Samsung eases search for movies, shows on TVs, mobile devices

Samsung's new TV Discovery feature takes the pain out of searching for movies and TV shows

Samsung has announced a new service that will make searching for movies and shows easier on TV, smartphones and tablets.

The service, called TV Discovery, will aggregate program listings from broadcast TV, video-on-demand services and online streaming sites like Netflix. By combining multiple content sources, searching for programs become easier, the company said on Wednesday.

A search will show the channels on which a specific show or movie is playing, or where it is available on the Internet. This TV Discovery service is one step ahead for Samsung to put the TV at the center of the living room, said Shoneel Kolhatkar, director of product planning at Samsung.

Samsung announced the technology ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show, which will be held in Barcelona next week. Samsung will demonstrate the technology at the show.

The service is primarily meant for the company's TVs, but will be available on Samsung's mobile devices in the form of an app. The TV Discovery feature on mobile devices will stream content from smartphones and tablets to only Samsung TVs through AllShare technology, which allows users to beam multimedia content from Samsung mobile devices to TVs.

Based on watching habits, the service will also line up relevant content for users to watch. The service is an enhancement of the Peel software for tablets and smartphones, which allows users to search for TV shows, Samsung executives said. TV Discovery is a more comprehensive service that is more interactive and comprehensive, though it will work in conjunction with the Peel app, which has its own unique interface.

A similar content search service is provided by Google through its Google TV software. Intel also recently announced its own TV box for live broadcasts and streaming movies, with a new interface that makes it a snap to find content, according to the company

The TV Discovery feature can also turn a tablet or smartphone into a remote control for a range of TVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and other devices. Samsung's mobile devices already have remote functionality.

The TV Discovery feature will be available on Samsung's 2013 Smart TV models in South Korea, U.S. and 14 European countries in the first quarter of this year. The service will be integrated in mobile devices in the same countries in the second quarter.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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