LG Electronics and TP Vision (Philips TVs) have formed an alliance to create a non-proprietary ecosystem for application developers to create new services that are platform-independent.
In essence, the Smart TV Alliance is trying to do for smart TV manufacturers what cable is trying to do with EBIF and tru2way and what the computer industry has been doing with various open-source development platforms. The idea is to establish development tools that will enable developers to avoid having to create a new version of every application for every different brand of a device – in this case TVs.
Such “ecosystems” only work with wide enough participation of participants in the market. LG and TP Vision say other TV manufacturers are in the process of joining. The two promise the names of other companies will be announced on the alliance's website.
The alliance created by LG and TP Vision formalizes their agreement last year to work together. The two have also launched the Smart TV Alliance Consortium to help define technical specifications for the common development platform the two are seeking.
The two have already released a free software development kit (SDK) based on open Web technologies such as HTML5. The two promise a new version, SDK 2.0, by the end of this year.
With SDK 2.0, developers will be able to create applications for 2013 TV sets from participating alliance members, LG and TP Vision said.
"Before today, the smart TV industry was a very difficult market for both application developers and TV manufacturers, as TVs from different brands used different platforms and technologies," said Bong-seok Kwon of LG Electronics, president of the Smart TV Alliance. "Smart TV Alliance creates a larger playing field, which encourages developers to create more and better TV applications at the same time, giving manufacturers and consumers the richest source of movies-on-demand, music services, games, social networking and more."
TP Vision is the Hong Kong TV manufacturer that was formed in April when Philips spun-off its TV manufacturing operation. Philips retains a sizeable minority stake in the operation, and the TVs produced continue to be labeled with the Philips name.