Another tech heavyweight is jumping into the battle over bringing the Internet to the living room. Intel will be showing off its new Widget Channel platform, which combines the new Media Processor CE 3100 with a software framework for displaying widgets of information on your TV, at next month's CES event.
Intel is targeting its solution at device makers, rather than producing any set-top boxes itself. The new chips include high-definition video processing functions as well as enough horsepower to display multiple widgets on your set at the same time you're watching TV (as shown in the image above). Intel and Yahoo have worked on a widget platform that will allow viewers to stream weather reports, sports scores, Flickr galleries, and the like, along with anything third parties can develop using the Widget Channel API.
The new platform was displayed a few months ago at the Intel Developers Forum, where it was shown off with the help of Gigabyte’s Media Processor CE 3100 box. Since then, Intel has been mum on any other device makers or TV manufacturers that plan to offer Widget Channel products in the future. That will change next month in Vegas, where the company says it will unveil prototype Widget Channel devices. I'll submit a full report after I take a first-hand look at CES.