Yahoo has agreed deals with a host of big-name HDTV makers, including Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio, that will result in their sets supporting Yahoo’s online service.

The alliances put Yahoo firmly at the forefront of the drive towards the convergence of the Internet and TV.

The new TVs will be available from as early as the spring and will support widgets – small Internet applications – that operate alongside broadcast TV content.

After making the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Yahoo said the applications can be used for a variety of Web activities.

These include YouTube, MySpace, tracking stocks and sports teams, buying and selling on eBay, messaging friends using Twitter, or using Flickr.

The widgets give viewers more interaction with the programs they’re watching.

There will also be applications based on Yahoo-branded services such as Yahoo Finance.

Yahoo will use the technology as a means to to sell advertising.

The technology also allows outsiders to write TV applications for the platform.

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