who are walking into stores today to purchase a TV.

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Samsung Australia director of Audio Visual, Brad Wright, told the brand is investing heavily in the retail space to ensure features are properly demonstrated and that customers understand the Smart TV message.

“Over the last few years we’ve been really listening to our shoppers and consumers, and what they want to see, touch and experience when they’re shopping for our technology,” said Wright. “This has come to life across the country in the work we’ve done partnering with our key retailers for our connected technology displays in store.

“Together we’ve built the infrastructure in a lot of stores that allows the consumer to experience everything that Samsung’s Smart TVs offer,” he added. “We’ve also deployed an army of knowledgeable, passionate Samsung brand advocates, — we call them the “blue shirts” — to help our customers discover our technology.

“And at the times when they might not be around, we’ve developed an application on our tablet devices that simply guides the consumer through a few questions to make recommendations on the technology they might be interested it, as well as demonstrating the key features of the Smart TV platform.”

But while these displays are a great way to connect with the brand experience, the “compelling demonstration” of Smart TV really boils down to one thing according to Wright.

“Simply by having products in store that are connected and can deliver a live demonstration, shoppers can experience the Smart TV experience that they would get in their home.

“Not only is this helping drive the uptake of Smart TVs, and driving a higher average price in the market place for these (almost four times the average price of non-smart products), it’s driving more and more people taking these products home, connecting them to their networks and enjoying everything Samsung Smart TV’s have to offer.”