TV Shapes Up as Web Battleground

Convergence between the television and the home computer — a holy grail of the digital age — has largely eluded the industry, but the living-room screen is now emerging as a key battleground for software and Internet companies.

Improvements to the processors in TV sets are making it feasible to run Web applications on a TV without the need for a special set-top box, such as those offered by TiVo Inc. or Apple Inc. (AAPL).

While challenges remain, including technical issues and the reluctance of parts of the entertainment industry, companies are building chips and Web browsers for TVs, and others such as Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) are developing Web applications that can be accessed on a new generation of TV sets.

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