Yahoo, Vestal Bring WebTV To Europe

Continuing the rush by Internet companies to work themselves into future technology of television sets, Yahoo has made a deal with the Vestal Group, a large TV manufacturer with the biggest share of TV sets in Europe.

The deal will build out Yahoo! Connected TV, integrating TV apps into new Internet-connected TV sets by the Turkish-based TV manufacturer. They begin shipping to 40 countries in the first quarter of 2011.

Previously announced Google TV is readying deals with Samsung Internet @TV and Sony Internet TV. Samsung holds the biggest worldwide share of television sets. Yahoo! Connected TV is already in some U.S. TV sets, such as Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio.

Yahoo says Vestal is the largest European TV set maker, with 16% of the LCD market. Vestal also has 25% of the digital set-top-box market in Europe.

Yahoo's plan is to create an open-suite for widget and app developers for the Internet company's connected TV efforts. Google TV is taking a different approach -- wanting to incorporate one of its biggest consumer assets -- search -- as well as other Web services directly into television sets. To further complicate things, TV manufacturers are making their own arrangements; some are for movie content, some with app and widget developers.



With Yahoo! Connected TV, consumers can launch TV widgets or apps, giving them direct access to thousands of entertainment sources, movies, TV shows, videos and other kinds of Internet content on demand, according to the company.

In addition, consumers can stream the latest movies on Coolroom and get local and global updates from U.K.-based Sky News and Germany-based BILD News. Consumers can social network using Twitter and Facebook while watching TV.

Turan Erdogan, board member and president of sales, marketing and R&D, Vestel Group, stated: "Through this partnership, we provide customers with a high-quality, easy to use, well-known platform for delivering Internet apps directly to our connected products."

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