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ARM conference draws eyes to Internet TV

Posted: 09 Nov 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Internet  TV  Web  broadcast 

The future of Internet TV is beginning to happen, with Yahoo Connected TV services starting to roll and other companies getting on the wagon. The 2010 ARM Technology Conference is offering engineers a clear view of the future of Internet-ready TV. Ron Jacoby, the chief architect of the Yahoo Connected TV group, will talk about the company's effort to get eyeballs and revenue streams for its service that merges broadcast television and the Web. The Yahoo service shipped an estimated 35 lakh TVs in 2009.

Samsung announced it will bundle the Yahoo service with TVs sold in an additional 39 countries this year. That brings to 135 the total number of countries where it will be available from TV makers also including LG Electronics, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio.

Yahoo won't say how many users have activated the service so far. However, Jacoby did say activation varies widely depending on how TV makers market the feature.

Most users tap into the service to get Web video, Jacoby said. The next most popular use is to get data from the Internet on anything from news to sports scores and Facebook postings. This is followed in third place by online games.

As soon as a TV maker gets enough usage on its platform, based on a handful of confidential measurements, Yahoo will enable paid services. TV makers split those revenues with Yahoo.

"I'd say we are getting pretty close," to enabling paid services, Jacoby said.

Other players
Yahoo got a major competitor in June when Google, Intel, Sony and Logitech announced they were developing their own Internet TV service. Logitech announced an STB based on Google TV to mixed reviews in September.

"Google is replacing TV with the Internet, but the approach we took is about enhancing TV, not replacing it," explained Jacoby.

So far Google TV runs only on an Intel x86-based SoC. Yahoo's service was initially launched with Intel on the x86, but now is also available on sets using ARM and MIPs processors.

A growing variety of so-called over-the-top STBs—including Apple TV and boxes from Roku and Boxee—are also emerging to link TVs to the Web. "Everyone else is jumping in now and looking at where this space can go," said Jacoby who will demonstrate his service at the ARM event.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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