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Toshiba building Yahoo into more Internet-linked TVs

COUCH SURFING The cooperation deal follows Google’s partnership with Sony, Intel and Logitech to create ‘Google TV’ to mesh Web surfing and television

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Toshiba on Wednesday unveiled new high-definition televisions featuring Yahoo software that lets viewers watch content streamed from the Internet.

The flat-screen televisions were the Japanese company’s first high-definition models embedded with “Connected TV” software and builds on a trend that surfaced nearly two years ago.

“Toshiba is dedicated to developing a brand of televisions that truly enrich the viewing experience,” said Ron Smith, vice president of marketing at Toshiba America Information Systems digital products division. “By partnering with Yahoo, the proven leader in delivering compelling Internet content directly to TV screens, we are able to provide consumers with features that enable them to enjoy a variety of entertainment content directly from their remote.”

Software developers have created more than 65 Yahoo TV Widgets that, combined, give users access to more than 50,000 movies and television shows on the Internet, according to the California firm. Widgets also let people tend to online tasks such as updating Twitter or Facebook, or shopping on eBay while watching television.

In May, Internet giant Google revealed a plan to expand its kingdom to the living room with an ambitious new service that lets people mesh television viewing with surfing the Web.

“Google TV,” developed in partnership with technology titans Sony, Intel and Logitech, fuses the freedom of the Internet with television programming.

Google vowed its TV platform would succeed where offerings such as Apple TV have foundered.

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