About the Smart TV Alliance FAQ

How is the Smart TV Alliance organized, i.e. legally structured?
The Smart TV Alliance Inc. is a non-profit, non-stock organization, incorporated in the State of Delaware, USA, according to Section 501(c)(6) of the International Revenue Code of 1986.

Where is the organization based?
The principal office of the Alliance is located at 2400 Camino Ramon, Suite 375, San Ramon, County of Contra Costa, State of California in the United States.

Who are the directors? Board members?
Current board directors are LG Electronics, Panasonic and TP Vision.

For more information, visit the About section.

Become a Member FAQ

What are the membership levels?
The three levels of membership are: Sponsor, Contributor and Community. The benefits enable different levels of participation, organizational leadership roles, marketing opportunities, and certification abilities. These different membership benefits allow an organization to choose the membership level that best matches its strategy and objectives.

How do I join?
To join the Smart TV Alliance as a Contributor or Community Member, you will need to:

  1. Complete the Membership Agreement in full and have it signed by an authorized employee of your company.
  2. Complete the Online Membership Application.
  3. Email, fax or send the completed and signed membership agreement to the address below:

    Smart TV Alliance Membership Services
    2400 Camino Ramon, Suite 375
    San Ramon, CA 94583
    Fax: +1.925.275.6691

Membership Agreement and Online Membership Application are available here.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Smart TV Alliance Member, please fill out our Member Interest Registration Form and we will contact you.

For more information, visit the Join section of our website.

Developers FAQ

How do I download the SDK?

The Smart TV Alliance SDK consists of the following parts:

  • SDK software, a package for one of the supported operating systems which can be downloaded from the SDK Download page.
  • Documentation, that can be downloaded from the SDK documentation page:
    • Manual
    • Other documentation regarding the Smart TV Alliance ecosystem: guidelines and requirements, API reference and platform specification
    • Example Apps, which show a wide range of possibilities

The SDK runs on the following platforms:

  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8
  • Mac OS X 10.5+ (X86/AMD64 only)
  • Ubuntu 10+


What's new in the SDK?

SDK 4.0 builds on the alliance's SDK 3.0 toolkit, adding the latest technologies for developers and enriching the Smart TV viewing experience. SDK 4.0 includes support for the most recent Version 4.0 specification, and is compatible with earlier versions. It includes a device emulator for Smart TV Alliance Smart Home Specification 1.0, user agent customization to build a more flexible browser environment, allowing for multiple browser resolution, a Network Service Discovery option, and an update of CSS, HTML and JavaScript validation.


How does this SDK affect app developers? Why is it valuable?

The Smart TV Alliance SDK unifies application development requirements for Smart TV Alliance compatible TV platforms today based on open solutions technology and open standard systems. It allows developers to build, test and comply with all compatible platforms at once instead of developing the same app multiple times to meet the different manufacturer requirements, bringing new and exciting applications to market faster.

As new manufacturers join the Smart TV Alliance and use the SDK, developers can reach more manufacturers and more consumers at once.


How does this affect the consumer experience?

Smart TV consumers will have access to more and better TV services like games, video on demand, music, social networking and more, in 3D with less stuttering and freezing. Support for the latest Smart TV Alliance defined digital rights management API requirements ensure consumers will have access to the best and widest selection of content available.


Why should a developer use SDK instead of any HTML5 browser? What's the added benefit?

Smart TV Alliance SDK includes a validation tool that allows developers to ensure that apps developed are compatible with the specification (4.0, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0). The SDK offers features from the specification that are not yet included in regular HTML5 browsers, such as adaptive streaming (MPEG-DASH etc.), the capability mechanism from specification 3.0, DIAL multiscreen emulation/validation, DRM API emulation and the device emulator for Smart TV Alliance Smart Home Specification 1.0. Using the SDK software at an early stage in your app development reduces the chance of issues later on when submitting your app for each platform.


How much support will developers get from the Alliance?

Developers have access elaborate documentation from the SDK documentation page and information on the latest Smart TV Alliance specifications and SDK. They will also have the ability to ask questions. Specific questions on the supported Smart TV platforms can be found on the Smart TV makers' developer websites.


What is the purpose of the Smart TV Alliance?

