Yahoo, Samsung partner for interactive television service

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Yahoo and Samsung Electronics have announced a partnership in which select Samsung 2009 flat-panel televisions will support a new widget service, called Internet@TV — Content Service.

The service adapts the Yahoo Widget Engines and gives viewers the ability to interact with their televisions through a series of applications similar to those used on a PC.

Using their remote controls, users can access Internet information such as stock portfolio updates and headline news, as well as interact with other users by sharing videos and pictures. Users access the service by connecting the television to a home network through the built-in Ethernet port or by using an optional Wi-Fi USB dongle.

Yahoo is offering widgets from many of their properties including Flickr, Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather and Yahoo Finance. Other third-party offerings include brands such as USA Today, YouTube, eBay and Showtime Networks.

Advertisers and marketers will be able to develop and offer TV Widgets by using the open-platform Widget Develop Kit.

“This new interface allows [viewers] to interact and connect with many of their favorite Web services on a personal level,” said Boo-Keun Yoon, executive vice president of the visual display division at Samsung, in a statement. “It's frankly way beyond just passively watching broadcasts and is no doubt the future of TV.”

Phone inquiries to Yahoo were not returned by press time.

The televisions with Yahoo Widget Engine will be available in 13 countries in 2009.

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