Intel is joining forces with Yahoo as it moves into the world of consumer electronics and help tie the TV to the Internet. The collaboration will see the creation of a "Widget Channel" that will sit at the bottom of users' television screens, and enable them to access web content such as news or even engage in social activities like messaging and content sharing all while watching TV.

At the core of the software platform is the Yahoo Widget Engine (previously known as Konfabulator), so desktop PC widgets will presumably work for TVs as well. On the hardware front, the system will be powered by the Intel Media Processor CE 3100 which features support for HD video, home theater quality audio and advanced 3D graphics. The CE 3100 is Intel's first in a new family of system-on-chips (SoCs) designed to be used in consumer electronics devices, such as media players, set top boxes and digital TVs.

While similar efforts have failed in the past, the companies believe it was because the internet stopped people using their set for its prime function: watching programs. This time, however, they are hoping to bring a healthy mix of web-based content and traditional media without disrupting people's TV watching experience.