When Web TV was first introduced in the 1990s, the TV set was connected to a keyboard and a set top box. Back then, it did not succeed quite as well as expected. But now it seems to be making a comeback in a modified form, with the keyboard and set top box built into the TV itself; And it’s now called Connected TV.
During the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas this month, all the major television manufacturers like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and LG introduced modified TV models with Web built in access. Different sets contain different facilities such as Yahoo! Widgets, MySpace or other social networking capabilities, built in Netflix and so on.
Samsung is likely to be the first company to introduce the Connected TV by this summer.
Manufacturers are hopeful that having the components of the Web integrated into the television sets will encourage users to adopt the “Connected TV” technology.
Yahoo! Widgets, for one, will not only give users access to Yahoo! content but will also allow developers to build new widgets that consumers can add. Several new widgets are likely to be introduced in the near future.
Another interesting feature to be added soon will be a Twitter widget, which will allow users to send messages to each other through the TV itself.
The MySpace widget is also generating a lot of interest as it will enable social networking between friends, while watching a TV show. Users in different locations will be able to watch the same TV program and interact with each other via comments and pictures, as though they were sitting in the same room.
ReadWriteWeb reports that most of the widgets will be funded by advertising.
The Connected TV has an Ethernet port at the back, and users can directly plug the DSL connection into the TV to access the Internet.
Since the Connected TV will be controlled with just a handy remote control, rather than the set top box and keyboard, and will have many new features to it, it is more likely that the concept will appeal to users this time around.
Screenshot from Samsung Connected TV demo