Vizio Adds New Content Partners for VIA TV’s

Posted by at 11:16 am on June 24, 2009

Vizio announced today a new expanded list of content and service partners who are designing widgets to bring movies, TV, music and social networking applications this year to Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) Connected HDTVs.

Vizio enables web-based content to be accessible and viewed simultaneously with any input on the HDTV and is displayed in a menu that can be adjusted to fit around the video on an TV screen.

“Consumers are placing high value on connected televisions that open up new content applications,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates. “Our recent research has identified a likely target of 2.5 million North American broadband households that are ready to purchase an Internet-connected TV.”

Vizio’s VIA Connected HDTV feature includes integrated wireless (802.11n dual-band) and wired networking for connection to the Internet right out of the box.   Vizio HDTVs enabled with this platform guide the user through a quick step-by-step set up process that runs as soon as the TV is turned on for the first time. Users   select their wireless network from a list of all available networks (automatically discovered) to connect their Vizio HDTV to the Internet. They also have the option to plug in an Ethernet cable directly to the Vizio HDTV to access the Internet.

VIA Connected HDTVs also come with a customized universal remote control with built-in QWERTY keyboard that slides open to allow users to easily type keywords for their favorite movies, TV shows, music, chat, or simply enter logins and passwords for their favorite services. Equipped with Bluetooth, the customized remote also provides users with the added convenience of being able to type without having to point the remote at the TV. In addition, the customized universal remote has been designed with traditional infrared capabilities to allow consumers to control all of their existing CE devices connected to the television, such as DVD and Blu-ray players, VCRs, audio devices, cable and satellite set-top boxes, DVRs, and other AV equipment.

“We are excited by the support of the additional content and service providers being announced today. The overwhelming response so far from the biggest brands in this space validates our unique approach in addressing the growing consumer demand for online content and services on the biggest screen in the home,” said Matthew McRae, Vice President of Products at Vizio. “Understanding that consumers still expect the TV to remain first and foremost the entertainment centerpiece of the home, we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that the VIA platform integrates seamlessly with the existing TV experience and makes web-based content as easily discoverable as flipping the channel.”

Vizio’s VIA Connected HDTV feature incorporates multiple technologies and software services to enable a unique experience that hides all of the complexity from viewers. One such technology is the Yahoo! Widget Engine, which provides an open platform that allows a new class of Internet services, called TV Widgets, to thrive in the TV environment. Vizio’s platform also includes support for the Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home, an optimized implementation of Flash technology that enables developers and content providers to deliver HD video, rich applications and other Web content to Internet-connected televisions, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices in the digital home.

Previously, Vizio announced a number of   content and service providers who are building Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) including: Accedo Broadband, Amazon Video On Demand, Blockbuster On Demand, Flickr, Netflix, Pandora and Rhapsody.

Now Vizio is pleased to reveal additional leading content and service providers also working to bring their compelling entertainment, social networking, information and interactive services to the platform this year, including:

eBay -” Get real-time updates, place bids, and monitor your favorite items with the eBay TV Widget. Search, view photos, and compare prices of products with the press of your remote-”you won’t miss a buying or selling opportunity with the eBay TV Widget.

Facebook-” Facebook gives everyone the power to connect and share with their friends. Over 200 Million people use Facebook every month and Facebook Connect brings this audience into your TV, making it even more social.

Radiotime-” makes it easy for listeners find local, national, or global radio programming airing on more than 60,000 AM/FM and Internet radio stations in 140 countries broadcasting in 55 languages.

Revision 3-” The home of Internet Television, Revision3 creates content for passionate communities who want to watch shows that entertain, educate and help to expand their life experiences.

Rallypoint Sports-” Rallypoint delivers fantasy sports, social networking, and e-commerce services to consumers through Internet-connected HDTVs and other devices. Launched in 2009, RallycastSM Fantasy Sports services give consumers unprecedented ability to personalize their HDTV sports viewing experience with real-time fantasy league stats -“ and stay connected with their friends and competitors – using just their remote control.

Showtime-” The Showtime TV Widget takes consumers inside Showtime with video extras, trailers, trivia, and select sample episodes of hit series such as Dexter and Weeds.

Vudu-” VUDU is a leading digital entertainment service that delivers tens of thousands of movies and more.

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