Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vizio's announcement makes internet TV one stop closer to reality

Vizio announced their latest lineup of 31 new HDTVs for the upcoming year. They were oddly quiet on the subject of VIA connected HDTV sets. That changed last week when Vizio announced that they will have three sets available near the end of the year.

Vizio smartly included both an Ethernet jack as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter in the VIA sets, making it easier for more consumers to connect their TV to the Internet. VIA’s online capabilities are powered by Yahoo’s Widget Engine, and Vizio has an impressive lineup of services ready at launch. Some, like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr widgets, are pretty basic, but the audio and video apps are the real news: for music, there’s Pandora, Radiotime, and Rhapsody, and for video you have your choice of Amazon Video On Demand, Blockbuster On Demand, Netflix, and Vudu. Showtime is also preparing a widget, though it’s limited to samples episodes of its original programming, trailers, and extras.