Samsung Gives Peek at iTunes-Like Media Hub for Phones and Tablets

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In rolling out its Galaxy Tab this week at a New York City launch event, Samsung also supplied more details about Media Hub, a new movie and TV entertainment service now set for availability on all Galaxy S series smartphones as well as its new 7-inch tablet.

Samsung originally introduced Media Hub, together with another software-based service known as Social Hub, at a Galaxy S event in June, Social Hub is an app for centralizing and simplifying contact info, calendaring, and messaging. One tool in Social Hub pulls together calendar info from social networking services and Google Calendar, for example, into a single calendar with two-way synchronization.

Samsung announced that both Media Hub and Social Hub will be available for all U.S. versions of the Samsung Galaxy S, including AT&T’s Samsung Captivate, Verizon’s Samsung Fascinate, Sprint’s Samsung Epic 4G, and T-Mobile’s Samsung Vibrant.

The service will includes rentable and buyable movies from newly inked Samsung content partners MTV Networks, NBC Universal and Paramount. In addition, content purchased for “permanent ownership” will be shareable across up to five Media Hub-enabled devices.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s newly redesigned Web site will offer e-comm capabilities for movies, TV programs, and other entertainment content for Samsung devices, along with a separate storefront selling “TV apps” specifically for Samsung HDTVs. I also caught a glimpse from the Tab of new Web-based social media content that included trending topics on Twitter and Facebook.

How Might Samsung Do Against Rivals?
Samsung is a new player in the online content arena, and it’s up against hefty competition from Apple’s iTunes along with Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu, and quite a few other services.

Samsung’s new entertainment content services could stand a chance of evolving into a real rival some day, if prices for content are low enough, and access to content really turns out to be as easy from a smartphone or 7-inch tablet as from an HDTV, laptop, or desktop PC.

For Media Hub to succeed on mobile devices, though, 4G wireless would be a huge help — and so far, 4G is only available on one iteration in Samsung’s growing Galaxy family, the Sprint Epic 4G smartphone.

 

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