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Samsung Plugs Web Widgets Into TVs

Samsung Electronics will provide interactive applications and content from Yahoo, as well as other content providers including YouTube and Showtime Networks, to select Internet-enabled flat-panel HDTVs, starting this spring.

Select models in Samsung’s 2009 flat-panel HDTV lineup will be powered by Yahoo’s “Widget Engine” platform for applications written using Web standards such as JavaScript and XML. 

The Samsung Internet@TV Content Service will include widgets from Yahoo properties, including Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather, Yahoo Finance and photo-sharing site Flickr, as well as content from USA Today, Google’s YouTube, eBay and Showtime Networks. 

The new service will let Samsung customers “interact and connect with many of their favorite Web services on a personal level,” Boo-Keun Yoon, executive vice president of Samsung’s visual display division, said in a statement. “It’s frankly way beyond just passively watching broadcasts and is no doubt the future of TV.”

The Samsung HDTVs will connect to a home network via a built-in Ethernet port or an optional Wi-Fi USB adapter.

Developers will be able to develop and deploy interactive widgets for Samsung TVs using Yahoo’s Widget Development Kit. Samsung and Yahoo said they plan to work together to attract more developers to the Internet@TV Content Service.

Samsung HDTVs with the Yahoo Widget Engine and TV Widgets will be available in 13 countries in 2009: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

The companies plan to demo the TVs at the CES trade show in Las Vegas this week.