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January 11, 2010

Yahoo Connected TV Widgets Not Just For TVs

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by Franz Bicar

Yahoo’s connected TV widgets were intended for high-definition televisions. Last year, it came built-in on sets from Sony, Vizio, Samsung, and LG. Now, it’s not on TVs but on other media hardware as well. The first non-TV device to carry Yahoo Widgets was announced at CES.

The new ViewSonic media server, called the VMP80, will ship with Yahoo Connected TV built-in. The product is aimed at people who already own non-connected HDTVs, and who want to quickly and inexpensively add a bunch of Web video content to their viewing choices. The VMP80 media player will ship in Q1 2010 for an estimated MSRP of $159.

With ViewSonic leading the way, this year, consumers can expect more media products that would contain Yahoo Connected TV Widgets.

For those who didn’t know, Yahoo widgets allow internet-connected TVs to access net video of all kinds after just one or two clicks on the remote by the viewer. Yahoo widgets appear as snippets in a dock at the bottom of your TV screen. You can also open a widget directory in a panel at the left of your screen to find what you want.

Yahoo is now aggregating net video content from 26 different services including Netflix, VUDU, Amazon VOD, CinemaNow/Blockbuster, Showtime and CBS. Yahoo today announced the addition of the video catalogs of aggregators FrameChannel, Brightcove, Zinc, and 1Cast.

Yahoo has even activated a Twitter widget that allows you to pop up a Twitter feed of people who are watching, and tweeting about, the show you’re watching. One Vizio TV now ships with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard making adding your own tweets to the stream a lot easier.

Right now, Yahoo is working on widgets for Facebook and MySpace, so expect those services soon.

Story link: Yahoo Connected TV Widgets Not Just For TVs

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