In short: iWedia today announced the launch of its Teatro TV Browser, a new web browser specifically designed with TVs in mind, including those powered by Android. The browser is also in part purpose-designed for use by Pay-TV operators as an easy-to-install option, allowing companies to utilize a ready-to-go browser that comes with a number of appealing features, including easy forward and back navigation, and access to history and bookmarks, as well as as multi-tab browsing. The Teatro TV Browser is currently on show at the IBC 2018 Conference in Amsterdam and the company has confirmed a number of “major TV chipsets makers and TV sets manufacturers” are planning to announce devices which include the new browser either during the latter part of this year or early in 2019.
Background: The use of a functional browser on TV devices has proved somewhat difficult in the past, including on more robust TV-optimized operating systems like Android TV. While there has been some third-party options made available for the platform through the Google Play Store, virtually no Android TV device includes a fully-functional stock web browser by default. The Teatro TV Browser will look to solve some of these issues by adopting the role of a stock web browser on many TV-based products, Android or otherwise.
Impact: The use of a white-label web browser like this could prove to have a big impact on the industry. As with this positioned as a universal option, it's not going to arrive to market as a third-party solution the user can install. Instead, Pay-TV operators (and anyone else for that matter) will have the option of including this browser with their TV product. This approach will additional appeal to those Pay-TV operators as it effectively gives them the ability to further customize and package the browser as if it was their own. What makes this even more interesting from the Android TV perspective, however, is iWedia was also recently confirmed as a partner involved with an end-to-end Android TV solution from Synaptics. With this being an end-to-end solution, and especially for Android TV with the software stack provided by iWedia, it stands to reason this particular turnkey solution -- also aimed at Pay-TV operators -- will come pre-loaded with the Teatro TV Browser.