Opera provides smart TV maker with an app store

It ain’t exactly online as you need a Hisense TV to see this one

We were only just discussing the impending rise of the ‘connected’ or ‘smart’ TV with 51Degrees.mobi (see here). GoMo News was pondering what development environment it might be best to pick if you are thinking of breaking into this niche. We may well have spotted the answer – HTML5. That’s because browser specialist, Opera, has just done a deal with a leading supplier of smart TVs – Hisense to build access to its Opera TV Store into the sets. The pair claim this will give Hisense users access to apps for video, music, social media, games, news and utilities. Which is great except you can’t discover which apps are available until you’ve actually bought such a device.

Perhaps this is why there is so little buzz around connected TV app development at present?

If you cannot view the store from the web, then users won’t be able to tell which connected TV has the best range of apps available.

After all, the largest number of apps on sale was what helped to build the iPhone for Apple.

Conversely, if you can see which smart TV has the most limited range of games available, then you won’t know which make/model to develop for.

There might be a way around this. Hisense,for example, is already using the Opera Devices Software Development Kit (SDK) to power its entertainment portal. And you can run an Opera browser on almost anything.

“[We] chose Opera as it has proven to be the simplest and fastest way to bring apps to TV,” revealed Charlie Wang, a vp with the Hisense Group.

Aneesh Rajaram, a senior vp for TV & Devices, Opera Software with Opera, commented, “With more and more content owners flocking to HTML5 to enable their TV-screen propositions, Hisense viewers can now have an even more entertaining and personalised TV experience.”

Jointly, the Opera Devices SDK and the Opera browser are powering tens of millions of devices, including those from Sony, Samsung, Philips, TCL, Humax, Sharp, Loewe, Boxee, Hisense, Freesat+, Vestel and Altech.

So chatting to Opera would seem to make a great deal of sense if you want to get into connected TVs. Also you could try trotting along to IBC 2013 in Amsterdam.

Opera will be amongst those represented there and the British contingent has a UK Pavilion in Hall 4.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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