Opera TV Store integrated into MediaTek's series of Smart TV solutions, 140 Plus HTML5 TV Apps available

Opera-and-MediaTek-smart-TV-app-storeOpera today announces that MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, has integrated the Opera TV Store into its Smart TV solution. Manufacturers that implement MediaTek chipsets can now provide web functionality and application environments for their TVs, set-top boxes and media players.

Smart TVs are rapidly gaining share worldwide. NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that shipment of Smart TVs with open internet access will grow to 95 million in 2016. The connected TV industry is embracing open standards, such as HbbTV and HTML5.

The Opera TV Store, an HTML5-based app store for connected TVs, set-top boxes and media players, offers a selection of high-quality, easily navigated web apps. Side-by-side applications allow viewers to use TV apps without losing focus on the program they are watching. The Opera TV Store has also been enhanced with the ability to display ads, thereby enabling publishers and content providers to inject pre-roll ads and to monetize their applications. The store is now available on Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray DVD players. It will be soon shipped by other leading TV and set-top-box manufacturers, such as TCL and Humax.

“MediaTek is an important partner for us. Our two companies share the vision of bringing more web to more people,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Implementing the Opera TV Store in MediaTek’s Smart TV solution will help to move Smart TVs from being a novelty to the mainstream. Millions of app-hungry users will be able to enjoy a comfortable, ‘leanback’ experience on their TVs.”

The Opera TV Store is now integrated in MediaTek’s chipsets. TV and media player manufacturers that want to provide the complete Smart TV solution to their end users can now reduce the time to market significantly. Currently, in the Opera TV Store, there are more than 100 high-quality, HTML5-powered TV apps available, such as Associate Press News, Facebook, AUPEO!, Tunein Radio, Redux TV, Twitter, Viewster, Vimeo and more. The number of the apps in the store is constantly growing, since developers can easily repurpose existing HTML5 applications running on computers and phones to work on TVs, creating cross-platform applications that work on any device running the Opera TV Store.

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Samsung's 2013 Smart TV's To Have Promising Features, TV App Developers will Benefit

Samsung Smart Hub
Samsung has recently released the much awaited SDK 4.0 for the 2013 series of Smart TV Platforms. This means a whole lot of new features and functionalities have been added and the TV app developer community can build TV apps with these new features and functionalities for an amazing user experience. To experience some of the Smart TV Apps on the Samsung TV’s visit the Samsung Smart Hub (Smart TV App store ) US Store , India Store

Lets look at what the SDK 4.0 has to offer. The toolset includes an Eclipse-based application editor, Visual Editor, debugger, and Smart TV Emulators for current and past TV platforms.

The Mac OS X and Linux platforms are now supported by the Samsung Smart TV SDK. In addition to the Eclipse-based App Editor, a new Linux-based Emulator has been released. This Emulator executes in an Ubuntu virtual machine that is run in the Virtual Box virtualization tool.

This release also marks the introduction of the Cloud Emulator. The Emulator is hosted on a remote server that developers can connect to using a “thin client” Emulator on their development machine. Currently, this feature is supported only on the Mac OS X platform.

■ [Editor]

– Open Samsung Smart TV Semantic Service
– Support for Mac OS X and Linux platforms
– Full WYSIWYG code editing (visual editor and code editor are synced)
– 6 new Visual Editor components (arrowbutton, hscrollbar, pageindicator, slidern, togglebutton, tooltip)
– Smooth re-sizing of components
– Web Inspector (debugger) support

■ Features for 2013 Platform on Windows

– Smart Interaction: Gesture events have been added (New HI (including Gesture) Simulator).
– Apps Framework
– 2013 App Engine (HTML5 Video/Audio, WebSocket, WebGL)
– UniPlayer
– SEF (Service Extension Framework)
– Convergence Framework
– OCI (Open Convergence Interface) : MIDI support
– MPEG Dash
– AllShare
– In-App Ads
– Flash 11.1
– Smooth Streaming
– Web Inspector support
– ATT (Automatic Test Tool) : User can record and playback input events for testing.

■ Features for 2013 Platform on Linux (First Release)

– Apps Framework
– App Engine / WebKit
– UniPlayer
– SEF (Service Extension Framework)

■ Features for 2013 Platform on Mac (First Release)

– Apps Framework
– App Engine / WebKit
– UniPlayer
– SEF (Service Extension Framework)
– Cloud Emulator client for Mac OS X

With this release I see a great potential in Video streaming apps for entertainment companies. TV channels / Video on Demand categories can best utilize these features. With motion sensors, the Minority Report style of  experience is very much possible in the apps. Gaming experience will be amazing. Social interactivity will increase. Education is another space which can better utilize this platform. A whole new world of opportunities awaits . I am sure with Samsung and other OEM’s focusing a lot on R & D , we can expect this space to evolve.

