The coming connected TV explosion is about create a big distribution opportunity for content owners. But writing apps for the burgeoning number of platforms could be a development headache.
So now LG (SEO: 066570), Sharp and Philips, who each deliver apps over their TVs in different ways, are seeking harmony in standardisation.
They have have jointly agreed to “define common technical requirements for their Smart TV”.
What’s interesting is that this is not just a new standard being specced out by this trio alone. They are actually committing to using open standards like HTML5, CE-HTML and HbbTV, the new European standard for building internet services in to TV sets. From October, the trio will release a beta of a Software Development Kit (SDK) so that developers can make apps using these standards.
That’s all very well, but the two main connected TV brands (Samsung Smart TV and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Internet@TV) are absent. And they are actually doing just fine, with systems chock-full of apps and a blossoming number to come.
Also, the UK industry has already developed its chosen D-Book 7 standard for internet TV services, with broadcasters having devised the YouView consortium as an adjacent platform.
This move by LG, Sharp and Philips, therefore, can be seen as an admission that their TV apps outlook looks relatively muted within the current fragmented ecosystem.
Already in mobile phones, most content owners leapt aboard iOS early but, though Android is now the more popular platform, find themselves without either the budget or know-how to develop for the rest of the market.
Today’s partnership can also be seen as potentially heading off such a situation in TV.