Opera Expands Into Entertainment

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Norwegian Web browser company Opera Software hopes to plug into the home entertainment market with the launch of a new browser designed for TVs, set-top boxes, and other consumer electronic devices.

Opera 8.5 for Devices, based on the company's core Web browser technology for desktop computers and mobile phones, uses Extensible Rendering Architecture to reformat Internet pages to suit any screen size, from 2-inch LCDs to large 16:9-ratio flat-panel TVs. The new version also has what the company calls a "spatial navigation system," which will let users easily navigate pages with any input device.

Industria, an Icelandic provider of broadband systems and integration services, will use the browser technology in its new IPTV (Internet Protocol television) software offering called Zignal, Opera says.

Sigma Designs, which specializes in system-on-chip technology, also plans to pre-port the new browser software in its SMP8630 family of chip sets, Opera said in a separate announcement Thursday.

TV Technology

The new Opera software includes the company's TV Rendering technology, which makes the necessary adjustments to display any Web page on any TV screen, according to information on Opera's Web site. The technology focuses on pixelation and problematic colors, adapting different elements individually to suit the TV screen, the company says. The original fonts, colors, design, and style are left virtually untouched.

The Opera software also enables the use of Web technologies such as Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) to create advanced applications and dynamic user interfaces, the company says.

Opera 8.5 for Devices is available for evaluation for commercial products at Opera.com.

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