The official Nintendo Wii website has an interview of sorts with the developers that created the channel functionality (and its interface) for their new console, the Wii.
We decided to use the term “Channel” at about the same time we decided upon the panes. We were having some difficulty in pulling together all the different ideas suggested to us by each department. In fact, we were more or less at a dead end. And then someone proposed that we try lining them all up. Right then, someone casually said, neither as a complement nor as a criticism, “That’s a TV channel,” and that’s when it clicked. I mean, at that moment, the atmosphere was electric. When I first heard the word “channel”, it enveloped the whole idea, even though I wasn’t fully aware of its appeal. Looking back, I think this is when I first realised that these “panes” would play a leading role in our interface.
It’s pretty lengthy and it goes into depth about the decisions they needed to take when creating that kind of rich interface to be used on a console that’s plugged to a standard TV. The website itself also has a lot more interviews available on the subject of design for the Wii – both the frontend layer and game titles. Via Shacknews.