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Samsung May be Releasing Android Devices with TV Tuners for the US Market

Today’s smartphones are nothing like we imagined they would be 5 years ago.  Compact powerful devices that do almost everything a computer does besides improving communication experience.  The smartphone revolution has not reached its peak yet, not with the competition in the market and the dominance of innovative companies like Samsung.  Unlike the Americans, a large percentage of Koreans follow their favorite TV shows on their handheld devices and it appears Samsung is getting ready to import this culture into the US market with upcoming handsets.

Mobile TV is nothing new but in the past, this had been left to cheap Chinese handsets and dedicated TV devices.  Samsung has filed a patent application to the US PTO covering a touch control system for Android devices to come in the future fitted with TV tuners.  Most handsets with TV tuners are often equipped with a DMB tuner which enables them to catch TV and radio programs on their phones with decent clarity.

Samsung’s patent covers the use of simple finger gestures on the device screen to execute various commands including channel change and broadcast recording.  Most Americans are not new to the idea of catching a TV show online but the idea of using a smartphone and not a computer is a new concept for many – let alone the idea that they will not need to an internet connection or pay for the shows.

This patent is actually pretty simple and does not cover the entire idea of the TV tuner but the gestures to control the use of the TV tuner and software.  For instance, to change a channel, users will just need to draw the channel number on the screen.  To record a broadcast to watch later, they will just draw a letter R on the screen and recording will begin.

Another thing the patent application reveals is that Samsung plans to equip future smartphones with a DMB tuner, probably because of its immense success in the South East Asia countries like Korea and China and Japan.  Interestingly, the South Korean version of Samsung Galaxy S3 already has an antenna that sticks out from the side of the phone – they may have had plans to equip them with the DMB tuner from the design stages.

Although the DMB mobile phone TV tuner technology is widespread in Korea, Japan and China, it may be a challenge recording similar success in the American market because of the difference in digital TV standards used.  However, with what technology has brought us today, I am optimistic this will not be a problem.

Android smartphone today come with almost anything that can fit on a handheld gadget – GPS, radio, media player, camera, various meters – you name them.  A mobile free to air TV tuner is virtually unexplored and Samsung seems to want to take advantage of this and further their dominance and brand recognition.

Do you think a TV tuner on an Android Smartphone is a great idea?  4G LTE and WiFi hotspots are all over now and watching TV online may be less complicated, do you think a TV tuner would steal people’s hearts from it?  Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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