The SmartTV or Connected TV is basically a TV set with added features:
- Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) receiver
- Internet connection capabilities
- A processor, enough memory and OS to run a web browser
- A SDK to develop compatible applications or services
Whereas IPTV covers today the same but the Internet part is provided through a set-top-box usually provided by the ISP.
SmartTV are still not featuring standardized OSes. The OS part is usually based on a Linux distribution customized by the manufacturer or the chipset vendor. Some Chinese manufacturers are starting to base their OS on customized Android.
The SmartTV Alliance led by LG, Toshiba and Philips is clearly a signal that manufacturers don’t want to give the keys of their TV ecosystem to Google, Microsoft or others. The Smart TV Alliance is set to release a common SDK to simplify the work of developers. An application based on this SDK will run without any change on all LG, Philips and Toshiba SmartTVs.
But will it be enough? Will manufacturers have enough time to strengthen their TV stronghold before the barbarians aka Google and Co try to take it by storm?