Philips Makes A Play For Smart TV With Hundreds Of Streaming Channels

Mild-mannered tech firm Philips has announced Cloud TV, a pretty bold move to change the TV-viewing habits of the owners of its smart TVs.

Philips has announced a new Cloud TV service at the Berlin IFA show. The service will run through apps on the company's smart TVs released from 2012 onward and will serve up what Philips describes as "hundreds" of different channels to viewers directly over the Internet.

The Philips press release explains that the content is coming from diverse sources, including "local, national, international, and special interest channels." The channels will be a mix of premium ones and non-premium ones "most of which are freely available." Wrapping up the content is the Cloud TV app that lets users view channels aggregated by genre or popularity or by searching for what they want to see.

Alongside the Cloud TV service, Philips is also launching a Cloud Explorer system that lets users store photos, video, and audio, either via a Dropbox account or a dedicated Philips account. To view it, the Explorer app on the smart TVs will sort and play the content on-screen.

Philips may not be a name you readily associate with the future of TV, but by launching its own cloud TV system, the company is trying to sidestep the traditional cable and satellite TV company hegemony. The connected TV market may be heating up, with Samsung as an incumbent and new players like Xiaomi looking to compete. Apple is rumored to have a new Apple TV system on the way, but it's not known if this represents its attempt to change the TV paradigm or not.

[Image via Flickr user: Brook]

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