Rating: New Samsung deal brings Yahoo! Widgets to HDTV
Samsung Electronics and Yahoo! today announced a new web-based service for Samsung HDTVs. Starting this spring, some models in Samsung’s new flat-panel HDTV range will include the Yahoo! Widget Engine, an app platform for “TV Widgets”. These widgets will allow TV owners to access some content previously only available from a web connected computer. Some examples include widgets for tracking stock portfolios, staying on top of headline news, browsing videos, sharing photos and social networking.
From the release:
“Samsung has been a proven innovator in Internet-enabled TV technology for some time now, offering the ground-breaking InfoLink service last year in 2008. There’s no denying that the easy-to-use, one-touch of the remote control service successfully provides information simply and effectively,” said Boo-Keun Yoon, Executive Vice President of the Visual Display Division at Samsung Electronics. “The collaboration with Yahoo lets viewers go one step further. This new interface allows them to interact and connect with many of their favourite Web services on a personal level. It’s frankly way beyond just passively watching broadcasts and is no doubt the future of TV.”
What we think?
Look… it’s a nice idea. But if you can afford a massive, web-enabled HDTV, then you probably already own a computer with internet access. Yes, you can now view your flickr photos and youtube videos in massive HDTV resolutions… but flickr photos and youtube videos don’t come in massive HDTV resolution. Not only that, but the thing doesn’t even have it’s own modem. It has an Ethernet port and a USB port for dongles. I could actually understand the appeal of this product if you could just bring it home and connect to the web out of the box. But you can’t. It requires you to have an already existing network connection… or to buy a dongle and get a new network connection just to operate the TV.
The same goes for anything else they might let me access by widget on there. From stock portfolios to headline news, if I want to access internet content on my TV, I can buy a cable that will connect my computer to my TV for less than 20 dollars (probably cheaper if I spent a while searching).