May 04, 2009 by Lisa Montgomery
What are your thoughts about widgets? If you don’t already know about them, TV widgets are small Internet applications that can be found right on your TV screen.
While you’re watching “24” you can scan the weather forecast or see how your stocks are doing. You might even jump on the Net to order takeout from the Chinese joint down the street.
Sounds pretty cool, huh? Nearly 80 percent of consumers think so, according to a survey of 2,000 adult broadband subscribers. The research was commissioned by Intel and conducted by The Diffusion Group.
The favorite app among those surveyed (85 percent citing it as valuable) was a TV widget that would let them quickly find and watch an episode of current season TV shows they may have missed or would like to see again. A DVR offers that capability, of course, but what if you forget to set your DVR? Intel is promoting its Widget Channel as a solution.
Other faves were a widget that would allow you to customize up-to-the-minute weather information for a particular location, provide on-demand access to movies via the Internet (some like the idea of having access to a movie recommendation service), and being able to link to TV program websites while watching a show.
According to the survey, 75 percent of consumers likely to purchase a new HDTV in the next six months would pay as much as $75 extra if it featured a widget toolbar and their five favorite applications.
To make all this happen, Intel has developed a chip designed to be embedded directly into TVs, cable set-top boxes, and Blu-ray players. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
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