Where Will Pandora Land Next?
Internet radio streamer Pandora seems poised to start extending its reach with the zeal of Netflix, starting with Samsung Blu-ray players.
Samsung’s new HTIB will stream Pandora radio
July 23, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger

It’s always kind of fun to sift through press releases and pull out nuggets of info that don’t get prioritized but, because of what you’re interested in, stick out with you for personal reasons.

Guess that’s why I was pretty stoked to see that Pandora Internet radio will be coming to the latest Samsung Blu-ray home theater system (read the full press release here).

Samsung’s new HT-BD3252 looks like one of the best HTIB (home theater in a box) systems going—you get Blu-ray, Samsung’s auto calibration, 5.1 surround and wireless rear speakers. The big news in terms of content partners was that the system, which will be out in August for $799, features Samsung’s new relationship with Blockbuster and you’ll be able to upgrade the firmware to stream Blockbuster OnDemand titles.

You can also stream Netflix, but what doesn’t do that these days??

If you’re a fan of Internet radio, or discovering new music, or being able to personalize your playlists and listening habits, the Samsung Blu-ray player also streams Pandora. You need to have a subscription, but it was a nice bit of info tucked into the press release.

The press release says it’s for subscribers of Pandora, which means you may need to have the $36/year Pandora One account, which at least leaves out the advertising for you (and $3/month is still only a fraction of what satellite costs, for example). Update: Pandora says you do not need a subscription to stream music, so just an account should do.

It would seem like Pandora is poised to branch out from here. There would be much reason for future Samsung Blu-ray players not to have Pandora, and companies like LG have been adding web-streaming features like Netflix or CinemaNow, so why not look to add one of the top streaming music sites too at some point?

Aside from the Samsung HTIB, Pandora’s also accessible from some LG Home Theater systems, such as the LHB953. It’s also available for audio systems such as Sonos and Squeezebox, but with the trend toward having all of your audio and video—including discs—playable from one box (or even right from your TV itself), we’re expecting more video players to add this audio feature.

We know that Vudu can also stream Pandora, as an example of those merging audio and video boxes, and even one connected TV manufacturer, Vizio, has partnered with Vudu and therefore Pandora with it.

It would seem natural for something like the Roku player to hop on the Pandora bus, along with other Blu-ray manufacturers. Where else do you see Pandora landing?

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

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