Take Your Content to TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and VIZIO through Yahoo! TV Widgets

Want to reach millions of TV users in North America, Europe and Asia? Are you in love with developing JavaScript, yet sick of dealing with web browsers and the associated pain? Like to be on the bleeding edge of new technologies and stake your claim on the greatest new technology platform since the Apple iPhone?

If any or all of these sound exciting to you, then listen up as developing TV Widgets is for you!

The Yahoo! Connected TV Widget platform is available in a variety of consumer electronic devices, including flat panel TVs from Samsung, Sony, and LG Electronics with VIZIO and others coming soon! With Yahoo! TV Widgets, you can deliver new, interactive experiences to millions of TV users in North America, Europe and Asia.

Yahoo! TV Widgets are extremely easy to develop. The TVs are all running Linux and using a specially modified version of the Yahoo! Widget Engine, a fifth generation application platform derived from the legendary Konfabulator desktop widget platform. We have further extended and simplified widget development by building a JavaScript framework which abstracts most of the complexity from Konfabulator.

TV Widgets Views: Snippet, Sidebar, and Full Screen.

TV Widgets have three basic views available to build from: snippet, sidebar and full screen.

Snippets- live data, shortcuts, or bookmarks


The Snippet is the first view a user sees for a TV Widget in their personal Widget Dock. The Widget Dock can be brought up with one click of the remote and overlays live TV. Snippet views can be static images or can include dynamic data, like the current stock price of a certain symbol. Snippets are also short cuts or bookmarks to specific areas of your widget. When a user selects the snippet, they are taken to that location with the TV widget. For a stock symbol, you are taken to the stock overview page within the finance widget.

SideBar- access web APIs for data, photos and videos

The second view, the one you will be using the most is what we call the Sidebar view. This view usually represents the complete functionality of your Widget application. The user should be able to get access to almost any web-based API feed including data, photos and videos. Numerous example Sidebars are shown here:


Full Screen- play videos, photos or overlay live TV

The third view type is a fullscreen view. The fullscreen view also comes in two forms, one where you replace TV content with your own content, like with a game or streaming video content, and also in a form where you are overlaid on top of video content, like showing live streaming sports scores for example.

In each of these views, you have many standard controls which allow you to quickly create your views. Controls like text elements, images, grids, buttons, transport overlays, etc., all of which can be created with only a couple lines of code. Our framework follows a classical inheritance model similar to what's used by the MOOtools browser JS framework, so it allows you to quickly extend the basic controls to provide additional functionality with ease.

Each of these controls expose a consistent well defined event structure which allows you to add your own logic with minimal effort. For example, adding a button with a handler for the click event, which toggles an image on and off, is as simple as the following:

this.controls.my_button = new KONtx.control.TextButton({
label: "Toggle image visibility",
guid: "toggle_image_visible",
events: {
onClick: function(event) {
my_image.visible = !my_image.visible;

While developing your TV Widgets, you will first be able to run and test your widgets using the TV Widget Development Kit (WDK). Using the provided simulator, you have full debugging capability and can see how your TV Widget will look and feel on the televisions. Once you get a good feel for how your TV Widget works, you can then put your TV in developer mode and have the ability to install your widget via the Yahoo! Widget Gallery onto your TV to test out the experience before submitting your widget for approval.

Get Started Today!

Excited to get started right away? Then visit connectedtv.yahoo.com/developer and sign up as a developer to get access to the WDK and/or attend one of the upcoming Yahoo! Open Hack Days in New York City or Taiwan to learn more! The Yahoo! WDK (Widget Development Kit) is still in closed beta, but any Open Hack attendee will be able to join the beta and download the WDK.

Jeremy Johnstone
Front End Engineer
Connected TV

Russ Schafer
Senior Director, Product Marketing
Connected TV and Desktop Yahoo!