The Cinematic Internet is coming to a living room near you

Everyone loves their TVs. So much so that over 37 million units were sold in North America in 2007. But how much more would you love your TV if you could monitor your eBay auctions, keep tabs on the 5-day weather forecast, and check the score of the Giants game — all at the same time you are watching the new season of "ER"? That's just an example of what you could do with some of the exciting innovations coming out of Yahoo!’s Connected TV group.

At today’s Intel Developer Forum, Yahoo! and Intel announced the Widget Channel, the first in a series of initiatives that will bring what Yahoo! calls the "Cinematic Internet" even closer to living rooms across America.

The Widget Channel is a television application framework optimized for TV and related consumer electronics devices that use the Intel Architecture. The Widget Channel will be powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, an applications platform that will enable TV viewers to interact with and enjoy a rich set of TV Widgets, or small Internet applications designed to complement and enhance the traditional TV watching experience and bring content, information and community features available on the Internet within easy reach of your remote control.

TV Widgets will introduce a new way of interacting with your television. Just imagine that you are watching Dancing With the Stars and you get a phone call from your friend about new Flickr photos they uploaded. But the new season of your favorite reality show has just started, and you don’t want to miss any of the action. You don’t have to go anywhere to view the Flickr album. With a click of your remote, you can bring up the TV Widget dock at the bottom of your TV screen. Your favorite episode of Dancing With the Stars is still viewable, so you can watch your show uninterrupted and check out the new pictures your friend is so eager for you to see.

With the Cinematic Internet, Yahoo! will help to create and enable the ecosystem of Internet-connected TV, which will benefit consumers, device makers, advertisers and publishers. By combining the Internet’s benefits of openness, community and personalization with the broadcast values of dependability and familiarity of TV, we believe this combination will transform traditional TV into something bigger, better, and more exciting for users, content providers and equipment manufacturers—and make Yahoo! a starting point on the TV.

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Patrick Barry
VP of Yahoo! Connected TV