Opera Software ASA : Opera bridges the gap for pay-TV operators

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Opera Software is gearing up its Opera TV Store offering for pay-TV operators, as it showcases optimized solutions for customization, monitoring and monetization at the TV Connect exhibition kicking off Tuesday in London.

The Opera TV Store is an HTML5, cloud-based app marketplace built on Opera's advanced browsing engine, which is already supported by the leading set-top-box (STB) vendors. It gives users a rich selection of entertaining apps and provides one of the friendliest TV web development environments.

With leading content providers increasingly flocking to the world of HTML5 for their TV strategies, pay-TV operators can now offer subscribers many more entertainment options through the Opera TV Store solution, which can be deployed on a standalone basis or fully integrated within an existing middleware portal, customized to an operator's own brand and web properties.

The Opera TV Store makes accessing OTT content seamless, by ensuring pre-integrated support for the most common video streaming and content protection mechanisms. In addition, the Opera TV Store solution provides operators with a backend system that monitors and presents advanced user-behavior statistics. Operators can also monetize their users through the Opera TV Store, for example by showing pre-roll and mid-roll video ads. This is made possible by the Opera TV Store being fully integrated with Opera Mediaworks, the world's leading mobile advertising platform, used by numerous ad networks, agencies and advertisers.

Opera Software has also now extended the functionality of the Opera TV Store by tying applications to live broadcast, truly enabling interactive TV. For example, a new sports app in the Opera TV Store gives viewers information about the game they are watching, including team members, league tables and date of the next game. A social media app uses broadcast metadata to automatically populate and connect to relevant hashtags, so users can instantly join social conversations around their favorite programs.

"For nearly 10 years, through our partnerships with STB and middleware vendors, Opera Devices SDK has powered portals and web browsers in pay-TV operator ecosystems," says Aneesh Rajaram, Vice-President of TV & Devices, Opera Software. "We now aim to advance our partners to the next level. Owing to an ever-increasing consumer appetite for OTT services, Opera has enhanced its TV store proposition to make it easier for pay-TV operators to make these apps part of their subscriber offerings."

The Opera TV Store is available on Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray Disc players, as well as devices from TCL, Humax and MediaTek. In addition, Opera powers the web on the tens of millions of devices from more than 50 manufacturers including Sony, Boxee, Amino, Humax, Airties, Freesat+, Vestel and Altech.


About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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