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Adoption of Integrated Living Room Web Technologies Rising
[July 30, 2008]

Adoption of Integrated Living Room Web Technologies Rising

TMCnet Contributing Editor
A new study, “Web-Based Living Room User Interface Overview” from ABI research analyzes the influence of HTML and other Web-based technologies on consumer TVs.
The study reveals that though most part of the consumer electronics and pay-TV worlds are still stuck with traditional native code environments for entertainment, there has been a significant growth in online video and social communities, resulting in a huge demand for Web-based technologies in living-room entertainment.

The report examines different standards involved in Web technologies and explores the efforts made by different vendors to integrate Web-based technologies into various user interfaces. The ABI study also analyzes the trend in the adoption of Web browsers for living room Web surfing.

ABI research director Michael Wolf said, “ABI Research (News - Alert) sees a strong push by some in the consumer electronics industry to explore the integration of HTML and browser engines into existing user interface platforms, and the use of the browser as a primary rendering engine for user interfaces.”
“We also see growth in the living room consumer-usable browser segment, where the primary use-case would be Web surfing in the living room or on a portable consumer electronic device,” said Wolf.
The study identified a number of important companies that contribute for the development of living room Web technologies. According to ABI Research, Opera and ACCESS are the leaders of the consumer-usable living room browser market.
OpenTV (News - Alert), Oregan Networks, and ANT Software sell their products as part of a Web-based user interface (UI) rendering solution, noted the study.
There have been significant developments in the integration of Web technologies into different user interfaces. For example, Nokia-owned Trolltech (News - Alert) recently integrated Webkit into its “Qt” platform to allow consumer electronics (CE) developers to create mixed Web and native user interfaces, the report said.
In another instance, the Consumer Electronics Association has developed the CE-2014 standard that leverages HTML to render user-interfaces in a connected living room, though vendor support for this effort appears limited at this time, the report said.
The new study reveals that HTML, Adobe’s Flash/Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), and Java will remain as the three important software platforms for the development of next-generation user interfaces. There will be developments in areas such as 3D rendering, using hardware acceleration, said the report. However, the most notable development in this sector would be the integration of Web content and Web technologies triggered by the entry of more online services to the living room.
The report is part of ABI Research’s Home Networking Research Service, the agency said.
Rajani Baburajan is a TMCnet contributing editor. 

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