Being able to Skype or IM with your favorite app from your HDTV would be pretty useful.

Well, Bristol Interactive has developed a digital TV with an in-built Atom-powered netbook that would appear to allow users to do just that.

While there are plenty of PCs on the market with TV tuners – the UK-based television manufacturer is producing 22" and 32" TVs with a gig of memory, a 160GB hard drive, four USB ports, and an Ethernet port.

The as-yet unnamed devices work as normal TVs, but hit one button and the screen flips across to Windows XP and full netbook mode.

Screen resolution is 1680 x 1050 pixels – certainly a lot more than you get on a netbook.

The sets also come with a wireless keyboard with integrated track (mouse).

Paul Fellows, CEO, of UK-based Bristol Interactive, said the two models are regular TVs but have the convenience of an ultra-compact PC built inside.

He said they instantly switch between TV mode and PC mode, with no wait for the PC to boot up or log out.

The TV, which operates independently of Windows, is always instantly available at the touch of a remote control button.

Fellows said the TVs don’t have Wi-Fi – because of the reliability issues and the potential for support costs.

Bristol expects to launch the system in October, with 22" models being sold for under GBP £500.

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