Aug 21, 2008

Entertainment - Yahoo,Intel set to redefine television viewing experience

SAN FRANCISCO: Yahoo and Intel on Wednesday unveiled plans to make television more interactive with online capabilities.

The Internet pioneer and the chip-making titan said they are working together on a "Widget Channel" that will use computer programs to add online features to television shows and advertising.

"TV will fundamentally change how we talk about, imagine and experience the Internet," Intel senior vice president Eric Kim said in a written statement.

"This effort is one of what we believe will be many exciting new ways to bring the Internet to the TV, and it really shows the potential of what consumers can look forward to."

Kim vowed that television "would no longer be a passive experience unless the viewer wants it that way."

Yahoo and Intel said they are collaborating with television manufacturers and third-party software developers.

Television "widgets," a reference to mini computer programs, will give viewers options such as tracking stocks or sport teams; messaging friends, and accessing videos via the Internet, according to Yahoo.

"We plan to...transform traditional TV into something bigger, better and more exciting than ever before," said Marco Boerries, executive vice president of Connected Life at Yahoo.

"Yahoo plans to enable the Cinematic Internet ecosystem, which will benefit consumers, device makers, advertisers and publishers."

A precise launch date has yet to be determined, but the list of companies developing widgets for the channel includes Twitter, Toshiba, Samsung, eBay, CBS, Blockbuster, and Disney-ABC Television Group.

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