Why is Samsung holding the Free the TV Challenge?
The challenge aims to build new and lasting relationships between software developers and Samsung, in order to advance the ecosystem of applications available for Samsung’s industry-leading line of Smart TVs. The 2011 Free the TV Challenge is focused on generating interactive converged apps that enhance the user experience for millions of Samsung customers.
What are the criteria for selection of the finalists and eventual winner of the challenge?
Submissions will be judged on quality and innovation of the idea, functional implementation and overall visual appeal.
If I win, do I keep ownership of my application?
Yes. You will retain intellectual property ownership of your application. You have the option of charging a fee for your application or offering it for free.
Please see the Official Rules for more details.
Is my submission required to use the Samsung Software Development Kit?
Yes. You must use the Samsung TV App SDK 2.5,, which is available from the SamsungDForum at www.samsungdforum.com/us. Be sure to use version 2.5 of the SDK (not 3.0 or any other version).
Can more than one person work on an application and receive credit for it? And if the app wins a prize, will the prize money be split among the creators?
Yes. More than one person may work on an app and receive credit for it. The prize will be awarded to the group, and it will be up to the group to split the prize, as stated in the Official Rules.
I live outside of the United States. Can I enter?
No. Only legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (and the District of Columbia) may enter, provided they meet all of the requirements in the Official Rules.
We are an organization. Can we enter?
Yes. Corporations and organizations that are domiciled in the (50) United States (and the District of Columbia) and are incorporated at the time of entry are eligible to compete.
Can people enter more than once?
Yes. There is no limit to how many times an eligible person or organization may enter. An individual may also participate on behalf of more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization.
Do the submitted apps have to be newly created for this competition, or can they be preexisting applications that are ported to work on the Samsung TV App Software Development Kit (SDK)?
Submissions may be preexisting applications, provided they comply with all of the requirements outlined in the Official Rules. The rules require that applications be built on the Samsung TV App SDK 2.5, and they must operate on a Samsung TV and at least one other screen (such as a mobile phone, a tablet, or a computer).
What are the key dates around the challenge?
The submission deadline is Nov. 29, 2011, at 5 p.m. EST. The judging panel will commence on or around Dec. 2, 2011 at 10 a.m. EST and end Dec. 16, 2011 at 5 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced on or around Jan. 13, 2012.
What information do I need to include in my application?
The principal content requirement is to use the Samsung TV App SDK 2.5 to create your application, and to provide multi-screen, interactive functionality. There are other requirements, as outlined in the Official Rules. Be sure to use version 2.5 of the SDK (not 3.0 or any other version).
When you submit your application, be sure to also include a video of your working application, a text description (with a specific description of the functionality, uses and interactivity of the device(s), other than a TV, on which the application can run), and at least one image/screenshot. See the Submission Form for details.
Do I also need to submit my application on the Samsung D Forum site or another Samsung site?
No. To submit your application, use the Enter a Submission page on this site. You do not need to submit it anywhere else. (You only need to use the Samsung D Forum to download the SDK or ask technical questions about the SDK.)
When will the money be disbursed to the winner?
Within 60 days after the announcement.
How can I make sure my app will work properly on Samsung devices?
You can test the application on any Samsung device that supports Samsung Apps. You can also email your application to us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
How can I get more information?
You can email your questions to email@example.com.
Where can I find the Software Developer Kit for developing on the Samsung apps platform?
- First, register for the SamsungDForum at www.samsungdforum.com/us (SDF).
- Log in to the SDF and download the Software Developer Kit (SDK). Be sure to use version 2.5 of the SDK (not 3.0 or any other version).
- The Samsung TV App SDK 2.5 is currently compatible only with Windows OS.
What is the Samsung Developer Forum?
- The Samsung Developer Forum (SDF) offers resources for building and editing apps on the Samsung Apps platform.
- The SDF provides a set of tools, such as the SDK, guidelines, tutorials, and sample code, to help you start building on the Samsung Apps platform.
- Developers can post technical questions about the SDK and app development and receive answers from the Samsung Engineering Team.
What are Samsung Apps?
