Research: TV widgets could be a hit

By Robert Briel

TV widgets could be a hit with consumers, according to research in the US by the Diffusion Group on behalf of Intel, inventors of the Widget Channel.

The research was carried out among 2,000 people subscribing to broadband services. It shows that 76% said that having a widget toolbar on their TV is “of value.”

A total of 75% plan to buy an HDTV set said they would pay extra for a TV with that type of Internet-connected functionality - up to $75 for TV widgets and four other applications.

The favourite application among those surveyed (85%) was a TV widget that would let them quickly find and watch an episode of a TV show.

Our take on this: interesting and very promising results, even if we take into account who paid for the research. People are familiar using widgets and they seem like a natural extension of the TV experience; a new, improved kind of teletext, that will also allow you to go to additional content to TV programmes, give useful timely information on traffic, weather as well as lead you to streaming video websites.

The research is also good news for companies including LG, Philips, Visio, Samsung, Sony and others that are now bringing the first connected TVs to the market. The only problem is, in this new market there already seem to be too many proprietary systems.