Impressions of Widgets...Future of ITV?

I was just curious the opinion of others that have used the Yahoo Framework? Do you see this being used as the future of interactive TV?

I personally like the framework and think Yahoo's done a good job, although I feel it might be vulnerable to something like Google Android which seems to be slowly getting in the TV space. I could see the appeal to a full stack including OS, SDK, dev tools, and with the support of Google and others behind it.

8 Replies
  • I like what Yahoo has done also, but unfortunately my impression so far based on TVs using ARM processors is that the response time is too slow to consider it "interactive" TV. Hopefully that's something that will improve when it's available on Intel Atom-based platforms.

    In the meantime, I think it's more accurate to think of it as a portal to online content. That is, I think people will interact with it only enough to get access to some content they want to watch, and then will let it stream the content. So I think the widgets that provide video on demand, like Amazon and Netflix, will be the most popular out of what's currently available.

    That perception runs contrary to Yahoo's stated goals, so I think there's a risk that widget providers that don't recognize this will fill the library with widgets that people at most play with once or twice, and then delete. Too many of those will make the platform seem like a novelty to be ignored, rather than something useful. An example along these lines would be the CBS widget. When I first saw it, I was happy because I thought it would provide access to stream full episodes, just like on the website. Instead, it's basically access to commercials about CBS shows. It might be worth playing with if it responded instantly, but the click-wait-click-wait process had me tired before I got to anything worthwhile. I predict that it will be a frequently deleted widget (sorry to say it, CBS developers, if you're reading.) I further predict that most people will have a tolerance level of no more than about 3 quick-to-delete widgets before they start ignoring the whole Yahoo Connected TV feature.

    What can counter that is a killer app. The most likely candidates are Amazon and Netflix, as I mentioned. CBS could make that list too, if they just added full episodes to their content. If Joost, or Hulu, or other content providers also joined the fray, it would go a long way to making Yahoo Connected TV relevant.

    I worry that the 'toe in the water' approach on high-end TVs only, using slower processors, may undermine a launch of a more responsive version later. By then, it may have already been written off by users.

    I wish I could be more enthusiastic about it, because I would like to see the tech do well, but I feel that there are some serious challenges facing Yahoo Connected TV.
  • I wonder how people viewed iPhone development process at its launch...

    It is very easy to throw the platform under the bus based on your listed assumptions - let alone posting those comments to the audience dedicated to the platform.

    It takes much more to be a leader in a pioneering platform - casting doubt seems a waste of time and forum resources
  • I don't think we are trying to throw the platform under the bus at all, and instead just having an open and honest discussion. It may have been a little off base to ask this on a forum dedicated to the platform, but there are no other outlets to bring up this discussion at this time. Trust me, I've devoted a lot of time to learn the platform, and I sure hope it does not eventually go by the wayside. However, it doesn't hurt to step back and ask those who have used the platform the most what they see as obstacles of adoption for further growth. I personally think Yahoo has done a great job, and I am not saying anything against what they have done, and I don't believe "kraney2" was either. I would hope by having this discussion we could help further improve the platform, and bring to Yahoo's attention areas we find lacking or barriers.
  • I agree that the discussion around issues, concerns, developer experience, and barriers needs to take place.

    I must express concern over this being done in the forums. It only serves to deter interest for people looking to start, if the current development community is calling out hardware limitations etc.

  • Personally,

    I have more problems with the fact that this sdk only work with linux distros.

    Yes you can easily install ubuntu, still it remain clunky, plus video are not playing in the latest ubuntu version.

    I think web developers would have more embark in this with a windows or mac sdk.

    With android coming soon to TV.. I would not be surprise if Android would be connectedtv demise
  • I also doubt that putting the technology in TV's is the way to go. Who wants to purchase a $2000 TV and to have no way to upgrade it. Widget approval is also overly complicated because each widget has to pass the QA of each CE, and all the legal issues that go along with it.

    Google is planning a daisy-chain model, where a dedicated box sits between your cable, and TV. This is better, but I'm not sure I would want to buy another box either, unless it provides more than just widgets. Combine the best of widgets, Boxee, Roku, etc into one box, and then there might be some motivation to buy the box, and ditch cable all together.

    I do think it will be hard for Yahoo to compete with Android, if Google decides to strongly push and market Android on TV sets. Android is already popular on existing devices, the development tools are excellent and cross platform, there is much more in the way of documentation (books, etc), and it's coded in Java. However, there will be more to creating a successful TV experience then just directly porting over Android.

    I do think so far Yahoo has done the best job design wise for TV's, with the snippet bar and sidebar idea. I enjoy using the framework, but that is because I am used to it. I can see newcomers not being as overly excited to use a Javascript based framework (as I initially was), and with Linux only development tools.

    I guess we'll wait and see what happens. Should be interesting with the competition.
  • As someone who's experimented with FiosTV widgets, native Samsung widgets, and Yahoo widgets, I have to say I really love Yahoo widget development. I'll take coding in javascript any day over the hoops one has to go through to get a FiosTV widget developed in Lua.
  • QUOTE (gouldtv @ Jan 7 2011, 10:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    As someone who's experimented with FiosTV widgets, native Samsung widgets, and Yahoo widgets, I have to say I really love Yahoo widget development. I'll take coding in javascript any day over the hoops one has to go through to get a FiosTV widget developed in Lua.

    We could not agree more! Yahoo! development is fantastic.

Recent Posts

in General - Yahoo! TV Widgets