Made for Hong Kong? Samsung’s 18.4-inch Galaxy View taps rise of OTT content and online streaming, suits cramped cities

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 January, 2016, 7:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 January, 2016, 7:45pm

With global demand rising for online video streaming on over-the-top (OTT) devices, Samsung Electronics expects consumers to welcome its new 18.4-inch tablet as a new means to consume streaming content - especially users in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong people are moving from broadcast and cable television to on-demand video services,” Paulona Cheung, associate director of Samsung Hong Kong’s telecoms business, said on Wednesday.

“Hybrid devices like our new Galaxy View are more suitable in this changing market,” she added at a product launch event Wednesday, referring to gadgets that fall somewhere between a tablet and television.

The device will go on sale in the city from January 29 with a retail price of HK$4,598 (US$587), the company said. It went on sale in the United States in November.

It weighs 2.7kg, three times that of Apple’s newest MacBook laptops. This could make it cumbersome for travelling, but certainly light enough to traipse around the home or office with.

“Portable devices have small screens, and big-screen TV limits where and how we watch video,” said Alfred Tsang, one of Samsung’s product managers.

“The Galaxy View eliminates these problems.”

It could also find a special place in the hearts of Hongkongers given their relatively cramped living conditions.

“Hong Kong is so small and many families do not have room for a big-screen TV or additional TV for different family members,” said Cheung.

Samsung is not the first tech titan to make super-sized hybrid tabs. US personal computer maker Dell and Taiwan’s ASUS have also both done so.

But “those all-in-one computers are for sophisticated users”, said Cheung.

“The Galaxy View aims to satisfy the entertainment needs of average users.”

Local and global streaming services are expanding quickly in Hong Kong.

Viu, an online streaming service owned by Hong Kong’s telecom giant PCCW, started streaming free TV dramas and animations through its website and mobile app last October.

Moreover, China’s Letv entered Hong Kong in 2014. It snapped up the broadcasting rights for English Premiere League football matches as well as the popular US drama House of Cards in 2015.

READ MORE: Hong Kong’s LeTV announces price for English Premier League package

Global streaming leader Netflix entered 130 new countries and territories including Hong Kong earlier this month. It had nearly 75 million subscribers at the end of 2015, 17 million more than one year earlier.

Samsung has not given up on traditional TV completely. Cheung said the company is in talks with Hong Kong’s cable TV service providers to include their content on the Galaxy View.