The government said Wednesday that it plans to inject 54.3 billion won ($49.8 million) this year to help local companies maintain their lead in the global smart TV market.
The joint plan announced by the ministries of knowledge economy and culture, and the Korea and Communications Commission calls for concerted efforts to build up smart TV-related contents and the establishment of a viable Internet infrastructure.
“Support is needed because companies such as Apple and Google who enjoy an edge in so-called platform knowhow have started to take active interest in the smart TV industry that is dominated by Samsung and LG,” the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said at the weekly economic coordination meeting.
Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. each held 22.3 percent and 13.5 percent of the global market for smart TVs last year but could face stiff challenges in the future. The global market that stood at 208 million smart TV sets last year is expected to grow to 286 million units in 2014.
The ministry said 16.5 billion won will be allocated on developing smart TV platform knowhow and network technologies, with 29.2 billion won set aside for training experts and next generation contents creation.
Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun (left) takes a look at smart TV content with government officials at an economic policy meeting at the Gwacheon government complex on Wednesday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
The remaining 8.6 billion won will be used to build a “giga-level” Internet foundation vital for providing smart TV services such as video-on-demand, online games, video communications and use of various operating applications.
“There is a need to acquire basic technology in key areas like user interface to enhance the convenience for TV viewers and intellectual property rights protection,” the ministry, which is in charge of industrial policy, said.
The ministry said that Seoul wants to set up a 100 mega bit per second broadband network system that is 10 times faster than the current broadband convergence network by 2012.
The ministry, meanwhile, said Seoul plans to set aside more money next year to support the smart TV industry.