Advice to Samsung for DLNA
by netmind - 2/15/09 2:09 AM
After many hours of frustration I have been turned from a very excited new customer and burgeoning loyalist to someone who is on the verge of never buying Samsung again.
If you are reading this thread you probably have read many others reporting how bad the DLNA support is that Samsung has implemented within its A750 and higher TV lines. You may have even read a few postings from the Samsung moderators who have very tactfully stated DLNA is an emerging standard hence all the problems....
I say that's a cop out. Its true that DLNA is still evolving but Samsung's mistakes are their own and to misdirect the blame onto DLNA is doing yet another dis-service to their customers. There are plenty of other vendors who have successfully implemented DLNA or other standards like UPnP.
IMHO Samsung has not done a proper job of understanding the market that they tried to enter and didn't make a sufficient investment in product dev & testing - which has resulted in a close to unusable product (at least in terms of the DLNA).
I would urge Samsung to take a look at what has been done with other successful digital media products/devices and more importantly what customers are looking for.
Firstly, to ship a digital media product that doesn't allow you to fast forward, rewind, or resume when watching streaming movies is insane. This is basic functionality that shouldn't have been compromised. I think if Samsung had asked a customer, they would have been told this before trying to build such a product.
Second, why invest in developing proprietary streaming software?? Seems to me that most people have been trying to use something that is feeding other connected devices in their network, such as tversity, twonky, etc, and only trying Samsung's software as a last resort - only to be frustrated by technical issues or finding that it doesn't meet their needs.
Samsung needs to understand that their TV will not be the only media device in the "connected home". It doesn't make sense for customers to run 8 different media streaming servers... They are likely running one of the decent solutions out there already.
I see value in having software bundled with the TV as an out-of-box solution for those that need this. However I would strongly recommend the Samsung sunset their own software and bundle twonky or another proven solution that is out in the market already. This would allow Samnsung to bring a solution to market more quickly and save development costs that could then be redirected towards areas which would make a real difference to customers such as improving & testing the firmware.
Another better approach to developing proprietary software would be to partner with the existing streaming software solutions. Why not collaborate with them and enable them to support Samsung TV's? This would be cheaper than building software in house for Samsung. For guys like tversity & twonky, this is good because their software is more relevant. For customers they get a TV that delivers on its DLNA promise and is compatible with their existing home media environments. This is a proven strategy in the software business. Why not employ it here. Its a win for everyone.
Samsung has 2 choices 1) pretend the problem doesn't exist and let the growing negative sentiment & brand erosion continue or 2) acknowledge the problem, learn from the mistakes, and turn disgruntled customers into loyal fans.
Hopefully Samsung will chose #2 and release appropriate firmware updates.
I may have sounded harsh but think that Samsung needs a bit of a wake up call. I haven't seen any indication from Samsung that they are doing anything to address the DLNA issues.
I invite other Samsung owners to respond to this thread and add their opinions.