Toshiba will make three apps available in the spring that will enhance the Smart TV experience, and also provide an extra reason for buying one of the companyâ€™s new Toshiba Excite tablets, which launch this year. The first is a remote control app that goes by the name of TRAC (Tablet Remote App Capable), which will turn the tablet into a remote control for the television, a Blu-ray player or even a cable set-top box. The second is MediaGuide, which replicates the Toshiba programme guide on a tablet so viewers can browse for content without disrupting TV viewing. The third is Mediashare, which harnesses DLNA and Wi-Fi to enable content on laptops and smartphones to be shared on the television screen. All three apps will be released for Android initially and Apple iOS later.
At CES in Las Vegas, Toshiba was showing four different tablets measuring 5.1 inches, 7.7 inches, 10.1 inches and 13.3 inches screen sizes. It is clear from this show that most, if not all, the major connected TV manufacturers will have companion apps by next year, something that will increase pressure on Pay TV providers and indeed free-to-air platform operators who do not yet offer such capabilities.
For content aggregators, ownership of the viewer begins with the remote control they are using and in the Connected TV era, they should be looking to drive viewers straight to their User Interface and programme guide, whether that is an app on the tablet or smartphone or a guide on the television set itself. With broadcasters set to battle third-party apps providers for engagement of their programme viewers on tablets, it is clear that this inventory is going to be increasingly valuable.