LG forms Smart TV alliance
By Kim Yoo-chul
LG Electronics said Tuesday that it has formed an alliance with Japan’s Sharp and TP Vision, a former TV-making unit of the Dutch-based Philips Electronics, in a bid to take the lead in the smart TV market.
The company said the partnership, named Smart TV Alliance, is expected to deliver converged multi-functional software for use in various Web-connected digital devices.
Senior LG spokesman Yoon Won-il said the alliance is the first of its kind in the industry. LG insiders said that another Japanese company ― Toshiba ― will join the partnership very soon. Toshiba officials in Korea, however, declined to comment on the matter.
LG said in a statement that the alliance will release an HTML5-based software development kit this month to application developers.
The three companies have so far been partnering to create a common, open-standard-based app development platform that allows coders to create one version of their software to run on sets made by all three manufacturers.
``The alliance aims to further push developers to create a single app that will run on any TV from the three companies. The more partners we have, the more applications we get,’’ said Yoon.
The alliance will introduce its first single app in the third quarter of this year probably at the upcoming IFA trade fair in Berlin, Germany, from late August to early September.
While some TV makers already have Internet-enabled TV offerings, most use different approaches to how applications are developed, forcing coders to either stick to a single brand or spend time porting their apps between platforms, according to company officials and software developers.
What remains to be seen is whether the three companies and others could effectively shore up developer support before big names such as Apple or Google begin taking Web-connected TV seriously and launch their own app platforms for the living room.
So far, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android developers don’t have a simple route to get their software onto the TV.