Why Developers Should Pay More Attention to Smart TVs

Amidst all the hype about the stunning features and dynamic technology behind rapidly evolving Smart TVs, one thing seems forgotten: Its ecosystem won’t grow itself. If they want their products to truly succeed, then Panasonic, LG, Samsung and other manufacturers need to do more for developers.

televisionUltraHD(4K) is the New 3D

The field is fast-paced. FullHD and 3D are already dropping behind UltraHD, which offers four times the resolution of FullHD with technology is similar to Retina Displays, boosting the number of pixels on the screen. It’s a great opportunity for developers. They can create visually arresting, ultra hi-res apps that can stretch to 3840 x 2160 (4K).

But consumers will have to wait for this hotness, unless they have a screen that measures the required 85 inches. Currently, the cheapest capable TVs start at $20,000.

HEVC Eases Streaming Services

Next comes the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) codec, successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding). For a Smart TV developer, this offers some serious juice. It’s fast, requires less storage, doubles your bandwidth and dramatically improves your streaming video quality by supporting 8K UHD and resolutions up to 8192×4320.

Improved SDK Support

With Samsung’s recently announced SDK 4.0, Smart TV software will make the leap from Windows-based machines to Linux and Mac systems. On top of that, there’s the full app engine for HTML 5 to further strengthen its use in external devices. For example: SDK 4.0 could allow developers to build an app that would use a Smart TV as a gaming console, or program a smartphone to work as a gaming joystick.

The Smart TV Alliance

If you’re interested in exploring development for Smart TVs, check out the Smart TV Alliance. The organization includes LG, Philips, Toshiba, Panasonic, ABOX42, TechniSat, IBM and Specific Media. Its mandate is to create a non-proprietary environment where developers can create apps based on standards like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The Alliance SDK runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu 10+ and Linux. This year’s SDK includes support for 3D video, MPEG-DASH and DRM standards for third-party content owners.