Opera Makes A Run For The Living Room With New TV App Store, SDK With YouTube Leanback Support

Opera has long harbored ambitions to bring its technology beyond mobile and the desktop and into the living room. Just in time for the start of CES, the company today unveiled its new TV app store and framework, as well as its new Devices SDK. These, Opera says, will “make all the world’s living rooms more comfortable” and bring “solutions for improving TV surfing” to “millions of living rooms all across the globe.”

“The future of the web on TV involves more contextualization. People are looking for rich content options in the context of what they’re watching,” says Lars Boilesen, Opera’s CEO in a statement today. “By syncing TV content with smart apps, we can now truly bring more lean-back interactivity to living rooms around the world.”

To do this, the new Opera TV app framework includes an increased selection of HTML5-based apps and a side-by-side feature that allows viewers to ” use apps in the context of what they’re watching.”

The new Devices SDK, which is mostly meant for OEMs but available for download here, introduces support for YouTube Leanback and a number of tools for protecting copyrighted material through the Encrypted Media Extension and better streaming performance through the Media Source Extension.

In addition, Opera added support for the Subtitles API and optimized its CSS performance. TVs that will use Opera’s SDK will also now support Google’s SPDY protocol.

Opera first announced this initiative last September and while it introduced a number of software partners at the time, including Vimeo, it’s not clear how many OEMs are currently planning to release TVs with support for Opera, so it may take a little bit before viewers in “millions of living rooms all across the globe” will get to shop for HTML5-based apps for their TV from Opera’s store.