updated 11:30 am EDT, Wed July 29, 2009
LG TVs to get Vudu service
Electronics producer LG today said it has teamed up with Vudu to integrate the latter's on-demand movie and TV services into its HDTVs. This will allow the Internet-connected TVs to browse and view a full library of content, including in HD. Currently, Vudu offers set-top boxes that need to plugged into a TV and network connection, which adds to the clutter and complexity of a living room, as well as adding another remote control. With the partnership with LG, Vudu hopes to make its service more accessible to customers.
The strategy is an about-face for Vudu, which so far has pushed its own hardware as the cornerstone of its business. Without much market share, though, it has struggled to differentiate itself from hardware like the Apple TV or Roku Internet Player. Vudu's rivals are also looking to take a stand-alone box out of the equation, including Netflix, which partnered up with Microsoft to offer access to its content via the Xbox 360 gaming console.
Vudu offers 1080p HD movies paired with Dolby Digital surround sound, which can be instantly fast forwarded, rewound and started. There are no monthly fees associated with Vudu, and customers can buy or rent Vudu's offerings instead. The Vudu-enabled HDTVs from LG will be available sometime this fall, though detailed release information or pricing have not been released.