Opera’s TV SDK starts powering Samsung Blu-ray players

Opera is continuing to make inroads in the connected device space: Samsung is going to start shipping Blu-ray players powered by the Opera Devices SDK soon, the company announced Monday night. Opera didn’t go into details about which of Samsung’s 2013 Blu-ray players are going to be powered by its SDK, but the company said that the devices will ship globally.

One interesting thing about this partnership is that Samsung has its own Smart TV platform, which it has been promoting aggressively to app developers. So why get a third party to power your devices? One likely answer: Samsung’s platform has been evolving from an all-purpose app platform towards a more TV-centric approach for high-end TV sets.

At CES in January, Samsung unveiled a new UI for its 2013 Smart TVs that comes with voice control, a live TV guide and a remote control with an integrated touch pad. The company is offering owners of select 2012 TVs to upgrade to the new experience for $300 with the help of its Smart TV evolution kit; but that kind of premium pricing doesn’t really work for a $130 Blu-ray player.

In light of that disparity, Samsung has to make a choice: Either fork its Smart TV platform to work on both high-end and low-end devices, or use a different solution for lower-priced devices. It looks like the company may be ready to go for the latter — and Opera seems to be the company to benefit.