South Korean internet service company Daum Communications recently revealed a new connected TV set and set-top box, which they intend to use as a means of competing with other companies developing in the industry, such as Google TV and Apple.
Daum is the provider of South Korea’s second-most popular search engine (behind Naver), and on Friday in their new headquarters of Jeju (South Korea), revealed their intentions of taking that success onto a a TV-based platform, with the new Daum TV beginning with an application of a ‘local portal site’ for users on smart TV sets.
Daum corporate strategy director Kim Jee-hyun said of the plans at a press conference: “Amid lukewarm reviews of Google TV and Apple TV, we had long studied to identify different values we can offer consumers. We have concluded that the killer service for smart TVs should be video streaming and that’s an area where Daum has spent years accumulating technology and experience.”
Also released was Daum TV+, an Android Gingerbread-powered set-top box (priced at 199,000 won ($175)), with capabilities of web searching, connected online games, and Android app downloads whilst a user watches TV programmes. Also supported is a new remote control produced by Daum with a small keyboard in the back, with voice and ‘flick pad’ recognition as well.
Daum TV users are also set to offer exclusive Daum content for free with every new device, as it gets set to be sold primarily at retail store E-Mart. Despite positve start-up plans for their entry into the market, though, Daum will still have to contend even locally with high-profile South Korean smart TV makers such as LG and Samsung.
Kim added of this competition, and of the opportunity that South Korea’s planned digital switchover for 2013 brings to Daum: “There would be a proliferation of market players as the technology is based on open source. But that also explains why the content is important. Compared to expensive TV sets, our cheaper set-top box would be a better bet for those just getting into Web TV.”