Professional Projects

Yahoo! Connected-TV Platform

Yahoo and HSN are partnering up to develop a TV shopping experience using the Yahoo Widget Engine for Sony, Toshiba, Samsung and Vizio TV. Yahoo! Connected TV is a Smart TV platform developed Yahoo! based upon the Yahoo! Desktop Widgets platform. Development of TV Apps is enabled via the Yahoo! App Development Kit or ADK, available for download from the Yahoo! Connected TV website. The App Development kit requires Ubuntu Linux as the default operating system, Windows developers must run the Ubuntu operating system on a virtual machine. Only Ubuntu 10.10 is supported although it runs on other derivatives and versions of Ubuntu successfully. TV Widgets are distributed post sale of the television, via the Yahoo! Connected TV Store. TV Widgets are developed using a combination of HTML, XML and Javascript. The code is then executed on the Yahoo TV Widget engine running on TV embedded Linux.TV Widgets are rich Internet applications that run on connected TV devices and take advantage of Internet services to deliver dynamic content to a video or television-viewing audience. TV Widgets can be developed by OEM's and 3rd party developers using the Yahoo! TV Widget KONtx Framework which provides component user interface elements and behaviors.

Some examples of TV Widgets on a connected device include:

  • The Yahoo! Weather widget, which provides updates on your local and favorite weather locations. This widget dynamically changes with weather conditions.
  • The Yahoo! Finance widget, which allows you to monitor your portfolio activity while you watch TV or a DVD.
  • A Yahoo! Video widget, which plays your favorite web clips.
  • The Flickr widget, which provides a television-viewing experience while watching slideshows of family and friends? photos.

Each user in the home maintains his or her personal list of favorite widgets and can configure their own widget and TV experience.

To make content more easily accessible on-screen you can add widget pages to your list of favorite snippets. Snippets are the tiles that are graphically displayed on the bottom of your television screen when you access TV Widgets through your remote control. Snippets can provide dynamic content pushed to your connected TV device from Internet service providers.

  • A Flickr snippet, which refreshes as new photos of your grandchildren are uploaded.
  • A video rental snippet, which shows when the latest smash hit has been released to video.
  • A Yahoo! Weather snippet which shows the current temperature in your city and a chance of rain.

Snippets provide the advantage of dynamic notification which you can monitor while watching television or videos.

The dock is the user interface component that manages multiple snippets. The dock organizes snippets in a horizontal list along the bottom of your TV. You can think of the dock as a container of snippets. The dock?s primary functions are:

  • Displaying snippets.
  • Navigating between snippets.
  • Organizing the widgets available to each user.
  • Launching widgets without interrupting the video or television viewing experience.

The sidebar view is the primary view of a widget. When you activate a snippet it launches the widget from the dock into the widget?s sidebar view. The sidebar?s primary components are:

  • The navigation start page or HOME menu.
  • The widget logo or title button at the top of the sidebar which returns the widget to its HOME menu.
  • The widget menu to provide navigation to the primary pages of the widget.
  • The global toolbar at the bottom of the sidebar, to provide global functions for each widget.

The full screen view is the largest graphical view of a widget. The full screen view?s capabilities are:

  • In the general case, the entire screen resolution 960×540 or 1920×1080 is covered by the widget?s graphical interface.
  • To create a multimedia effect, the widget may take over only a portion of the fullscreen resolution (i.e. the bottom third of the screen), and leave video or television running in the background. This state may not be supported by all OEMs. Refer to the TV Widget Developer Forum for the latest support status.
  • In fullscreen mode, there are no reserved buttons or regions. The title button and the global toolbar are not present. A wait indicator may be displayed if the widget engine or remote server is performing a time-consuming function.
  • From the fullscreen view you can exit to the dock or you can exit to fullscreen video.
  • When you exit from the fullscreen view to fullscreen video, all graphics on the screen are cleared, and the widget gives up user interface control to the device?s media player. At this point, the connected TV device?s media transport controls are available.