Samsung Apps are web-based applications that run on Internet-connected digital TVs and Blu-ray players. Viewing an application via the Samsung Apps service is very similar to viewing a website in a web browser on a computer. Samsung Apps use the Maple 6.0 browser.
What is the Maple browser?
- Maple stands for MArkup engine PLatform for Embedded Systems. It is a browser engine for CE devices.
- The HTML page provides the application structure.
- The CSS determines the application style.
- For additional support information, please see the App Development Guide for Samsung Smart TVs.
What are the supported standard specifications of Maple browser?
For details, please review the App Engine Specification.
What is the purpose of the Samsung TV App SDK?
The Samsung TV App SDK is equipped with a simulator that developers can use to test and run their applications before running them on actual devices.
How do I make a Samsung TV App SDK application?
- Index.html, which serves as the access point of the application
- The application configuration file, the XML file in the root of the application structure that holds information about application settings
For Flash-based applications, please see the Flash Player Specification document, which is also available in the Guide section in the Samsung Developer Forum.
What types of applications can I create with Samsung Apps?
Developers can create the following types of applications:
- Ticker Application
- Full-Screen Application
- Single Wide Application
For more information, please see section 3.3 in the App Development Guide for Samsung Smart TVs.
How do users control my application on a device?
- The application will respond to the device remote control. For more information on basic steps, please read section 4.2.5 of the App Development Guide for Samsung Smart TVs.
- For information on using a mobile device as a controller, refer to the Interactive Mobile Device App API document.
Are there any IME options for remote controls?
Text input is available via remote control. Samsung App Engine provides an entire module for using the IME. For more details, please refer to the IME tutorial in the Guide Section of the Samsung Developer Forum.
Are there any specific user experience guidelines to follow for Samsung TVs?
For more information on meeting Samsung UX policy guidelines, view the Samsung TV App SDK UX Guideline document, which is also available in the Samsung Developer Forum.
What are the video player specifications for the Samsung TV App SDK?
The standard supported format is .H264 /AAC. For more information on supported formats, please see the Player Specification document, which is also a part of the Samsung TV App SDK documents.
Does the Samsung TV App SDK support Flash integration?
- SDK 2.5 supports Flash 10.1/ActionScript 2.0-3.0
- For additional information about Flash-on-device support, please see the Spec & Feature page in the Samsung Developer Forum.
- More information is provided in the Flash Player Specification document, which is also a part of the Samsung TV App SDK documents.
What are the available device APIs?
For information on device APIs, please see the Device API Guide document, which is also a part of the Samsung TV App SDK documents.
Where can I get additional information about mobile app development?
The Samsung Mobile Innovator team provides details on products, SDKs, documentation and toolkits for mobile app development. For more information, please visit innovator.samsungmobile.com.
You can also get detailed information specific to Android app development.
How do I test my application on a Samsung app device?
Applications developed with the Samsung TV App SDK can be packaged and ported into a real-time Samsung device for testing purposes. For more information, please see the User Application Guide, which is also a part of the SDK documents.
Which devices support Samsung Apps, and on which devices can I test my application?
- These devices support Samsung Apps:
- Most 2010 and 2011 U.S. TVs 40” or larger
- All 2010 and 2011 Blu-ray players
- Developers can test applications on Samsung Apps–enabled TVs and on Blu-ray players.
- For more information on specifications and feature support on devices (such as Flash support), please see the Spec & Feature page in the Samsung Developer Forum.
What if I do not own a Samsung TV or a Samsung Blu-ray disc player?
The SDK emulator is the best way for developers to test their applications if no device is available. However, testing on a real device is always recommended.
How can I get more information about the MOVL Connect Platform?
For full details on the MOVL Connect Platform, visit connect.movl.com. Note that the use of MOVL APIs is optional and is not required to submit an entry. MOVL also has a challenge-specific site at connect.movl.com/samsung.
My question isn't answered here. Where can I post technical questions?
If you have technical questions related to the Free the TV Challenge, you can post them on the Free the TV Challenge 2011 Q&A message board in the Samsung Developer Forum.