Parks Associates Blog

Monday, January 12, 2009

Widgets-on-the-TV/CE: Hot News from CES

The customization of news, weather, traffic, and other information on the TV screen is one of the hot topics to come out of CES this year. I saw a couple of announcements that caught my eye.

Oregan Networks announced the results of an interesting study that they conducted on consumer receptivity to 'Net-enabled televisions. 71% of all respondents would prefer a default media browser to be installed, although they would like the option to be able to change it. Additionally, if their next TV did not come with a pre-installed media browser, 29% of respondents said that they "definitely would" download one, while a further 45% would be likely to download one. 69% of respondents would pay something to download a digital media browser to their next television, if this was supported. 87% of respondents would select a TV with a media browser because it would offer them more entertainment choices.

These type of findings are consistent with those from our recently-completed Digital Media Evolution study, where we found not only receptivity to new connectivity applications, but also a willingness by consumers to place a premium on devices with built-in networking capabilities.

Oregan also announced that it was working with Micronas to marry browser capabilities to silicon. The solution includes Micronas’ Pegasus IDTV platform running a software suite from Oregan Networks that includes a web browser to access TV channels and Internet content such as YouTube™, NetFlix® and Flickr®. A media client is included to display in-home content such as home videos, music and digital pictures in HD, via a DLNA network. 'Widgets' are also provided that pop up information such as sports news, stocks and weather reports.

I also saw a news release from Rallypoint announcing a partnership with Sharp to provide social networking features to AQUOS Net televisions. Rallypoint is also providing its fantasy football widget solution to Samsung’s 2009 flat-panel HDTV lines supporting the new TV Widget service, called “Internet@TV - Content Service.

You remember that cute little Widget device called Chumby? It's now partnering with consumer electronics companies to develop reference designs for widgets-on-devices applications. Chumby released news that it was working with Samsung in this regard, specifically for photo frames. The company announced that it was working with multiple partners in the connected photo frame market, including:
  • Marvell
  • Samsung
  • SMK
  • Wolfson Microelectronics

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