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Samsung May Release Tizen-Based TVs in 2014

Boo-Keun Yoon, co-CEO of Samsung and head of the consumer electronics business, recently told German publication Die Welt in an interview that the Tizen platform could appear in HDTVs as soon as 2014. It will be part of Samsung's connected experience spanning tablets, phones, TVs and other devices.

Currently, the company is still working on getting the first Tizen-based phone out the door. Reports surfaced back in August that the device was originally slated for a Q3 2013 release, but co-CEO JK Shin wanted extra time to create a device that would serve not only as the company's new flagship device, but the official introduction to the Tizen platform itself. Samsung obviously wants to make a good impression.

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"There are many convergences not only among IT gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and cameras, but also among different industries like cars, bio, or banks," Shin recently told CNET. "Cross-convergence is the one [area] Samsung can do best since we do have various parts and finished products."

Tizen OS is an open-source Linux-based platform for devices like smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs and in-vehicle information devices. The project resides within the Linux Foundation, is governed by Samsung and Intel, and contains Samsung's merged Bada project and Intel's failed MeeGo platform. The Tizen project was actually believed to be dead until the two companies recently opened a $4 million USD competition for developers to create Tizen-based apps.

Unlike many other Smart TV makers, Samsung uses its own OS based on Linux 2.6. This app engine already supports HTML5, CSS 3 DOM 3 and SquirrelFish, while the platform itself supports Flash 10.1, ActionScript 3.0, Adobe AIR for TV 2.5.1, and RTMP/RTMPe media streaming. If anything, this platform paves the way for Samsung possibly using the HTML5-heavy Tizen in the near future.

Tizen 2.2 was released back in July, and an early preview version of Tizen 3.0 for In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) was released on August 29. The car-focused build is based on a 3.11 Linux kernel, and comes with an enhanced Tizen Web RunTime (WRT), featuring new Web APIs (Automotive, Speech, DLNA). The mainstream Tizen 2.2 update saw the addition of hardware Back and Menu keys replacing software ones, fine-grained Access Control for API privileges, and so on.

A Samsung rep told CNET on Thursday that the company is indeed considering a TV based on Tizen, but "detailed information including availability will be determined by market conditions."

Samsung is slated to host its very first developer's conference in San Francisco from October 27 to October 29. The conference will cover multiple platforms and multiple products, and focus on Samsung's various tools and SDKs such as the Chord API, and the digital living room. Tizen is expected to be a part of this conference.