Yahoo pitches 'widget channel'

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Yahoo is gearing up to launch a new service which will allow users to run widgets on their TV..

The new service will team up Yahoo with Intel to allow the placement of web-based "widget" objects on the screens of Intel's set-top boxes. The widgets will display such things as weather, local news headlines or stock quotes.

Neither company provided an official release date or timetable for the service.

Yahoo also plans to integrate the television service with its other web services. For example, users will be able to view Flickr feeds while watching TV while watching TV.

The channel will be part of what Yahoo hopes is a larger foray into what the company calls "the cinematic internet." Yahoo envisions a system in which all living room devices are able to access the internet and mix web-based info with traditional media.

"No longer just a passive experience unless the viewer wants it that way, Intel and Yahoo are proposing a way where the TV and Internet are as interactive, and seamless, as possible," declared Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's digital home group.

"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."

The companies also hope to make the service easily accessible to developers. The Widget Network will support applications written in XML, Javascript and Flash. The two are also providing a "Widget Gallery" in which users can view and select various widgets to use with the service.

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