Print 18 comment(s) - last by omnicronx.. on Jan 14 at 9:36 AM

Yahoo's Widget Channel will be the first software to run on new Intel SoCs

People in America and around the world became accustomed to entertainment supported by ads with TV. When the internet came along, people rapidly became accustomed to internet browsing not supported by ads and often reacted harshly when ads were introduced to the medium.

Yahoo and Intel are trying to bring a new way to provide information and ads to TV. The Yahoo Widget Channel will be the first piece of software to take advantage of a new processor that Intel hopes to see integrated into the vast majority of TV sets being sold called the Intel Media Processor CE 3100.

Both of the companies are keen for consumers to understand that this is not another attempt to turn their TVs into computers. Intel tried that approach already with its failed Viiv brand. What the Yahoo Widget Channel will do is cater to the TV viewer by allowing them to connect with other people, find more information about actors or shows they are watching and more.

The technology will be integrated into a number of TVs that will be seen at CES 2009 next month. Major electronics makers including Samsung, Toshiba, and others will be showing TVs at CES 2009 that integrate Intel's new technology.

Yahoo and Intel both say that they are confident in the new technology and fully expect it to catch on, mostly due to the very low licensing requirements they demand for the technology.

Patrick Berry, VP of Yahoo's Connected TV Initiative told CNET, "We do not see it [Yahoo Widget Channel] as a niche offering in a few high-end models. We see this as moving into the mainstream. In 2009, we're going to see good penetration into the product lineups of the consumer electronics companies. Beginning in 2010, I think, you're going to see Internet-connected consumer electronics devices dominating the lineup."

Intel has put much research into bringing the technology to our living rooms after Viiv was far from well received by consumers. Intel even hired an anthropologist to study how people watch TV. With this research, they learned that viewers much preferred the Widget Channel to be at the bottom of the screen where we are used to seeing data scroll already, rather than on the left side of the screen.

Intel says it also learned that consumers didn't want another remote, keyboard, or a complex navigation system. The Widget Channel opens and closes with one button. Ads are coming, but according to Yahoo, they will be very consumer focused.

Barry said, "We have a lot of support from the advertising community, but we're focused on the consumer now. What you'll see initially is us trying to fall all over ourselves trying to make the consumer happy. The advertisers understand that."

Barry also says that Yahoo won’t have a lock on the ads shown on its Widget Channel. Yahoo is certainly hoping to lure other advertisers to the service like Google. Yahoo received the technology behind its Widget Channel from the purchase of Konfabulator in 2005.

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By Operandi on 12/29/2008 2:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
I hope there is more to this than this article indicates. I mean besides "adds" (the only thing mentioned) what value dose this add to a HDTV?

RE: What?
By Aarnando on 12/29/2008 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 3
The Yahoo Widget Channel - perfect for the consumer who just can't get enough of those wonderful advertisements.

RE: What?
By Chocobollz on 12/31/2008 3:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well then maybe we should name it... Yahoo Wicked Channel? :P~

RE: What?
By TomZ on 12/29/2008 3:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
I mean besides "adds" (the only thing mentioned) what value dose this add to a HDTV?
Use your imagination. Imagine the strip at the bottom is a "slice" of the Internet. Ads, yes, but also interactivity, related content, etc.

Actually, I'd be surprised if full browser capability doesn't get merged into HDTVs in the next few years. It's a natural fit.

RE: What?
By Jedi2155 on 12/29/2008 4:12:21 PM , Rating: 3
Especially now that the higher resolution free's us from the limitations of the older "WebTV"

RE: What?
By Shig on 12/29/2008 4:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I must have missed the point of this. You pay more for a TV with one of these chips inside to watch more ads and get useless information about TV shows / actors that other TV channels and the internet already provide?

This is going to crash and burn.

RE: What?
By Murloc on 12/30/2008 6:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
They are trying to turn TVs into computers and make them cost more.

RE: What?
By omnicronx on 1/14/2009 9:36:31 AM , Rating: 2
This is going to crash and burn.
Im going to have to disagree. Just because information is available on the internet, does not mean people are willing to go to their computer to look up this information. On the otherhand I can definately see someone using this at the same time as watching TV, without getting up or moving. In fact if this came with a browser of some sort, I would definitely buy one, even with the increased costs.

I even have a computer attached to my TV, but the extra process of having to change the input, get the computer and mouse out and in a usable location just makes it not worthwhile most of the time.

I could even see my grandparents using a feature like this.

RE: What?
By GTVic on 12/29/2008 6:49:59 PM , Rating: 3
Oh yes, if the ad is for pizza, there could be a link for me to order pizza [jumps for joy]. Gee, I can't wait ... I want, I want ... must consume ... mass quantities ...

RE: What?
By Suntan on 12/29/2008 11:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine the strip at the bottom is a "slice" of the Internet. Ads, yes, but also interactivity, related content, etc.

No thanks. As I already have a PC hooked to the TV, I can just switch over to it or pop up the PIP to Firefox, that way i can actually surf with a fully supported web browser that supports the latest flash, ajax, etc. and actually surf the way I want instead of what yahoo's "market research" says I want.

And this crap better not increase the price of the TVs like Vchip.


Consumer focused ads
By japlha on 12/29/2008 4:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
I hate ads but realize their necessity. As a compromise I would love to be able to choose which type of advertising I want to see. No more female hygiene, male enhancement, kids toys or laundry detergent ads.

RE: Consumer focused ads
By Kibbles on 12/29/2008 4:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
Where'd you get those other ones? All I get are male enhancements and antidepressants... Apparently I'm drepessed due to my underenhanced maleness.

RE: Consumer focused ads
By funlovingjack on 12/30/2008 4:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
In due time I'm sure we'll collect them all. Ah, the spam kings. Always projecting their issues onto the internet at large. I've gotten a rash of fake degree offers lately.

Not so serious questions
By mkruer on 12/29/2008 3:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
Does this mean that every time I turn on a TV now I will get a "Intel Inside" chime and/or the "Yahoo!" yodel?

By Lord Banshee on 12/29/2008 4:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
Seeing i am more a hardware guy i am just excited to get an IA chip + A LOT MORE connected to the TV without having to buy/build a HTPC and deal with all the parts matching/software compatibility. Seriously this SoC isn't just a IA CPU:

Hopefully seeing that it is an IA chip and how most software is designed for IA chips i would hope Yahoo is just the first stepping stone and we see all the big house developers making "cool" and "unique" applications for the TV.

*Not speaking for any company*

Old CPU!
By Anosh on 12/30/2008 4:21:49 AM , Rating: 2
Did anyone other than me notice that they're using an 90nm Pentium-M 800Mhz as processor?!

Also for all those who don't seem to know, SoC stands for System-on-a-chip. Yes, a whole System not just the CPU.

By Doormat on 12/30/2008 10:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
Who will run the service? Or will consumers be left with a bunch of hardware in their TV that is useless.

Also, why people would pay extra (presumably) to be advertised to... I don't know.

error error
By dclapps on 12/29/08, Rating: -1
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