Yahoo widgets provides a free, open platform for Internet content delivered to TV screens. Check out our slideshow for an introduction to the system.
Yahoo widgets dock
What is a widget? It's basically a gateway on your TV screen to Internet-supplied content in a certain subject area. All TVs with Yahoo widgets can connect to the Internet, and via that connection can populate the widgets with real-time information and updates.
The main interface of Yahoo widgets appears as a dock along the bottom of the screen composed of individual elements known as "snippets." Think of each snippet as the tip of each widget iceberg. You can scroll horizontally through the snippets to get to the one you want, arrange the order snippets appear, and access system settings via the profile snippet.
Unfortunately, widgets take awhile to load. When we engaged widgets for the first time after powering up the TV, it took about 25 seconds to load the dock and 45 total seconds for all of the snippets to update.
Different developers get their own categories within the gallery. The list of developers announced for the system includes CBS Interactive, CinemaNow, Cinequest, Disney-ABC Television Group, eBay, GE, Group M, Joost, MTV, Samsung Electronics, Schematic, Showtime, Toshiba, and Twitter.
Yahoo's full-featured stock ticker, business news center and portfolio tracker is the most complex widget available so far. You can enter custom tickers or automatically import information from your online Yahoo finance account. If you track a lot of stocks, we recommend getting the online service just to import the information, if nothing else, rather than entering your portfolio manually. There's a wealth of information, but slow response times make it even more tedious to load information than usual. Then again, it's faster than getting up to turn on the computer.
The Flickr widget enables full onscreen access to the photo upload site. You to browse your own photos uploaded to Flickr, check out your friends' or groups' images, and explore other people's photos by category.