Yahoo’s TV Demo a No 'Go’

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Las Vegas— Yahoo Inc. Friday introduced a new service called “Yahoo Go TV,’’ designed to bring a wide variety of search and other Web services to the living-room television set.

But it could not demonstrate how it works here at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

The new service, which runs on the Windows XP computer operating system, is designed to allow TV viewers to perform an Internet search of video content and then immediately watch the results, according to Yahoo president Dan Rosensweig.

Users could also use the Yahoo service to display photo slide shows on a TV, play music and pull up shows from a digital video recorder.

“This is not pie in the sky,’’ he said during a CES keynote address.

It turned out, instead, to be pie in the face. The Yahoo Go TV service did not function at the company’s on-stage demonstration, held in a specially designed faux living room set, replete with couches and chairs in trademark Yahoo purple.

Rosensweig called it an “unplanned moment’’ and Yahoo CEO Terry Semel quickly switched attention to the next stage of Yahoo’s presentation to hundreds of show attendees at the Las Vegas Hilton theatre. Bounding on stage: Tom Cruise, star of the third Mission: Impossible movie, which will debut May 5.

“I’m here for you, Terry,” Cruise said.

Semel responded by showing a clip — thrown on screen by a conventional projection system — of Mission Impossible III. Twice. “I guess if you’re going to have a demo glitch, it helps if you follow it up with Tom Cruise,’’ he said.

Does this mean making “Yahoo Go TV” work “seamlessly,’’ as Rosensweig promised, is not an impossible mission for the Web giant? Yahoo claims a worldwide audience of 400 million Internet users. “I can’t promise anything, after today,’’ Rosensweig quipped.