Web TV is Dead, Long Live Web TV...With Yahoo's Help

By HTMLGoodies Staff

As many have predicted, the time will soon come when there is no separation between television, the phone and the internet. Yahoo made a move in that direction today with the release of its widget developer kit for its Connected TV device and the announcement of a host of distribution partners, all who are aiming for that same goal.

community to create and submit widgets that can integrate web content and applications with television, creating an interactive experience that will drive more viewers towards the future of television as we will soon know it.

The news was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas, and is part of the push that Yahoo is heralding as a new beginning of its Web TV program which was announced last year at CES, along with partners including Amazon, Blockbuster and Twitter.

The infamous WebTV setbox was developed and marketed by WebTV Networks, Inc., and was later bought out by Microsoft, who incorporated it into their Microsoft Network (MSN). Originally it was designed an adapter that allowed a TVt to be connected to the internet, to be used for web browsing and e-mail. It didn't catch on very well, was clunky to use, and aside from various hotels who adopted its use, was a big flop.

Yahoo's version of Web TV involves TV widgets that are an extension of Yahoo's PC widgets, which are developed using a set of APIs that utilize JavaScript and XML applications. The key to the success, if it happens, is a new television sets appearing on the market that come with the hardware and software required to achieve interactive applications.

Yahoo's briefing today included the announcement that their new partners included VIZIO and Hisense, which will include the Yahoo widget engine in their televisions going forward. This is in addition to Sony, LG, Samsung, MIPS Technologies and Sigma Designs, who are also supporting the technology.

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