Do You Want Widgets on Your TV?


Yahoo (s YHOO) and Intel (s INTC) have been peddling this widgets-on-your-TV thing for quite a while now, but it seems they’ve finally brought a whole bunch of friends on the bandwagon. Now Samsung, Sony (s SNE), LG Electronics, VIZIO, eBay (s EBAY), MySpace (s NWSA), CBS (s CBS), The New York Times (s NYT), Netflix (s NFLX), Amazon (s AMZN), Blockbuster (s BBI), Showtime, USA Today and Twitter are on board.

You know it’s good when people who aren’t even named partners are talking you up in their own public remarks at CES. Disney-ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney said the widgets might be used in the Lost series finale, sounding like she was cribbing from the press release. “The chip may create opportunity for content providers and CE companies to work together to connect people more deeply to content they watch.”

But we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, cause we really do want to know: Do you want widgets on your TV? Personally, I’m pretty blah on it all, since I tend to watch TV on my laptop, where it’s easy enough for me to check the weather without an extra chip. But let us know what you think by voting in our poll.


Bryan Bennett

I definitely don’t get the love affair in the industry right now with widgets on your TV. I personally have no use for them as I generally have my laptop with me everytime I have the TV on. Why would I want to screw with my viewing experience when I can do whatever I want on my PC. I suppose some folks don’t have laptops, but are they really the target market for TV widgets? Probably not.

Allen Weiner

I saw the demo, and it’s amazing how transparent the widgets can be. Having been around interactive TV from its early, oddball days, I have to say this Yahoo’s connect TV platform is something special. The lack of a bridge solution for those of us with perfectly fine big LCDs or plasmas is an issue. The Neulion box, powered by Move Networks, is also worth watching.


sounds like it benefits the programmer more than the customer, so I says no’s. Also sounds like I would need to buy a new tv to get it to work and this new tv basically sounds like a computer, which I already have.


Widgets will do for iTV what the iPhone did for the mobile internet. Relevant apps and information beat any mediocre browsing experience.

Tom Coseven

I can’t imagine anyone worth advertising to that couldn’t afford a $200 netbook to hold while they watch their enormous LCD TV. Why rob the precious TV real estate? Makes more sense than adding $300 to the cost of a TV set.


I agree that widgets would be distracting and would probably interfere with the viewing experience. But the notion of offering viewers a natural way to discover more about the brands and merchandise they see in videos is really a key to TV 2.0, it seems to me.

A company I have recently become familiar with called GET Interactive has an unobtrusive, opt-in way for viewers to learn more about all the brands and merchandise they see in digital media. Importantly, it doesn’t alter the video at all, so no interruption of the viewing experience and no re-encoding. And it uses industry standard player technology, so it’s transportable across viral channels.

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