Yahoo! and Samsung on Tuesday raised their bet that television viewers want to easily link to websites such as Facebook without having the entire Web crammed into TV sets.
The faded Internet star and the South Korean consumer electronics giant announced they will sell Yahoo! Connected TV sets in 26 more countries in Europe.
That raises to 39 the number of countries where Samsung sells television sets embedded with Yahoo! software “widgets” that let users connect over the Internet to favourite websites.
Yahoo! and Samsung launched their Connected TV partnership at a major Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early 2009.
Yahoo! is building on its strategy as Google weighs into the arena with Logitech boxes or Sony TVs that merge broadcast, cable, and online content.
“We don’t think people want the whole Web browser experience crammed in a TV,” said Russ Schafer, senior director, Yahoo! Connect TV. “It is a best-of-the-Web not all-of-the-Web comparison; which is similar to how people consume television.”
While cable television services typically offer hundreds of channels, research indicates that households stick with no more than 15 favourites and essentially ignore the rest, Schafer said.
Yahoo! believes similar behaviour will play out on Internet-connected televisions, with people staying faithful to online locales such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter instead of sifting through websites.
Sony, Vizio, Toshiba, and LG Electronics are among the heavyweights that make televisions embedded with Yahoo! software widgets.
“Apple TV, on one end has a very simple interface, limited offerings but deep content that is very connected to other devices in the Apple ecosystem. Google, on the other, wants to take the browser experience and put it in the TV. We fit right in the middle,” Schafer said.