Yahoo Japan has clearly taken the whole widget concept to heart in introducing a new service that helps users get the most out of digital TV broadcasts [Japanese].
The ‘Yahoo! 1seg Widget’ is aimed at computer users who have digital TV tuners in their machines that are capable of picking up the special mobile-tailored digital broadcasts known there as 1-seg.
Firmware on compatible tuners – several are already available – grabs the limited program data that’s broadcast with the mobile stream and sends it to Yahoo’s search engine automatically.
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From there, it’s a simple matter of feeding back relevant results about the TV show to the widget, which displays information about the cast, the subject of the show and plenty more that can’t be squeezed into the data channel on the original broadcast.
On top of that, Yahoo Messenger can be fired up to join a special chatroom populated only by other people watching the same TV show.
Looking ahead, Yahoo is likely to expand the functionality to regular digital broadcasts on PCs and, possibly on internet-connected TV sets too.