This is particularly of interest to me since I just finished the round up of connected TV advertising services and offerings. LG and Philips have created a Smart TV Alliance and are working toward a universal app platform. For advertisers and publishers alike, this is an awesome move toward consolidating the industry. The Sharp Aquos Net+ also seems to be implementing the platform.

There are some notable absences, but hopefully the Smart TV Alliance will gain some traction and see some rapid expansion of its members. I like the idea personally because it means that manufacturers can get on board and quickly implement an app platform on their devices. Developers can used the open HTML-based platform to build out apps that will run across a variety of manufacturers. You can create and test your app and when done submit to the respective companies for inclusion in their app store/library.

The Smart TV Alliance SDK

There is already a software development kit for the alliance and includes:

  • Manual
  • Other documentation regarding the Smart TV Alliance ecosystem: guidelines and requirements, API reference and platform specification
  • SDK software, a package for one of the supported operating systems
  • Example Apps, which show a wide range of possibilities

It’s compatible with a variety of platforms including Windows, Mac, Ubuntu and other general Linux platforms. It requires a quick registration you can download the SDK and get to work on an app for inclusion. I thought I would download it and check into it with maybe something to show later.

The SDK includes DRM support for PlayReady and Widevine/MS3 and utilizes H.264, AAC and MP3 as well as WMV and WMA. The HTML5 profile includes some alliance extensions as well as standard video, Javascript, and CSS3.

From the looks of things, it would also be quite easy to incorporate advertising from any HTML5 compliant ad network, video or display. The SDK states that you must adhere to a resolution of 1280×720 meaning there’s plenty of real estate to monetize and it also uses the standard HTML5 <video> tag.

Final Thoughts

The things that I really like about this is that it could be a code once, deploy everywhere type deal, and that’s even the motto of the Smart TV Alliance,  ‘build once, run everywhere’. Here’s the rest of it.

The members’ ambition is to align on technology that will allow app developers to create apps and successfully run them on all supported Smart TV Alliance platforms. Smart TV Alliance utilizes open solutions technology and Smart TV Alliance Apps can be developed using open standard (HTML5) systems. There is no pressure for our Smart TV Alliance partners to adopt ‘tight grid’ developments as you have the flexibility to create your own experiences. Enriched content can be given to consumers by developing interactive experiences via their Smart TV Alliance app.

Since it’s all HTML5, Javascript and CSS3 it means that your existing web developers should be able to knock out some apps rather quickly for the platform and you might even be able to adapt something you’ve already got built to work with it. If this takes off it could mean that the disparate app platforms and ways to get involved in connected TV publishing and advertising could simply melt into a single workflow and that would be great for everyone involved from manufacturers to developers to content publishers and advertisers.

Now, we need to just get started on the ReelSEO connected TV edition, featuring me!