At the ongoing IBC tradeshow in Amsterdam, Opera has pulled the wraps off their new new project called Opera TV Store, which aims at bringing a unified app store for all Smart TVs. Basically, if a TV is compatible with the Opera TV Store then you can download and install apps from various third party developers instead of being limited to what your manufacturer bundles along. The store is based completely on HTML5, thus allowing anyone with programming knowledge to create and submit an app to Opera. The company has also unveiled their SDK along with an Opera TV Emulator, so developers can easily test out the app without the need of a TV.
There maybe a future for Smart TVs after all
Some popular web services like Vimeo and Foreca Weather already have their apps ported over to the Opera TV Store. Categories of apps range form movie trailers, video on demand, games, news, to even vodcasts and podcasts. This is a great initiative from Opera’s side as it brings a common playing ground and more variety to Smart TVs. Currently, the apps that are available in one manufacturer's TV may not be present in others so there’s no way to get it unless the developer ports it to other TVs. Now, with a common SDK and a unified app store, developers have to deal with just a single programming style. This way, all Opera TV certified televisions can access these apps irrespective of the manufacturer. Expect the next batch of Smart TVs to have this feature.