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Facebook telly app wins £60k from Samsung

Despite losing the public vote

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Samsung's Smart TV Challenge has been won by a telly-recommending Facebook-friendly app - although the public preferred the runner-up.

The company put the money up to encourage apps that would run on its TVs. Which is a reasonably specific brief.

Astra Recommends, the winning app, has scooped £60,000 of Samsung's money, pushing streamed movie trailers app CineTrailer into second place with £25,000. It lets you "like" TV shows and recommend them to your Facebook friends as well as making its own recommendations based on your previous viewing.

The judges rated CineTrailer as "an innovative service with an easy to use interface" - surely a slap in the face for LoveFilm which also provides movie trailers as well as the movies themselves, but as LoveFilm already ships with Samsung TVs it's probably not "innovative" any more.

CineTrailer did garner 196 public votes, which also won it the UK "Popular Choice" award, doing much better than the 20 votes that Astra Recommends managed, and more than double the 77 votes gained by the genuinely-innovative-if-slightly-odd TV Darts Show which came in third.

TV Darts Show pocketed £6,000, along with creepy TV-stalking app "Where are my people?" and home shopping service Zubibu@TV, both of which also got a third-place prize.

Much as we'd love to hate Astra Recommends, developed by the irritatingly-trendy Capablue design house, it is getting harder to find decent TV worth watching amid the multiple channels and video-on-demand services, so help finding quality viewing is appreciated. But we're far from convinced we need an app, and a Samsung app store, just for that. ®

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