Web browser biz Opera Software will embed its HTML5 application store into chips from MediaTek, and thus into the heart of set-top boxes and smart TVs around the world.
Opera's store is already to be found in Sony's Bravia range of TVs and Blu-Ray players, but being integrated into the chipset will give manufacturers an easy option to enable it in a range of televisual devices and provide Opera with the opportunity to sell applications to TV users as well as keeping them supplied with adverts.
MediaTek is a Taiwanese company that designs multimedia chips for all sorts of applications, particularly "intelligent" TV products for which it provides a range of chips that include an ARM core, video decoding, support for TV standards and, now, an app store (presumably in the builtin memory) powered by Opera Software.
Opera's store is already stocked with apps including one that delivers Associated Press news, plays Vimeo footage and offers Tunein Radio as well as the inevitable Facebook and Twitter clients. Viewers may still baulk at paying for TV apps, which is OK as Opera's advertising platform has been integrated into the latest version of the store so content can remain free.
Lots of people already have app stores on their TVs - thanks to various bits of Android kit, Xboxes, Wii consoles and similar setups - and they're paying for content too. Should one want one's TV to look like a turn-of-the-century fireplace, or provide astrological advice on what one should eat, then Wii apps stand ready to supply, as long as one is happy buying from a Nintendo-supervised store.
The news doesn't mean that every MediaTek box will have the Opera store, only that it will be an easy option for manufactures to enable, which could get important if the TV app stores become anything like as polarised and politically important as mobile stores have become. ®