Opera Pushes HTML5 Web Apps For Connected Devices

opera tv

Norway-based browser firm Opera is trying to make it easier for content companies to get their video on connected TVs and other devices. With the launch of a new content development kit (CDK), available for free download at http://dev.opera.com/sdk/, video publishers will be able to build standards-based web apps that will be accessible across multiple devices.

Today, video publishers that want to reach consumers who have bought Samsung connected devices, Roku broadband set-top boxes or the upcoming Boxee Box have to create different applications for each platform, each which requires its own user interface, file formats and the like. (This makes Netflix’s feat of making its streaming service available on more than 100 different devices from various CE manufacturers all the more impressive.)

But by developing standards-based web apps, publishers will be able to reach multiple devices with the same interface, so long as they have a modern web browser like Opera embedded. Because the CDK enables content companies to build user interfaces in standard HTML5, CSS and Javascript, they won’t need to develop several discrete applications for consumer electronics devices.

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Currently, the Opera browser is on 56 different connected devices, including the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DSi, Ford Truck navigation systems, Sony TVs, Phillips TVs, Toshiba TVs. In the third quarter, Opera also struck deals to get on TVs and devices from Sharp, Samsung, LG and Vizio. But the hope is that more consumer electronics manufacturers will embed the browser on their connected devices, opening up access to web content that is available beyond the walled garden of their individual app stores.

The Opera CDK can be installed on any Linux PC and includes the ability to build and debug various portals, applications, widgets and webpages that run on Opera-enabled TVs and other devices. The CDK enables users to simulate limited RAM availability, set screen sizes based on device and test and debug applications with Opera’s Dragonfly debugging program.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Three Reasons Over-The-Top TV Apps Will Beat Big Cable (subscription required)

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