From the horse’s mouth
Smart TV Alliance – Website
At the moment, there are many different connected-TV platforms out there offered by different hardware-manufacturers for use with their “smart-TV” sets and video peripherals.
This provides key challenges for both content creators and video-hardware companies alike. Content creators would be required to work towards creating their interactive content and service-to-TV front ends for each smart-TV platform and, in some cases, this would require negotiation with the platform owner ie the video-hardware manufacturer for them to develop for that platform.
Similarly, there is a higher cost of entry for companies who haven’t established a “smart-TV” platform of their own. This especially applies to those who make TVs, Blu-Ray players and video peripherals for multiple brands on an “OEM” or “ODM” basis or who focus on certain aspects of their device’s design like a European TV maker offering premium TVs that excel in picture and sound quality or a computer-technology name offering network media players.
What has now just happened with LG and TP-Vision; who are represented by the Philips TV nameplate, is that they have started a “Smart TV Alliance”. This is an industry association open to broadcasters, pay-TV providers, video-hardware manufactures and software developers who want to create a level playing field for the connected-video marketplace.
They even targeted the pay-TV industry so that this industry doesn’t have to focus its activity around set-top-box infrastructure which has a high capital-expenditure cost.
Issues that have to be raised include a standard SDK and codebase for applications, encouraging the support for standard network-connected and local-connected peripheral-device classes as well as support for industry-standard broadcast-broadband TV arrangements. This, along with home-network integration, could be worked out using one or more reference implementations for these sets.
Similarly, the Smart TV Alliance could work out issues concerning “multi-box” setups like home-theatre setups and Blu-Ray players as well as network setups like network DVRs and smartphone / TV viewing arrangements.
Such an association can open the path to a critical mass for connected-TV applications such as IPTV channel directories, multi-screen synchronous viewing and video-on-demand services.