The TV Apps space will do well in  countries where broadband speeds are good. To experience the streaming content on the smart Tv’s a high speed internet is required. India is yet to catch up, once 4G/wimax is launched, this space will see some growth. But in countries like US where Technology adoption is faster and better, will see tremendous growth with Europe and Australia markets picking up well.

If you are interested in keeping  track of this space you can follow the following Networking/Professional/Developer Groups @ Linkedin

Smart TV/Connected TV/Social TV App Developers  (700+ Members)

Samsung Smart TV Apps ( 170+ Members)

 

 

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Comigo Offers WatchApps – A New Type of Contextual TV Interactive Applications

comigoComigo, an Israel-based company has announced that it will use its presence at CES 2013 to demonstrate its unique social and interactive applications (WatchApps) which allow viewers to engage with the content they watch and interact with their friends.

The WatchApps are offered as part of Comigo’s multi-screen Smart TV platform. The viewers can participate in polls, betting or trivia questions, get extended internet-based information related to the content they watch, buy merchandize or other items – all while watching the show with no need to surf the web or search in the application store.

For example, while watching a Sports match, the viewer can enter the Facebook page of the league, get the history of the players, receive real-time results of other games being played at the same time, re-play interesting events that took place during the game, minute-by-minute, make a bet, purchase tickets for the next game and more.

Viewers can purchase specific products related to the viewed content and invite their friends to join this purchase – in return they can get a discount.

Viewers can also use the WatchApps to send virtual multimedia messages to friends while watching a show, such as Birthday Cakes and wishes and throwing a tomato when their friend’s team scores.

Comigo offers SDK, enabling developers to build such interactive-applications and back-end tools for the TV Service Providers to manage and correlate the interactive-applications with their EPG.

About Comigo

Comigo is the creator of a feature-rich smart TV platform which combines the TV/Video/Broadcast viewing with the Internet capabilities. Comigo developed an advance Smart TV platform, including middleware for Android based STB, Applications for iOS/Android Smartphones and Tablets, as well as a strong Server side that manages and enhances the solution.

 

 

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Woxi media Launches SmartPod For TV

Woxi Media has launched SmartPod for TV, a small device that connects to virtually any TV and converts it into a Super Smart TV. SmartPod is designed in Sunnyvale, California and Pune, India targeting superb user experience, quality and functionality, keeping the needs of Indian consumers in mind. It is available at an MRP of Rs.9,499, inclusive of the Magic Motion RF QWERTY remote and all other accessories.

SmartPod is built with Enhanced Android featuring multi-user login capability, a first for any Android device around the world. It supports up to eight unique users on the device, so everyone in the family can get personalized Internet experience. Users can always be logged in to their own Internet services like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., and not have to log-in and log-out depending on who is using the SmartPod. The unique home-screen is optimized for lean-back TV experience and for brings TV-ease of use to SmartPod. Android Games & Apps, AppCastsTM, movies and music, Internet radio and videos, social networking, education – all can be easily enjoyed on any TV now.

Powered by dual processors, Smartpod comes with a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 coupled with a 400MHz Mali 3D Graphics processor. Apart from the internal flash storage, upto 32GB of storage is available using a plug-in SD card, or 1TB or more of storage using external USB hard disk drive. Virtually all media playback formats are supported including formats that even Smart TV’s don’t support. It connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It also acts as a Wi-Fi router to connect other devices like PCs, laptops, tablets or Smartphones.

SmartPod features AppCasts technology that delivers users a unique and personalized Internet experience, without the need to hunt, download, manage and maintain 100s of individual Apps. AppCasts is a unique cloud based Woxi Application that delivers 100s of Content Applications through only Android App that’s installed on the device: 100s of Apps in 1.

SmartPod comes standard with a Magic Motion Gaming RF remote control with built in gyros and sensors for motion gaming. In addition to most popular pre-installed games, users can choose and download from a huge selection of thousands of free or paid games available on the Android Google Play store and enjoy an unrivalled gaming experience on the big screen. The Magic Motion remote also features an elegant, full function QWERTY keyboard for easy web browsing, searches, Twitter and Facebook usage.

Some other Smartpod features are:

  • Full 1080p HD video, HDMI 1.3 interface
  •     Composite video interface for standard definition TV’s
  •     Built-in media player with 3D graphics capability
  •     DLNA capability to play you media from any other devices in the home
  •     Google Play Store and Google web browser
  •     WiFi 802.11b/g/n with Hotspot/Router functionality
  •     10/100Base-T Ethernet LAN connectivity
  •     SD/MMC card slot
  •     2 USB 2.0 ports

 

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Amkette's Connected TV Device EvoTV Enables Users to Surf Internet on TV in India

IT peripherals maker Amkette has launched a new Android operating system-based device couple of months back called ‘EvoTV‘ priced at Rs 9,995, which will allow users to surf Internet on their television sets in the same way they do on their computers.

