[CEATEC] Sharp, Yahoo to Utilize 'Full HD' Resolution in Internet Services

Oct 3, 2007
Tomohisa Takei, Nikkei Electronics
Top page of the prototyped "Yahoo! HD for AQUOS" Internet service for TVs
Top page of the prototyped "Yahoo! HD for AQUOS" Internet service for TVs
[Click to enlarge image]

Sharp Corp. has presented the "Yahoo! HD for AQUOS" Internet service for its "AQUOS" LCD TVs as a reference presentation at CEATEC Japan 2007.

The service, a joint development with Yahoo Japan Corp., acquires maps, photos and other data from "Yahoo! Japan" Internet portal site and displays them on the TV screen.

"We developed the service, discussing what an Internet service would be like if it made the most of the pixels in a 1920 x 1080 resolution LCD panel," said an attendant at Sharp's booth.

Internet browsers for "AcTVila" TV portal service, which Japanese TV manufacturers are prompting adoption to their TVs, use a fixed number of pixels. The companies considered that, if the browsers can use all pixels in a high-resolution panel, they can pack more data in a Web page and provide higher quality images.

Toward the realization of the Yahoo! HD for AQUOS service, Sharp and Yahoo decided the format in which the server and TVs exchange information, Sharp said. The prototyped service acquires data written in "SVG," an XML-based language, to express 2D vector images and embedded the TV with software like an Internet browser to render the images using the whole TV screen.

The service needs this software besides an Internet browser for acTVila and a BML browser for data broadcasts. This software obtains new SVG data from the server following the user's remote controller operations.

Sharp assumes that content providers as Yahoo will prepare the server, which returns SVG data in accordance with requirements from TVs. This server will convert Internet contents for standard PCs into SVG data for TVs and transmit it to TVs in response to their requests.

From the available services, Sharp demonstrated the provision of map data, picture books and other content on the monitor at its booth. "Since TVs are generally found in the living room, they are usually watched by more than two people, such as family members. Content that would stimulate conversation among those who are watching might be suitable for the service," said an attendant.

Map data service. The map can be switched to a satellite photo view. The companies made operation easy by making the numeric keypad on the remote controller the scale controller.
Map data service. The map can be switched to a satellite photo view. The companies made operation easy by making the numeric keypad on the remote controller the scale controller.
[Click to enlarge image]
Picture book service. The service replays a voice reading out phrases in the book at the same time.
Picture book service. The service replays a voice reading out phrases in the book at the same time.
[Click to enlarge image]