2013 will be the year that "apps" and "appstores" finally start disrupting the TV ecosystem.
Put differently i believe that Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Opera and others will finally make TV's accessible and changeable by 3rd party developers. Making a tv app will be as easy as making an iPhone app. The creative of third party developers will unleash dozens of new experiences in the living room.
For example check out this awesome iPad / Apple TV web browser app concept made by some good friends of mine. The app is called Airbrowser, and it lets users run a web browser over Apple TV airplay on their TV and at the same time have a separate tab that they are using on the iPad.If you need to take control of the Tab on the TV, you can control it form the iPad app or easily bring it down onto the iPAd screen, tap what you need, and easily flick it back up onto the TV screen.
Now thats Living room multitasking. Making the second screen part of the first screen experience. Think a world where your iPad is your remote.
This app and video tease at what the possible future of living room tv experiences could be like for any one with an iPad and a smart TV platform that is open to 3rd party developers.
In order for this disruption to take place the TV market needs to have tens of millions of hardware devices with Smart TV app stores that are very 3rd party developer app friendly.
I think that a handful of Tech giants have been prepping for this and if you look closely you can see the opening moves already in the market.
1. Apple TV will become 3rd party developer friendly, a number of rumours have sprang up about this
2. Google TV just released "send to TV update" for youtube for phones (equivalent to apples airplay), and there are also Market Release (MR) updates rolling out to the Google TV hardware partners (Sony etc) as well (which is a good sign of continued support from the early OEM's).
3. Opera's TV Store and its support is already rolling out to certain asian markets (embedded in Sony Bravia TVs )
4. Microsoft's XBOX development is being unified with windows phone / windows 8 app development , which should start bringing more innovative developers and user experiences into XBOX owners living rooms.
Disclaimer: This post is a prediction , an educated guess based on reading tech news and articles.