August 16, 2013

Espial Goes After TV Apps Ecosystem with HTML5-Ready Browser

TV apps may lag the mobile world in many ways—there’s rarely “an app for that” when it comes to controlling TVs beyond the basics—but the latest version of the Espial (News Alert) TV Browser is leveraging new HTML5, HbbTV, WebKit and chipset capabilities to evolve into a comprehensive application platform for televisions. Thus, it can support Web video, broadcast video, social media and Web browsing within a TV environment.

With a focus on HTML5 apps, enhanced Espial TV Browser features include picture-in-application, support for live TV tuners embedded in HTML5 apps, intelligent remote control mapping and support for video trick modes in any HTML5 app.

"Smart TV and set-top box manufacturers continue to look to the Espial TV Browser as a platform to build their next-generation user experience and apps," said Dilshan De Silva, head of browser products at Espial. "Our browser continues to be the market leader in supporting the world’s premier HTML5 apps, most recently being one of the first to be approved to deploy the new YouTube (NewsAlert) for TV premium subscription app. The Espial TV Browser redefines the performance and experience consumers can expect on TVs, providing rich 2D and 3D graphics, extremely fast apps performance, multi-tab browsing, and many more advanced features." 

Image via Shutterstock

Like its HTML predecessors, HTML5 offers standard programming mechanisms for building Web applications—but the implications far outstrip simply building webpages. HTML5 applications automatically adapt the content they display to different screen sizes, offering more or less of its content depending on what kind of screen is detected. That bolsters a write once, run anywhere approach to creating video apps for multiscreen environments. That’s attractive to developers and cost-effective—two keys for fomenting a rich applications environment for TV.

The latest Espial browser version also offers a multi-tab design, providing consumers with the same browsing experience across desktop, tablet and smartphone screens, while visual thumbnails simplify navigation of recent and favorite websites. Multiple-resolution support and dynamic resolution switching for HTML5 apps, an advanced memory manager to support unlimited multiple app windows, and sophisticated cache management of HTML5 local storage and offline apps provide added security.

Meanwhile, support for the HbbTV 1.5 specification allows broadcasters to deliver a range of innovative broadcast TV services and Web applications that improve their TV user experience. With HbbTV version 1.5, broadcasters can support capabilities like metadata search APIs, MPEG-DASH and integration with common DRM systems.

Over the last year, the Espial TV Browser has been integrated into smart TVs and set-top boxes from Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Pace, Cisco, Hisense (NewsAlert), Hitachi and others. The Espial TV Browser has also been ported to a wide range of chipsets including Broadcom, MStar, MTK, Panasonic Semiconductor and Sigma.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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