The company is betting big on the device and expects as much as 50 per cent of its revenues to come from the product.
Similar to Apple TV, EvoTV is a Connected TV device which allows users to access content like videos, games and websites using WiFi and broadband connection. It comes with a remote that acts like a mouse and has a mic to facilitate conversations on VoIP (like Skype).

Google, which operates the Android platform, also plans to launch its set-top box ‘Google TV’ to allow viewers to use their device both for television viewing as well as accessing the Internet simultaneously without adjusting any cables.

The company also plans to export the device to Middle East, Europe and North America in the next three months, he said.

The device is powered by twin ARM processors and comes preloaded with basic applications. Users can also download more apps from the Android application market – Google Play.

“The device has been conceptualized, researched and designed in India (Bangalore and Delhi) and took 14 months in the making, and it will be manufactured in China.

Interesting to note, this space is going to be hot in India in the future. More and more devices will be launched on the Android platform.

Akai also launched a simila Smart Box on the Android platform 2 months box which converts your Idiot box into a Smart TV at a price of Rs 6,590 in India. This android based service is, powered by a 1.25-Ghz processor , comes with a wireless mouse for navigation. It is equipped with 4GB internal memory, expandable upto 32GB through SD card slot.

 

 

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Connected TV Shipments To Reach 596 Million By 2017

According to a recent report by Digital TV Research, the number of TV connections to the Internet will reach 596 million by 2017,up from 105 million at end-2010 and the 212 million expected at end-2012.

The US contributed 48 million to the 2010 total (or 45% of the global total), and will grow to 78 million in 2012 (37%) and 147 million by 2017 (only 25% of the global total). Compared to this, China will have 93 million connected TVs by 2017, up from a mere 2 million at end-2010. So Japan will drop from second place in 2010 (13 million) to third in 2017 (43 million).

This global connected TV total translates to 21.4% of global TV sets by 2017, up from only 4.7% at end-2010 and 8.9% by end-2012. The US will have the highest penetration of TV sets by 2017 – at 38.1%, closely followed by Norway (37.7%) and South Korea (37.2%).

Report author Simon Murray said, “There has been something of a backlash against smart TV sets over the last year as critics argue that similar – or even better – offers are available on tablets or even mobile smartphones. Critics complain that connected TV sets provide a clunky experience. Although this is a wake-up call for those involved in the sector, these deficiencies are likely to be addressed reasonably soon as connected TV becomes mainstream. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of online usage via connected TVs is TV-related.”

According to the report, connected TV sets will overtake games consoles in late 2012. Connected TV sets will account for 41% of the 2017 total. There were 31 million installed connected TV sets by end-2010, and this total will rocket to 84 million by end-2012 and onto 243 million by 2017. As a proportion of TV sets, this percentage will climb from 1.4% in 2010 to 3.5% in 2012 and onto 8.7% by 2017.

The report found that, Connected TV via the pay TV settop box has plenty of potential as operators strive to retain their subscribers. TiVo has signed deals with several pay TV operators. Furthermore, Liberty Global/UPC launched its Horizon gateway service across several of its European properties in late 2012. So, from humble beginnings, there will be 98 million sets accessing the Internet via the pay TV settop box by end-2017. However, only 3.5% of global TV sets will be connected this way in 2017.

The global total of connected TV sets via retail settop boxes will reach 40.2 million in 2017, up from only 3.0 million in 2010 and 13.6 million by end-2012. This form of connection is only expected to have a limited impact (1.4% of global TV sets by 2017) due to the superior offers from the other forms of connections.

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Video: Time for Social TV is Now

If the internet was considered a wave, mobile is a tsunami. And now’s the time, as marketers, to jump in and start to shape where mobile goes next – especially with Social TV. Came across a very interesting video on Forbes.com . Do have a look. I strongly believe Social TV is the next big thing for India. With Twitter and Facebook playing major roles in our lives, TV engagement will reach new frontiers in coming years.

YouTube Preview Image

If you want to know more on how Social TV could be the next big thing for TV Channels , reach out to me.

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Worldwide Smart TV Shipments To Grow 15% In 2012

According to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Smart TV Shipment and Forecast Report, in 2012, worldwide Smart TV shipments are expected to grow 15%. The report says that smart TVs are moving from a novelty to mainstream, and With the shift, regional preferences and TV consumption habits are changing.

