Smart TV AllianceOne of the greatest barriers to investment in connected TV apps and advertising has been platform fragmentation. App developers have had to customise each app for each different connected TV platform, before then having to navigate the various (notoriously frustrating) app approval processes.

To get some idea of what it’s like for developers, imagine having to: (a) create separate websites for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE; (b) then having to deal with separate representatives from Google, Mozilla, Safari and Microsoft; (c) each of whom will then tell you what they do/don’t like and whether your website will be permitted or not. And all to gain access to an audience that is a small fraction of what you’d find on the open web.

However, over the last 12 months various players in the industry have started to take action in an attempt to improve the situation, and one of the groups at the forefront of those developments has been the Smart TV Alliance, who have just announced five major new members including hardware manufacturers Panasonic, ABOX42 and TechniSat, and solution providers IBM and Specific Media. The Smart TV Alliance was founded last year by LG, TP Vision (Philips) and Toshiba, to create a non-proprietary ecosystem for app developers to create platform-agnostic services.

The Smart TV Alliance will be releasing a new software development kit  (SDK) for 2013 which will enable 3D video, allow developers to create richer applications from upgraded HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. MPEG-DASH support will also be introduced alongside updated digital rights management (DRM) features.

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