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blinkx eyes bigger presence in web-connected TV

Online video search firm blinkx is expanding to reach new customers in their living rooms with a deal to provide its technology to television makers, set-top box makers and apps developers.

The company, which has indexed more than 35 million hours of online video, said viewers were increasingly watching online video on mobile phones and web-connected televisions as well as on PCs, where it has already built a leading position.

blinkx founder and CEO Suranga Chandratillake said the new interface would complement its mobile API (application programming interface), launched last summer, which had already won support from partners like Samsung.

“Providing an API for TV brings blinkx into the living-room and enables our partners to tap a flourishing audience as more consumers access Web video from their TVs,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Internet-connected television has not yet been widely adopted, but companies such as Google and Apple are betting that it will take off.

Television sets connected to the Internet are expected to make up about 40 percent of all TV sales by 2013, according to electronics research group IMS.

As viewers increasingly face a multitude of choices on their television sets, as they currently do on their PCs, investors in blinkx are betting that software for searching that content will become essential. Its shares have risen more than six-fold in the last year.

The UK is developing an Internet TV platform, called YouView, backed by all major free-to-air broadcasters. Chandratillake told Reuters in December he wanted blinkx, spun out of software firm Autonomy, to be on the platform in some way.