Fragmentation is a big reason why smart TV applications haven't yet taken off in full force -- even the best of them would have to be rewritten umpteen times to be compatible with all TVs out there -- so it's good to see a trio of TV makers taking action against it. LG, Philips and Sharp will soon introduce a common SDK, based around HTML5, CE-HTML and HbbTV, which will allow developers to "write once, run everywhere." This move significantly expands the hardware footprint of the individual TV app stores of each vendor, and will offer up a stern test for Samsung's currently dominant Smart TV proposition.
Samsung aims to have over 1,000 Smart TV apps by the end of September and crossed the 2 million downloads mark earlier this year. That being said, LG, Philips and Sharp do not intend to close the doors behind them, inviting other Smart TV makers and app developers to join in their effort toward standardization. The beta Software Developer Kit will be out in early October, so if all goes well, CES 2012 should be overcome by a tidal wave of new apps running on a variety of different TVs.
We shouldn't forget, of course, that Google also has a horse in this race, with its Google TV proposition set to receive access to the Android Market soon and all the third-party apps that come with it. It'll certainly be an interesting few months ahead for what few TV enthusiasts there are left.