There's little doubt that Yahoo Widgets
took the HDTV market by storm at CES, in fact by the end of the first day of the show, it was news if a manufacturer didn't announce the feature. Initially we didn't understand what all the fuss was about, but after spending some time with the Widgets
, we started to see the light. Unfortunately something has changed in the past five months and now that we have it in our home to play with, it just doesn't seem the same. The one word we'd use to describe the difference is "laggy" -- check out the video after the break to see for yourself. The demos at CES were down right snappy, but even in our hard wired tests connected to the internet via a 20Mbps FiOS connection, the widgets loaded so slow we're not sure we'd actually even use 'em. To make matters worse, because most people don't have internet connections behind their HDTV, they're going to need some sort of WiFi adapter to make this work. The Samsung 7000 series HDTV we tested has an optional USB dongle that sells for $80, but we couldn't even get it to work despite the hour of our life we wasted on it.
In this video we hit the record button and the TV's power button at the same time, so it's easy to see how long it takes for the TV to turn on. Then we hit the "Internet TV" button and you'll notice that it takes some time for the Widgets to load. The good news is that all the Widgets update in the background after the initial load, but we wish there was a way to set them to automatically load in the background when you turn on the TV so the delay wouldn't be as noticeable.