Samsung Had One Of The Craziest, Most Secretly Impressive Keynotes At CES


Photo: CES

Last night Samsung delivered an incredibly odd, but impressive keynote on the future of television.The keynote was led by Boo-Keun Yoon, president of Samsung’s TV business.

But really, a weird tween named “Zoll,” was the host for the evening, introducing each topic. There were also dance routines.

It wasn’t just nutty stuff like that which made the keynote special.

It also featured Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar all on stage together.

How often do you see that?

Jeffrey Katzenberg was also on hand, as was the CEO of Adobe.

We watched the keynote on CES’s site this morning and took some screen shots and notes on what we saw.

Before the presentation started, attendees got carmel popcorn while they waited, here's a photo from Forbes reporter Eric Savitz...

Here's Zoll, our host for the evening. He did a pre taped bit...

And here's BK to talk about Samsung's future. He says Samsung is all about Digital Humanism, and the 4 As.

Not content with just showing those words, Samsung decided to dance about it.

It was really something special

We liked this move, pretty impressive.

The Samsung vision is like Google TV, except without Google TV

Samsung isn't going to sit back and let Apple, Google, or Microsoft take over the living room. It owns the focal point of the living room, so it will try to capitalise. It wants to put all your stuff from the 'cloud' like photos, movies, and music on your TV. And unlike the aforementioned tech companies, Samsung has some big partners willing to help out...

Here's Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner and Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast

Both of these men talked about working with Samsung on smart TVs. They talked about not needing a cable box in the future. You can just fire up your connected TV and get your cable channels. You'll have better user interfaces, and be able to control the TV through gadgets other than remotes.

You can control cable with a Galaxy Tab, for instance. It's a better interface, and better experience.

After the cable guys left, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar came on stage to talk about adding Hulu plus to more devices. (Netflix was a no show for this event, which is interesting.)

After Hulu, came Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen to talk about getting web video with Flash on Samsung TVs.

Let's pause for a second.

What Samsung is doing here is pretty impressive. It's trying to pioneer the web television experience by fitting it into a form most people are comfortable with. Unlike Google or Apple where you need an extra box, with Samsung, it's all in the TV. And while it's using Android on its tablets and handsets, it doesn't seem to be using Google TV in its TV sets.

Of course, it's useless if it's not a smooth experience, Zoll reminds us...

And to let us know it will be a smooth experience, Samsung plays a weird video about design and fluidity

Then there was a skit with the guy from Top Gear who used his phone to control his TV. Sorta neat, but we can say from experience, it's much better to have a remote control than use our phone.

Next up for discussion: 3D TV. But first, a dance break!

Before we go to the 3D segment, BK demos the Skype feature on Samsung TVs.

After an intro from BK, here's Jeffrey Katzenberg trying his best to make us think 3D glasses aren't ridiculous.

After the 3D segment was done ... MORE DANCING!

In conclusion...

Samsung actually made a compelling case that it can tie together your smartphone, tablet, and TV screen into an interesting package. Its taste is a little bit off kilter, but after watching the keynote we're definitely intrigued by Samsung's overall strategy.

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