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LG backs Sharp, Philips would-be TV apps standard

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IFA 2011 LG has joined an initiative established by Philips and Sharp to create a standard platform for television apps.

All big-name TV makers are pushing internet connectivity. All provide an foundation for content providers to plug in links to their sites, and more recent efforts present these as downloadable 'apps', an attempt to hop on the bandwagon established by Apple.

The problem, Philips and co. say, is that all these TV app platforms are different, making it harder for content providers to implement their services as widely as possible, and leaving TV makers fighting for content rather than concentrating on producing better tellies.

Their solution - now endorsed by LG, Philips TV group CEO Robert Smits revealed at IFA today - is to devise a common platform.

Details remain scarce - this is a work in progress - but Smits promised the release of a software development kit to enable third-party development.

He didn't say when it will be made available, but LG told Reg Hardware that an initial, beta release will be made in October.

We cab say that the platform will be founded upon based upon HTML 5, CE-HTML and HbbTV. Apps written to the SDK will run on TVs made by all three vendors, though whether current models as well as future sets has not yet been made clear.

The Philips-LG-Sharp initiative - German telly maker Loewe is a participant too - has a similar goal to the UK's would-be IPTV standard, YouView. They, however, seem happy to establish a foundation layer for IPTV services, rather than the branded service YouView hopes to establish. ®

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