April 18, 2006 3:53 PM PDT

Yahoo boosts stake in wired home

Seeking an invitation into customers' homes, Yahoo acquired a software company that specializes in delivering digital music, photos and video into living rooms.

Yahoo announced Tuesday that it purchased Meedio, a Houston-based software company, for an undisclosed amount. According to a note posted on Meedio.com, Yahoo purchased the rights to most of the company's technology and all its intellectual property but not its products.

Yahoo plans to fold Meedio's technology into its Digital Home team, Meedio's note read. Among the technologies Meedio developed is one that let people organize and access digital music and video with their TV and remote control.

"Meedio provides the 10-foot interface," said Nitin Gupta, an analyst at The Yankee Group. "Meedio will link together Yahoo's disparate offerings so that users can access them from their couch."

Television has ruled supreme in U.S. living rooms for decades. In the past few years, a score of technological advances including the PC, video-game consoles and digital video recorders have revamped TV viewing.

Amid the upheaval, Yahoo and other consumer-tech companies are looking to deliver digital media to customers who are relaxing in their homes instead of working at their desktops.

Yahoo could someday use Medioo's technology to deliver photos stored on Flickr, Yahoo's photo-sharing site, to a customer's TV. Users could also possibly access music videos or video games from Yahoo's music and game sites directly on their televisions.

"The acquisition...will enable Yahoo to further our goal of extending Yahoo beyond the browser and onto the connected devices throughout consumers' lives," said company spokeswoman Helena Maus.

The market for staking out ground inside the so-called wired home is supposed to reach the billions one day. But Gupta agrees with many analysts, who say that the wide adoption of services and gadgets that enable home networking is "coming slowly."

See more CNET content tagged:
Yahoo! Inc., living room, software company, digital music, video game


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