Yahoo Outlines Internet TV Plan

The online portal is collaborating with Intel and others to bring Web content to televisions.
Yahoo will work with several partners to bring its Web content to television sets.

The company said Wednesday that it would launch widget technology to deliver its content to the entertainment devices in users' living rooms. Yahoo Connected TV will use a Widget Engine to allow users to search for and watch "cinematic Internet" tailored for television.

The effort takes Yahoo's partnership with Intel for a Widget Channel a step further. Yahoo and Intel also announced the release of a Widget Development Kit this week. The kit is available to third-party developers, advertisers, and content producers. In the spring, consumer electronics manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics, and VIZIO will release Internet-connected television sets to support Yahoo's Internet content.

"Yahoo has combined key attributes of the Internet, including openness, community, and personalization, with the power of television," Patrick Barry, VP of Connected TV Yahoo, said in a prepared statement. "By creating this revolutionary new Internet experience and combining our technology with the global distribution of major consumer electronics partners, we enable consumers to access the relevant information and content to enhance their television watching experience."

Yahoo's Widget Engine is based on the Konfabulator widget platform for PCs.

Yahoo's own developers and those from eBay, MySpace, CBS, The New York Times, Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, Showtime, USA TODAY, and Twitter, among others, are involved in the effort.

"Consumers are increasingly looking for a richer TV experience, including the ability to integrate personalized Internet content and interactive experiences on the screen," Allen Weiner, research VP for Gartner, said in a statement.

"Those companies who succeed as leading TV 2.0 portals will be those well positioned to make the connected TV a reality through strong global partnerships, innovative technology and expertise in creating open platforms. Developers will have the tools to bring the best of the Internet to TV, thus increasing the amount of Internet-enabled content and services available and ultimately transforming the TV viewing experience for millions of consumers," said Weiner.