As CES 2013 prepares to open its doors, the Smart TV Alliance, an organization formed by LG Electronics, TP Vision and Toshiba in June 2012, is announcing five new members: Panasonic, ABOX42 and TechniSat, IBM and Specific Media. This move brings additional strength to the Alliance, which claims to be dedicated to “creating a non-proprietary ecosystem for application developers to create attractive, platform-independent services.”

While the actually results of such an ecosystem may vary, this move is good news for developers already eyeing the smart TV space. Users of the Alliance’s upcoming SDK for 2013 TVs now have the ability to reach new platforms without additional work.

According to LG Electronics founding member Richard Choi, “Smart TV Alliance members are repairing a fragmented market opportunity for app developers and TV manufacturers, creating the best Smart TV experience for consumers. Now app developers can concentrate on doing what they do best.  Instead of chasing down each manufacturer’s individual requirements and compliance process, they can make the most out of their creative energy by developing innovative applications and services.”

Here’s what the new SDK includes:

For 2013 Smart TVs:

  • Richer applications available from upgraded HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript specifications
  • 3D video
  • MPEG-DASH support with more reliable audio and video quality with less stuttering and freezing
  • More and better content choices with updated digital rights management (DRM) features that reflect DRM requirements from content owners

For application developers:

  • New common emulator allows developers to test an application once to ensure it will work with Smart TV Alliance member televisions
  • Application compliance checking tool enables developers to test compliance automatically with Smart TV Alliance cross-platform requirements
  • Advanced debug tools help developers solve application problems faster and more easily

Whether or not the latest version of the Alliance’s SDK is enough to lure in promising developers has yet to be seen, but competition from the likes of Apple, Google, Boxee and Roku exemplifies how crowded the emerging Smart TV space truly is.