Fresh on the heels of last week's purchase of DVR company Meedio, Yahoo announced Yahoo Go for TV on Wednesday. Yahoo's entry in the alternative Media Center front-end sweepstakes is currently available as a free beta release from the company's Web site.
We've been testing other media front ends, such as BeyondTV and SageTV recently, so we quickly downloaded and installed the app, which is part of the larger Yahoo Go family of products (which includes a cell phone app and a desktop dashboard).
Like Microsoft's Media Center and other media front-end apps, Yahoo Go for TV is intended for PCs connected to large living-room displays. The standard 10-foot interface is designed for easy couch viewing and can be navigated via the remote control for your compatible TV tuner card.
The options include Movies, Music, Photos, and TV and Video, and the app will look for media files in the default My Music (and so on) directories, unless you ask it to look somewhere else during the setup process.
Besides playing back the files on your PC, Yahoo Go for TV seems very interested in pushing content at you, and much of the screen real estate is taken up with Yahoo-branded content. For example, the video section has four entries; the first three offer various video content from Yahoo partners or Yahoo's video search, and only the last menu choice lets you play the video files on your PC.
The photo section offers integrated Flickr slide shows, and the Movies section will show you what's playing at local movie theaters, if you've signed in with your Yahoo username.
When trying to initially install Yahoo Go for TV, we couldn't get it to recognize our TV tuner card, even when we swapped in a card on the very short list of supported TV tuner cards. We're currently troubleshooting the TV tuner card issue, so stay tuned for a full review of Yahoo Go for TV later in the week.
Update: After much installing and uninstalling of hardware, we got one of the TV tuner devices supported by Yahoo Go for TV up and running. Via an external Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB2 TV tuner box, we were able to watch live TV and download a local program guide through the Yahoo Go for TV setup interface.