Opera Opens HTML5-Based TV Store

Opera Software launches its new HTML5-based TV app store at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Opera Software has launched the Opera TV Store, an HTML5-based store solution for connected TVs, available for OEMs, developers and content providers who want to reach millions of application-hungry users.

The Opera TV Store introduces HTML5 applications, such as Facebook or Vimeo, to users' living rooms, and the Opera TV Store is optimized for HD-Ready screens and standard remote controls. The company announced the Opera TV Store at the 2012 International Computer Electronics Show Jan. 9.

"We had a simple idea that, in order to bring apps to the world of TV in a huge way, you need to provide users with a lean-back Web experience-and developers, content providers and manufacturers with the most convenient, cross-platform technology," Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera, said in a statement. "With the Opera TV Store, we've done it, and given the world of TV more possibilities and entertainment options at the same time."

Developers can use Opera's developer tools to create cross-platform TV applications. With the Opera TV Emulator and the Opera Dragonfly debugger tool, developers can create and test their TV applications without leaving the computer. A useful resource for TV app developers is http://dev.opera.com/tv/. A product video is also available.

OEMs can install the Opera TV Store on any set-top box, Blu-ray player or HD-Ready TV. And manufacturers can harness the power of TV applications on any device running the Opera Devices SDK.

In other news, Opera and AwoX, a supplier of Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) solutions, announced that AwoX DLNA technology, mediaCTRL SDK, is now integrated into the Opera Devices SDK. This solution will enable TV and set-top-box manufacturers to entertain users with easy access to high quality content across different devices.

The number of connected devices in homes is growing, and users are looking for an easier way to share media among them. With the integration of the AwoX DLNA solution into the Opera Devices SDK, manufacturers can explore home networks to discover DLNA-enabled devices. This integration also gives manufacturers an option to use a remote user interface to give users a unified user interface across networked devices.

The Opera Devices SDK enables manufacturers to develop custom browsers based on Opera's powerful rendering engine. Web browsers, application stores, electronic program guides and other connected TV solutions based on the Opera Devices SDK have been deployed on a wide range of products, such as TVs, games consoles, media players and Internet tablets.

The AwoX mediaCTRL Software Development Kit provides manufacturers with a complete solution to integrate the next generation of multimedia features in their products. It provides interoperability with thousands of DLNA-certified home devices. AwoX mediaCTRL supports the leading platforms and chipsets for all advanced DLNA use and has been deployed in more than 40 million devices.

Meanwhile, Opera Software and INTEK Digital, a set-top-box manufacturer, announced that the two companies will work together to deliver a better Web experience for connected TV viewers. Opera Software will provide licenses for the Opera Devices Software Development Tool Kit (SDK) on its Android-based Hybrid set-top box (STB), including HbbTV. This new STB will be shipped in the first half of 2012.

The hybrid STB provides viewers with both broadcast television and Internet content on their TVs. With analog broadcast TV to be switched off by the European Commission's recommended date of 2012, the demand for hybrid STBs is now on the rise. IMS Research predicts that worldwide digital terrestrial STB shipments will reach 20.5 million in 2012.

The Opera Devices SDK is an open platform for creating Web standards-based Internet solutions. It is a foundation for developing connected, interactive TV solutions by combining Web applications, widgets and full Internet browsing with emerging standards. In addition, it uses the Opera Presto layout engine, which powers the latest Opera desktop browser. It has incorporated a significant update to the SVG engine, with up to 10x performance improvements over the SVG engine in previous versions. There are also improvements in CSS, DOM and JavaScript modules. And now it is available on Android-based platforms.

"For years, the Opera Devices SDK has been deployed by many leading TV OEMs and STB manufacturers," Opera's Boilesen said in a statement. "We keep improving the technology to make it compliant with up-to-date industry standards. With this partnership, Opera and INTEK Digital STB technology will deliver a seamless and enhanced hybrid TV experience to people all over the world."

"2012 will be the year of connected TVs. As the demand increases, we remain dedicated to delivering the best to our customers," Shine Kim, CEO of INTEK Digital, said in a statement. "Opera Devices SDK for Android is easy to deploy. It enables INTEK Digital to both meet the time demands of the market as well as bring quality hybrid STBs with superb Web-rendering performance to the market."