Yahoo!® brings the Internet to more living rooms around the world
As the center of people’s online lives, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) today furthered the company’s Connected TV leadership by globally expanding the availability of the Yahoo! Widget Engine. New partnerships with Hisense, ViewSonic, MIPS Technologies, and Sigma Designs will dramatically increase the availability of the Yahoo! Widget Engine, delivering compelling TV Widget experiences to more televisions and other consumer electronic devices which will begin shipping as soon as Q1 2010. Yahoo! TV Widgets now work on all major consumer electronic device chip architectures worldwide.
Reinforcing the company’s open strategy in this space, Yahoo! also broadly released its Widget Development Kit (WDK) today, enabling developers to create TV Widgets and effectively reach millions of consumers.
“Consumers are in love with their televisions, watching more TV, and demanding Internet connectivity to further enhance their viewing experience,” said Arlo Rose, senior director of Yahoo! Connected TV. “Yahoo! is leading the connected TV market by bringing a rich variety of Internet content and services to the living room — incorporating video on demand, social networks, games, online shopping, and more — making it easy for consumers to personalize their TV viewing experience.”
New Partnerships To Expand Distribution for the Yahoo! Widget Engine
Building on the company’s existing distribution partnerships with Sony®, LG® Electronics, VIZIO® and Samsung® across North America and Europe, Yahoo! is expanding the availability of the TV Widget experience globally by embedding the Yahoo! Widget Engine in an even greater number of television models and a variety of new consumer electronics devices. New partnerships and noteworthy developments include:
* VIZIO’s XVT Series Connected HDTVs with VIZIO Internet Apps incorporate the Yahoo! Widget Engine and will be available at retailers throughout the U.S. in Q1. Taking unique advantage of the Yahoo! Widget Engine, VIZIO’s Connected HDTVs provide consumers with unprecedented choice, convenience, and control of an ever-increasing array of Internet content and services, as well as intuitive and simple access to the TVs’ settings through the Widget dock.
Hisense International Co, Ltd., a world leading provider of flat panel TVs, household appliances, and mobile communications, announced a partnership with global Internet brand Yahoo!® Inc. to integrate the Yahoo! Widget Engine into Hisense Internet-Connected TVs that will ship across the U.S. and Europe.
* ViewSonic will provide customers with an interactive, connected TV experience via the ViewSonic VMP80 media player. Powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, the ViewSonic VMP80 media player will enable current HDTV owners to view movies, TV shows, Web videos, and photos; and to go shopping, play games, and more with TV Widgets. The VMP80 media player will ship in Q1 2010 for an estimated MSRP of US$159.
* MIPS Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer, home networking, wireless, communications, and business applications, today announced plans to develop an optimized Yahoo! Widget Engine for MIPS-Based™ digital home devices. MIPS will develop an optimized reference platform running the Yahoo! Widget Engine for digital TV and set-top box applications. Leveraging this reference implementation, MIPS® licensees will be able to quickly develop devices incorporating Yahoo! TV Widgets.
* Sigma Designs announced plans to support the Yahoo! Widget Engine on its media processors, which will enable manufacturers to easily support Yahoo! Connected TV in a wide array of consumer electronic devices, including Blu-ray players, network players, AV receivers, and cable/IPTV set-top boxes.
WDK Now Widely Available for Developers and Publishers; Offering Instant Scalability
With thousands of developers in the process of creating TV Widgets, and to further the company’s open strategy in this space, Yahoo! is making its Widget Developer Kit (WDK) broadly available for developers and publishers who want to extend their brand, services, and content to a mass market.
For more information on the WDK and to begin developing TV Widgets, visit: https://connectedtv.yahoo.com/developer
Slate of New TV Widget Providers Bring Thousands of Content Sources to Consumers
The Yahoo! Widget Gallery continues to expand, enabling consumers to access their favorite TV shows on Amazon® Video on Demand, play music on Pandora®, check sports scores on USA Today®, shop on eBay®, play games, or catch up with friends on Twitter™ and Facebook®, all while watching TV. Joining leading consumer brands like CBS®, Showtime® and Blockbuster®, a sample of recently introduced Widgets will provide consumers access to a personalized selection of music, video, news and information.
* CNBC: The CNBC TV Widget enables viewers to interact with CNBC’s real-time stock quotes direct from the NYSE and NASDAQ, with real-time watch lists to track favorite stocks and with other key analytics, all while still watching TV.
* NBC.com: Users can view NBC’s show schedule and full-screen photo galleries, and catch up on favorite shows with up-to-date recaps, cast bios, and more.
* Napster: Subscribers can browse, search, preview, and listen to Napster’s entire catalog of music on-demand, as well as enjoy custom radio stations, playlists, and Billboard charts.
* RadioTime: Create your personal selection of music from up to 100,000 radio stations.
* Sky News TV: Delivers breaking news by text and images to users’ TV sets. It includes seven categories of news: top stories, U.K. news, sports, business, world news, showbiz news, and politics.
* Dailymotion: Access one of largest Web video sites in the world through your TV.
* The Weather Channel: Enables consumers to stay up to date with the current conditions, the five-day forecast, and access regional radar, all accessible in a simple interface with the ability to look up and save multiple locations.
* Betfair: The world’s biggest betting community provides sports enthusiasts with an online entertainment experience to enhance their sports television watching in the U.K.
* My-Cast Weather: Provides animated Nexrad radar, hourly to seven-day forecasts, StormWatch, cloud information and more across the United States.
Yahoo! has also worked with leading video, data and photo aggregators to provide consumers access to their vast libraries of thousands of content sources.
* FrameChannel: Provides consumers with over 1,000 content channels from FrameChannel’s collection of leading photosharing, social networking and content partners, including BBC News, People.com, EW Picks, Deutsche Welle, Crave, Digg.com, Facebook, Twitter and much more. Browse and configure hundreds of channels to create your personalized TV Widget.
* Brightcove: The Leading online video platform for publishing and distributing video on the Web now makes it easy for media companies and marketers to create immersive, branded video experiences for Internet-connected televisions. Some of the TV Widgets that consumers can expect shortly include: Slate V, This Old House, AllYou.com, My Home Ideas, My Recipes, Southern Living, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Sunset, Cooking Light, Wine Spectator, TheStreet.com, The Hollywood Reporter and Cars.com.
* Zinc: Enables users to enjoy high-quality Internet video, providing a simple and consistent way to browse more than 100,000 professionally produced videos from hundreds of different websites, including Amazon, Netflix, those of major networks, and more.
* 1Cast: This personalized video service delivers up-to-the-minute news video from leading programmers and broadcasters across the Web.