Interactive TV News Round-Up (VIII): Vizio, Vudu, Yahoo!

--Hulu Plus, Blockbuster On Demand Launch on Vizio's Connected-TV Platform
--Vudu to Offer 3D Movies on Connected-TV Devices
--Yahoo! Reveals Plans to Offer "Broadcast Interactivity" on its Connected-TV Platform

Due to the large volume of news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicked off Wednesday in Las Vegas, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up form. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the news generated by the show: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • Vizio has announced the addition of Hulu Plus and Blockbuster On Demand to its Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) connected-TV platform. In addition, the company says, a number of other partners are set to launch content and services on the platform in the near future, including BigStar, MOG, Namco Bandai Games America., OnLive, Skype, and Vimeo. Vizio also says that it will be demo'ing a new Vizio On Demand app in its private CES showroom at the Wynn Hotel. According to the company, the app will enable users to "access movies in CinemaScope aspect ratio for a pure movie experience on Vizio's Cinema HDTV displays, 4K by 2K content for Ultra HD TV's that can display up to four times the resolution of 1080p HD, 3D movies, and a deep catalog of top movie favorites."
  • Walmart-owned connected-TV content provider, Vudu, has announced that it will next week launch instant streaming of 3D movies to select 3D-capable TV sets and Blu-ray Disc players from Funai (Magnavox, Sylvania), LG Electronics, Mitsubishi, Philips, Samsung, Toshiba and Vizio; as well as to the PlayStation 3 and the Boxee Media Software.
  • Yahoo! has announced plans to offer an experience it terms "broadcast interactivity" on its Yahoo! Connected TV platform. According to the company, it is collaborating with ABC, CBS, HSN and Showtime on content for a pilot program that will launch in the first half. It says it is also working with Ford, Mattel and Microsoft to deliver interactivity with their TV advertising; as well as with various distribution partners, including Broadcom, D-Link, Haier, MediaTek, Sony and Toshiba. "With broadcast interactivity, TV programmers will be able to create TV apps that let viewers vote for a reality-TV participant, get more information about characters, or make ecommerce purchases while watching a show," Yahoo! explains in its press materials. "For brand advertisers, broadcast interactivity will let them connect in real time with TV viewers during commercials or other branded entertainment experiences. Examples of broadcast interactivity could include: CBS--Viewers of 'Hawaii Five-O' could view fun facts about the show and learn more about the actors, characters, and setting by using their remote controls; ABC--Viewers of an ABC primetime show could access actor information and view photos and videos during certain scenes right from their TV's while watching the show; Showtime--'Showtime Boxing' fans could access detailed fight information including photos and videos, test their knowledge of the boxers, and vote for the boxer they think will win the match; HSN--Viewers watching HSN could directly purchase an item highlighted on the live show and take advantage of specials of the day, using their remote controls; Ford--TV viewers watching a Lincoln commercial could find local dealers, customize their dream cars, view Lincoln luxury lifestyle videos, and more; Mattel--Viewers of a Barbie TV commercial could take Barbie polls, play Barbie dress-up games, view Barbie documentary videos, and more."


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