Yahoo! Go for TV will release a new beta version tonight with better Flickr integration, picture in picture viewing capability, movie recommendations from Yahoo! Movies, the ability to access music on your local network and support for a larger number of TV tuner cards. The basic Yahoo! Go for TV product is a downloadable digital video recording service for Windows machines. The first version launched in April. It’s competition with Microsoft’s Windows Media Center, which is preloaded on computers at purchase versus the free download from Yahoo!
Yahoo! Go for TV previously allowed users to peruse various general streams from Flickr (“interestingness” for example) but will now provide access to personal photos so those can be shared with a group around the tube. Windows Media Center allows photo display but doesn’t include an online component.
The Yahoo! movie recommendation engine on Yahoo! Movies asks users to define their taste on a continuum from indy to Hollywood and then rate up to 10 apparently psychologically revealing movies. It then suggests movies playing in theaters near you, movies available for purchase on DVD and movies playing on TV. The previous version of Yahoo! Go for TV didn’t offer any personalized recommendations. Windows Media Center allows movies to be purchased through MovieLink.
The ability to access locally stored music is already available from Microsoft’s product and the feature’s absence was a common complaint when Yahoo! Go for TV launched. I won’t try to do an extensive comparison of the two services here, but if you are interested in a media center type service then you can check out Yahoo! Go for TV will be a more full featured option starting today. Flickr users may be particularly interested.