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Industry Trends

Intel + Yahoo! Innovate With Interactive TV

By August 21, 2008July 30th, 20232 Comments

There is some good news, for those who cannot decide between watching their favorite TV program and surfing the World Wide Web. Connected TV, from Yahoo! enables users to access the Web on their television sets, while also continuing to watch their favorite TV show.

A range of widgets will be made available at the bottom of new TV screens manufactured using this new technology. The widgets will be accessible via a button on the TV remote. The docket that appears on the screen will contain various web applications, from which viewers can select the one that they wish to use, while the TV program continues to run alongside.

Users will now be able to perform various actions, such as accessing their favorite websites, watching movies on demand, and getting information about the weather, stock markets and more, directly on the television set, by simply using the remote controller.

The innovations come from Intel, in association with Yahoo!, in the form of a “Widget Channel”. According to ZDNet, this is an open, widget-based platform for the development of applications on television.

These widgets run along the bottom of the TV screen, just like the ribbon that runs headlines along the bottom on news channels. When a viewer clicks on a particular widget, a side bar appears, with various options to choose from. It is a very simple process really, just like operating the remote, for selecting various channels or settings of the TV.

Combining the television and Internet industries will be made possible by a new chip, the Intel Media Processor C3100, which is a very versatile piece of technology, capable of several functions at the same time.

“We plan to combine the Internet benefits of open user choice, community, and personalization with the performance and scale embodied in the Intel Architecture to transform traditional TV into something bigger, better and more exciting than ever before”, says Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Connected Life at Yahoo!

“Intel Media Play” technology powers this service and all the new applications, and will also be capable of running other software, such as Java, XML, HTML and Adobe Flash. Details can be found on the Connected TV site:

Browsers, the computer desktop and mobile phones have been the sites where the three technology giants, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have already fought for supremacy. The household television set seems to be the next battleground. Google has already invaded the space via TV ads and now the Google Media Server.

Yahoo!’s latest announcement has definitely stepped up the game. How and whether they can actually deliver a product that captures the minds and hearts of millions of TV viewers worldwide remains to be seen. If they do, though, they could tip the balance of power in their favour once more, as TV remains the only other media format that continues to attract as many, if not more viewers (and potential ad impressions) than the Internet.