Opera TV Store Brings Apps and Web to TV
With the launch of the Norwegian Web browser company Opera’s HTML5-based TV Store last week, browsing the web or using apps on your TV is now possible.
The Opera TV Store will provide web browsing and apps on your television. It will enable an all-device experience, be it through the TV, set-top box, Blu-ray player or smartphone. Using the flexibility of the web platform, development of apps can be done by anyone with knowledge of HTML5.
“Traditionally, the TV has been pretty static as a device. The era of when you had to buy more expensive equipment to get new functions on the TV is over,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, in a press statement last week.
“New approaches to TV software, such as the Opera TV Store, make it easier for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to implement smarter functions on connected TVs and content providers to reach a wider audience with their HTML5 apps,” he said.
For developers, the Opera TV Store means a quick and easy way to reach millions of users right in their own living rooms. If a TV is based on Opera SDK 3.1, the Opera TV Store and its content are just a click away. An HTML5-based solution makes compatibility and app development quick and easy.
Cloud-based storage of the users’ apps will enable users to store and upgrade everything without having to own any additional hardware.
New York-based video-sharing website Vimeo and several other European app developers have pledged to support the store.
“Vimeo is excited to be developing for such a great platform as Opera TV Store,” said Andrew Pile, Vimeo’s vice president for product development. “We’re always looking to expand Vimeo everywhere and with the addition of the Opera TV Store, we continue to bring high quality content to a wider audience,” Pile added.
“Cooperation with Opera has been very smooth. Due to the easy-to-use and standard-based Opera TV Solution, Foreca weather application development has been rapid,” said Marko Moilanen, vice president for business development at Foreca, a Finnish weather forecasting company.
“Casual games are popular applications, and the HTML5-based Opera TV solution offers a vast range of new possibilities that are particularly attractive for gaming.” said Michael Lantz, chief executive at Accedo. The Sweden-based company provides apps and app store solutions for IP TV and Connected TV in categories like games, quizzes, puzzles, news and social media.
For now, the Opera TV Store is available as trial software for OEMs and content providers. It was shown at ShowStoppers on IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, also known as the “Berlin Radio Show”) on Sept 1 and will be shown at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam from Sept. 9 to 13.
Some online tech media say the requirements for the Opera TV Store are much lower than they are for Google TV, as the former can easily run on 300MHz processors and other low-cost architectures. Google TV was launched in October 2010. It allows TV viewers to access pre-loaded apps such as Netflix, Twitter, CNBC and NBA Game Time via a browser.
Reuters reported that the service had received mixed reviews and was swiftly blocked by three of the top US broadcast networks (ABC, NBC and CBS), because it was “competing with broadcasters or content creators”.
During the Edinburgh International TV Festival held last week, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that “the internet is fundamental to the future of television” because people want it. As he put it, the internet will make TV “more personal,” “more participative,” and “more pertinent.” Google will launch Google TV in Europe early next year.
Some might believe Google is shrewd for wanting to expand into television. The company may be hoping to expand its online advertising business (which earned nearly $28 billion in revenue last year). With growing demand for internet TV, we will definitely see more players jumping ahead of the competition in this early stage of the game.