Smart TV Alliance, an open-standards based app development platform that will allow developers to create one version of their software to run on TV sets from Sharp, LG and TPV, has been officially launched today.
Sharp, LG Electronics and TPV - a company that owns Philips' TV bussiness - are the current members of the alliance. The members' ambition is align on technology that will allow app developers to create apps and run them on all supported Smart TV Alliance platforms.
The Alliance forms a cooperation that aims at enhancing the Smart TV experience by creating a non-proprietary ecosystem for application developers to create platform-independent services. The foundation of the Smart TV Alliance comes after the collaboration announcement of the mentioned TV makers at IFA 2011 in Berlin.
"Before today, the Smart TV industry was a very difficult market for both TV manufacturers and application developers as TV?s from different brands used different platforms and technologies," said Bong-seok Kwon of LG Electronics, President of Smart TV Alliance. "Smart TV Alliance creates a larger playing field which encourages developers to create more and better TV applications at the same time giving manufacturers and consumers the richest source of movies-on-demand, music services, games, social networking and more."
To make it easy for new partners to join in this effort and to facilitate discussions, the founding Smart TV makers have established Smart TV Alliance Consortium (www.SmartTV-Alliance.org). One of the primary objectives of this consortium is to help define technical specifications which will enable application developers to create their applications once and run them on multiple TVs regardless of the platform.
To enable this kind of development process, Smart TV Alliance will make the first version of its software development kit (SDK) available on its website which developers can download at no cost and use to develop their applications. The SDK is based on open web technologies such as HTML5 and allows for developed web applications to run on Smart TV?s from participating members regardless of the underlying platform.
Smart TV Alliance plans to build on this first version and announce specifications of SDK 2.0 followed by the actual SDK 2.0 software release at the end of this year. With SDK 2.0, developers will be able to create applications for 2013 TV sets from participating Alliance members.
Smart TV Alliance is designed to benefit all participating members, TV makers, applications developers and content providers alike, and welcomes any interested organizations to join.
It is unclear whether the three companies could effectively shore up developer support.
Apple and Google have not yet launched app platforms for Web-connected TVs. In addition, Apple's iOS and Google's Android developers don't have a simple route to get their software onto the TV yet.