Critical to the development of connected TV has been the accessibility of content and broadcast services, which have helped propel penetration in Europe and Japan. In China, the availability of attractive free content on the internet has had a similar effect. Connected TV’s shipment shares were 26% in China and 34% in Western Europe in 2011. In 2012, it has grown to more than 40% in both regions. Japan has the highest penetration with more than 55%.

In most of the regions around the world, Smart and connected TV shipments account for a large percentage of TVs. However, in North America, smart TV penetration is only around 20%.

The report found that, Smart TV shipments are tightly linked to content consumption habits. For consumers in China, there is plenty of free content on the internet and few structured services. This favors TVs with built-in browsers. Furthermore, Chinese consumers consider a TV to be a prestigious purchase and are prepared to invest more in them.

Conversely, Western Europe consumes more free content every month than North America does. Terrestrial broadcasters’ catch-up services are beginning to dominate in Western Europe. These broadcasters have no interest in hardware, so connected TVs are flourishing with open standards like HbbTV rapidly gaining acceptance and evolving with new features. The development of the Ginga standard in Brazil is following a similar path in Europe, with commercial broadcasters uniting around a common platform.

Paul Gray, Director, European TV Research said,”TV brands want to add more functionality to their TV sets.Smart TVs that have browsers and can access the open internet are rapidly gaining share. Many TV brands introduced this function in their 2012 products.”

In Q2’2012, nearly 9.5 million consumer-controlled (open internet access) smart TVs were shipped, with 43 million expected to ship in 2012. This figure is forecast to grow to 95 million in 2016.At the same time, basic sets that link to the HbbTV and Ginga services will enter at the lowest price points in Europe and Latin America.

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First Pan-European Campaign Launched On LG Smart TVs

The first pan-European campaign on LG Smart TVs has been launched by the German agency Pilot Screentime. The campaign is for a fashion chain, New York, and will be running across nine European countries. It features  ‘sponsorship and promotion areas’, pre-rolls, and a connected TV landing page. Smartclip, that manages LG’s inventory in Europe, Russia and Australia, will handle the Ad Serving.

Commenting on the launch, Damian Rodgett, CEO of Screentime Pilot said, “Smart TV has arrived in the homes of German consumers, which adds an additional important media channel that enjoys high levels of engagement. Our pan-European Smart TV advertising campaign complements the multi-screen approach and gives us a creative, emotional and opinionated dialogue with our target demographic. New York’s video content is no longer confined to the TV networks, but is now available on smartphones and of course on the large Smart TV screens in their living rooms. And that’s where we come in, because we have for the first time the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with the consumer via the large screen in the living room.”

The LG Smart TV platform is used across LG Smart TVs, Smart 3D Blu-Ray players and the Smart TV Upgrader (set top box) set up. “The LG Smart TV advertising platform gives us a direct connection between our two main TV channels and online media. For New Yorkers, the combination of very prominent advertising formats in new settings on big-screen TVs with the already successfully established, targeting on ad serving technology is a very interesting branding option, ” explains Silvia Lange, Head of Marketing at New York.

 

[via: VAN]

 

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Report: China, Brazil and India Exploit Opportunities Offered By Connected TV

According to research carried out across thirteen countries by GfK’s consumer research experts, people in markets such as China, Brazil and India better exploit the opportunities offered by web-connected television, compared to countries such as the UK, US and Germany. The study found that western consumers are stuck in an ‘analogue’ mindset, whereas viewers in emerging markets are more likely to embrace the digital capabilities of Connected TV.

GfK research shows that a far higher proportion of Chinese, Korean and Indian consumers have used the functionalities of Smart TV in the past months, compared to those in Western markets.

    Connected TV usage:

China          44%
S. Korea       18%
India          17%
Brazil         14%
Turkey         13%
UK             11%
USA            11%
Mexico         11%
Spain           8%
Germany         8%
Belgium         6%
Russia          5%
Netherlands     5%

GfK’s findings show that ‘Social TV’ has yet to fully take-off. Globally, just 28% of viewers said that they found programmes that they can interact with to be more interesting to watch. And just 25% thought that tweeting and commenting on programmes ‘enhances the viewing experience’.

Viewers in countries such as China, Brazil and India are more motivated by programmes they can interact with than those in markets such as the UK, US and Germany.

Richard Preedy, at GfK said: Our findings suggest that broadcasters need to integrate their social elements far more engagingly into the fabric of the programme, in order to entice the viewer’s interaction.”

Across all markets, the ability to connect to the internet is less important than price, screen size and display technology, when buying a new TV.  But the West is more indifferent than the emerging markets, with only 26% of UK and 29% of US consumers saying they look out for a net enabled set, compared to 61% in India and 64% in China.

Via: GFK

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