Just a couple of years after its initial debut, Yahoo's Connected TV platform is finally ready to escape the TV, among other things. One surprise shown off tonight during the pre-CES Digital Experience event is a new D-Link box that overlays the widgets on any video signal to any display by way of HDMI passthrough. Also on display are prototype remote apps for Android and iPad, both could act as a remote control, while the tablet app could also search or browse for additional programming and share videos straight to the TV Airplay-style.

On the paying bills end of things however, this year's big announcement is the ability to tie in with live TV broadcasts, while the company didn't reveal what information keyed the system, it figure out if a TV program or ad being watched is a compatible one and pop up prompts accordingly. While that could lead to even more annoying ads for consumers, there's at least a few interesting applications like the one we saw voting on potential winners of a boxing match as it starts on Showtime, one of the initial partners along with CBS, ABC, Showtime, HSN, Ford and Mattel. Check out the press release after the break, we should have a video of the demo up shortly.

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Yahoo! Connected TV interactivity




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Yahoo!® Demonstrates the Future of Television With Leading TV Networks and Advertisers at CES
January 05, 2011 Categories: Product News
Yahoo! Demonstrates the Future of Television With Leading TV Networks and Advertisers at CES


Introduces innovative broadcast interactivity feature, mobile device connectivity, and new TV apps on Yahoo! Connected TV

LAS VEGAS, International CES, January 5, 2011 -– Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) today announced that it is introducing an innovative consumer experience for TV, called broadcast interactivity, on its Yahoo! Connected TV platform, which brings Internet-enhanced television to millions of consumers across the world's most popular TV brands. The new feature is slated to launch with select national broadcast and cable TV leaders and top brand advertisers. Yahoo! is collaborating with ABC, CBS, HSN, and Showtime on content for a pilot program in the first half of 2011, and will showcase examples of the broadcast interactivity feature at CES (Booth #36201, South Hall 4, LVCC). Brand advertisers Ford, Mattel and Microsoft are also planning to work with Yahoo! to deliver interactivity with their TV advertising.

"Our collaboration with leaders in television and brand advertising, combined with the innovative technologies we're pioneering, signals the beginning of a new era of highly personalized, Internet-enhanced television," said Ron Jacoby, vice president, Yahoo! Connected TV. "Imagine an immersive, real-time TV experience that brings people even closer to the programs and brands they love by enabling them to play along while they watch their favorite shows."

With broadcast interactivity, TV programmers will be able to create TV apps that let viewers vote for a reality-TV participant, get more information about characters, or make e-commerce purchases while waching a show. For brand advertisers, broadcast interactivity will let them connect in real time with TV viewers during commercials or other branded entertainment experiences. Examples of broadcast interactivity could include:

CBS - Viewers of "Hawaii Five-O" could view fun facts about the show and learn more about the actors, characters, and setting by using their remote controls.
ABC - Viewers of an ABC primetime show could access actor information and view photos and videos during certain scenes right from their TVs while watching the show.
Showtime - "Showtime Boxing" fans could access detailed fight information including photos and videos, test their knowledge of the boxers, and vote for the boxer they think will win the match.
HSN - Viewers watching HSN could directly purchase an item highlighted on the live show and take advantage of specials of the day, using their remote controls.
Ford - TV viewers watching a Lincoln commercial could find local dealers, customize their dream cars, view Lincoln luxury lifestyle videos, and more.
Mattel - Viewers of a Barbie® TV commercial could take Barbie polls, play Barbie dress-up games, view Barbie documentary videos, and more.
Yahoo! is working with Connected TV distribution partners including Broadcom Corporation,
D-Link, Haier, MediaTek, Sony and Toshiba to enable the broadcast interactivity pilot on their devices in 2011.

TV apps on Yahoo! Connected TV
Today the Yahoo! Connected TV experience centers around a collection of more than 100 easy-to-use TV apps, providing deep content designed to complement TV viewing. TV apps run the gamut from social networking to music, games, news, weather, finance, and shopping, and provide access to more than 50,000 movies and TV shows on demand.

Traditional media and entertainment companies are developing some of the most compelling new TV apps available on Yahoo! Connected TV. These companies include CNBC, a recognized world leader in business news; Clear Channel Radio, a leading radio company; NBC, a leading television network; QVC, one of the largest multimedia retailers in the world; and mgMedia, developer of technology for multi-device, worldwide movies on demand distribution.

New media TV apps for the Yahoo! Connected TV platform include those from Mediafly, Virtual Nerd, Screen Dreams, and more.

Yahoo! at 2011 International CES
A variety of product demonstrations will take place at the Yahoo! booth, #36201, in South Hall 4, of the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to showcasing the broadcast interactivity pilot, Yahoo! will demonstrate the Yahoo! Connected TV Store, scheduled to launch in March 2011, and interactive scenarios showcasing products that highlight Yahoo!'s platforms and technologies, including:

Three-Screen Connected Device Interactivity - Experience interactivity amongst tablets, mobile phones, and TVs. Demos will showcase an Android phone used as a smart remote control for Yahoo! Connected TV, a tablet device used in sync with an on-air program, and the ability to "flick" videos from the tablet or phone to a big-screen TV for shared viewing.
Yahoo! Mobile, Seamless Connectivity - Play with the newest apps and mobile experiences that are bringing Yahoo!'s leading digital media, content, and communications services to mobile phones and tablet devices on a global scale. A new FlickrÒ app for Windows Phones and Slate tablets will be showcased, alongside other leading Yahoo! mobile experiences.

For additional information, search for "Yahoo! Connected TV" at yahoo.com.

About Yahoo!
Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) is an innovative technology company that operates the largest digital media, content, and communications business in the world. Yahoo! keeps more than half a billion consumers worldwide connected to what matters to them most, and delivers powerful audience solutions to advertisers through its unique combination of Science + Art + Scale. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.com) or the company's blog, Yodel Anecdotal (yodel.yahoo.com).

Cautionary Note: This release contains forward-looking statements (including without limitation the quotations from management) that involve risks and uncertainties concerning the broadcast interactivity pilot program as well as Yahoo!'s strategic and operational plans. Actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the possibilities that the pilot program might be delayed, might launch with fewer participants than expected, or might not be successful, and that equipment manufacturers, TV networks, app developers and consumers might be slow to embrace the service offering or might favor rival platforms. More information about potential factors that could affect Yahoo!'s business and financial results is included under the captions, "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," in Yahoo!'s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, as amended, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, which are on file with the SEC and available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

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