The Smart TV Alliance's mission is to provide a platform for manufacturers and developers to create interactive content for consumers' TVs. The Alliance has profiled a set open solutions technology and open standards so developers can build apps once to publish on all supported Smart TV Alliance devices.

Using standard and non-proprietary technologies, the Smart TV Alliance accelerates time to market, reduces development costs and increases content choices for consumers.


What opportunities does the Alliance create for developers?

The Smart TV Alliance will make a common specification for Smart TV app developers, which will make developers' lives easier by allowing apps to be written once for all compliant devices. Also, HTML5 will be the first-class citizen for all kinds of devices in the future.


Do the partners need to register and pay for the SDK?

The SDK can be downloaded free of charge and needs the party to agree with the SDK download terms of use which are on the Smart TV Alliance website.


What kind of apps will Smart TV Alliance support?

Any HTML5 app using the technical features of the Alliance platform is supported from the technical perspective. At the same time, platform manufacturers reserve the right to decide which apps comply with marketing and/or commercial policies of the respective company.

However, Smart TV Alliance mainly focuses on HTML5 apps for TV, and TV is mainly designed for viewing videos. That's why we are trying to standardize HTML5 video tags, multiscreen and DRM solutions. The Alliance is standardizing solutions for smart home, introducing Smart TV Alliance Smart Home Specification 1.0 in 2015, plus other new features in the future.


How will the solutions be tested on the platform? Will there be a certification from the Alliance?

Once applications are built using the Smart TV Alliance SDK, the party needs to submit the application to Smart TV Alliance Quality Assurance. All the information for app submission can be found on the App Publishing page.


Where/when will SDK 4.0 compatible smart televisions be available?

Please contact each member for specific product lines and availability dates and locations. More manufacturers are expected to offer Smart TVs with SDK 4.0.


Is SDK 4.0 backwards/ forward compatible?

SDK 4.0 is a super set of earlier SDK versions, so unless you use any of the new SDK 4.0 features the app can also work on earlier STA specification devices. For future versions this will generally hold true as well, with the possible exception of the removal of some obsolete technologies from future specifications.


Which devices does the Smart TV Alliance target?

Currently Smart TV Alliance targets devices from LG, Toshiba and TP Vision. For a complete list please refer to to the list of supported devices.


What is the Branding Guideline of the Smart TV Alliance?

[Content will be updated later]


Who can become a developer of STA?

- Any individual, sole proprietary, corporate that would like to work with STA. The developer T&C is the agreement you should agree when registering as a developer with STA. You will be able to access the forum and use the CDP after registration as a developer.


What is publisher?

When the developer wants to publish the apps, you should sign the publisher agreement, so that you can upload the apps and its description, icons, etc to CDP.


Why we are not targeting the apps that already have separate contract with individual manufacture?

The Joint Agreement on Common Developer Portal was made for the purpose of launching the same app at the same condition on multiple manufactures' platforms. To do so, any type of business model (such as revenue sharing) is not included in the contract. But after the launching of certain app, marketing events can be created and organized between individual manufacture and app publisher.


Can publisher make commercial terms with STA ?

At this stage of CDP, we are not open to any commercial terms (such as revenue sharing, app ranking, bounty fee, subscription fee, etc). STA will consider accepting commercial terms in the next stage of CDP.


Who has the license to apps?

Developers has the license to apps and grant the license to STA , so that STA can provide the app repository for manufactures to display these apps on the stores. Developer and Publisher


How long does it take to receive feedback from STA after app submission?

At most 5 days, you will receive the first feedback from joint QA team about your app after initial submission.


What is the basic support ?

The basic support is free of charge, provided as a courtesy from STA. As a basic support level developer, you will be able to use the technical support forum and discuss with other developers on the forum.


What is the premium technical support?

Premium tech support will enable the developers to a stronger and faster support from Joint QA, by providing communication channels such as Skype and Ticket system. For Premium developers, they can use the ticket system to guarantee the questions be answered within one working day. Skype communication is also possible, but no on-site support be provided.


How to work with Joint QA team?

Publishers will start working with Joint QA team after the submission of their apps. There is bug tracking system that can track the issues of your application. Joint QA will provide feedback through this bug tracking system to support your modification and upgrade of your apps. In order to work more efficiently with Joint QA team, we would ask developers to be more cautious and provide full data about their apps.


For more information, contact us.