Opera Intros HMTL5-Based TV App Store at CES
Mobile browser maker Opera just made a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by officially throwing its hat in the TV app market, taking on industry behemoths like Google and Apple (News - Alert).
The Norwegian company has released an HTML5-based app store, dubbed the Opera TV Store, dedicated specifically to HD-ready televisions, whether they are Web-enabled or connected to a set-top box or Blu-ray player. Many questions still remain, however, such as how many developers and hardware manufacturers will partner with a lesser-known company Opera.
Opera said in a statement that it has a "selection of high-quality, TV-optimized web apps," but has yet to offer a full list, other than mentions of obvious names like Facebook and Vimeo (News - Alert).
The company is positioning itself as developer-friendly as possible, highlighted by the addition of the Opera TV Emulator and Opera Dragonfly tools, which allow engineers to create and test their TV apps without actually going through the process of integrating with the platform. Click here to give it a whirl yourself.
"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," Opera CEO Lars Boilesen noted in a release. "With the Opera TV Store we've done it, and given the world of TV more possibilities and entertainment options at the same time."
Opera is making the app store available to manufacturers of HDTVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes through its Opera Devices SDK. Although Opera failed to mention if any manufacturers have already inked a deal with the company, an unnamed representative told CNET's Seth Rosenblatt that a "leading consumer electronics manufacturer" has agreed to partner up.
The company is currently showing off the TV app store at CES (News - Alert) in Vegas, so maybe they will have a few other announcements to make in the coming days. TV app stores tend to be stuck in a chicken or the egg-type dilemma, where companies like Opera need to ink manufacturer agreements to entice developers to come on board and vice versa.
Opera originally announced its intention to launch the store back in September, but this is the first time they have offered a glimpse at the finished product.
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Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves