Samsung Taps Widevine for Connected Devices

Content protection firm Widevine announced that Korean electronics giant Samsung is expanding its use of Widevine's online video technologies in "connected devices" such as broadband-capable Blu-ray Disc players and HDTV sets.

Samsung, which already used Widevine's adaptive streaming, virtual DVD-like "trick play" and digital rights management (DRM) software in 2009 U.S. models of its connected TVs and Blu-ray players, has now selected the Seattle-based firm as a "preferred provider" and will be distributing its technology on a worldwide basis with its 2010 line. Under the new global agreement, Samsung said it will ship millions of devices with the Widevine client this year, allowing consumers to easily access online movies and TV shows (such as streaming services from Netflix and Blockbuster) on their connected devices.

"Samsung is committed to meeting its customers' evolving needs in this fast-paced, digital era," said Samsung VP of R&D Yoon-Soon Ahn in a statement. "In order to continue in this tradition, we selected a video optimization and DRM vendor that understood our success in innovation and design in order to develop devices that satisfy our customers' requirements. We are particularly excited to add Widevine's live HTTP adaptive streaming technology to our products."

"Samsung clearly recognizes the value of Widevine's technology and we are very pleased to be working with such a forward-thinking company," added Brian Baker, CEO of Widevine. "This agreement further cements Widevine's position in the digital entertainment ecosystem as one of the leading providers of video optimization and DRM for TV Everywhere and over-the-top initiatives."

Samsung Ventures America is an investor in privately-held Widevine, along with Cisco, Charter Ventures, Constellation Ventures, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Liberty Global, PaceSetter Capital Group, Phoenix Partners, TELUS and VantagePoint Venture Partners.