Home Yahoo! Brings the Web to Blu-Ray

Yahoo! Brings the Web to Blu-Ray

Yahoo! announced plans today at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to spread its tentacles deeper into the Internet-connected TV market, inking new deals with TV, media player and processor manufacturers, as well as releasing its widget development kit and signing on with new content partners.

When we looked at the rebirth of the Web TV last year, we had one major reservation – would people really buy a new TV just for the widgets? “Probably not,” we said. This year, Yahoo! is bringing the Internet into our other devices, so we don’t have to.

Yahoo! is stepping it up in the Internet-connected TV game, which is an area we saw boom at last year’s CES. This year we’re seeing much of the same. Skype announced its entrance into the Internet-connected TV market on Tuesday, while Samsung announced today that it will offer the Napster widget on its TVs.

According to the press release, new deals with MIPS, Sigma Designs and ViewSonic will enable Yahoo! Widgets to be embedded not only in Internet-connected TVs, but in a number of other devices, such as media players, “Blu-ray players, network players, AV receivers, and cable/IPTV set-top boxes.” This is a big move because, while we may not want to replace our widescreen TV, we might be in the market for a Blu-ray player.

Today’s announcement also highlighted deals with a number of new content providers, including Showtime, CNBC, Napster, The Weather Channel and more. But do we really need The Weather Channel widget when we can have just The Weather Channel, itself? Maybe. Maybe not. But the company’s release of its widget development kit to the general public might open the doors to some interesting new widgets.

Cory Pforzheimer, a spokesperson for Yahoo!, told us earlier today that keeping the WDK private was an issue of working together with TV manufacturers and software developers.

“TV manufacturers weren’t really used to updating after they sent out their units. There’s no such thing as a beta on a TV,” he said. “The last thing Samsung wants is calls when someone’s Facebook widget doesn’t work.”

The combination of affordability and potential for innovation here could be just enough to bring the Web back to the TV through the side door.

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