Via a quick blog post, Skype announced a partnership with Sony and VIZIO that would bring its video-chat software to BRAVIA and VIA TVs later this year. “Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show, we ushered in a new era of face-to-face communications with the introduction of Skype-enabled TVs,” reads the article. “This year at CES, we’re making further strides in the living room by making it even easier to get Skype on your TV.” Skype reaffirms its commitment to allow you to “make calls wherever you choose” and notes that it is working with additional vendors to bring its software to more mediums. More →
Following on the heels of a report by the Wall Street Journal, electronics maker Vizio has made its entry into the smartphone and tablet market official. In a press release, the company outlines its VIA Phone and VIA Tablet devices that are set to debut this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Vizio’s VIA Phone will be a 1GHz device with a 4-inch “high-resolution” capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. The VIA Tablet will also feature a 1GHz processor and will be paired with an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. Dèjá vu. Both the tablet and smartphone will have “a built-in IR blaster with universal remote control app for quick access to the entire home theater or nearly any other CE device in the home,” which sounds pretty nifty. Hit the jump to check out the full press release. More →
Vizio is currently the only manufacturer to have a passive 3DTV set on the market, and they aren’t slowing down their Theater 3D TV assault. The company has just announced that they will be releasing 21 models which range in sizes from 21-inches to 71-inches and feature varying LED backlit and edge lit models, sets with Yahoo! Widgets, and even a few Google TV televisions. Passive 3D TVs don’t require active, battery-powered glasses which are larger, heavier, and usually can cause greater eye strain than passive glasses. Plus, you’ll be able to rock those fashionable Oakley or Gucci 3D glasses — wins all around. Full press release after the break. More →
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, TV manufacturer Vizio plans to announce its intentions to break into the Android smartphone and tablet market sometime today. “The Irvine, Calif., company said its first mobile phone, to be called Via Phone, will have a 4-inch screen, a front-facing camera for video calls, a rear-facing five megapixel camera and the capability to shoot video,” writes the Journal. The article goes on to note the Vizio will also introduce an 8-inch Android tablet with a “high-resolution screen, WiFi wireless connectivity; three speakers; and a front-facing camera for video conferencing.” Vizio is expected to release both its tablet and smartphone offerings in the summer of 2011. More →
Here’s a bit of good news: Hulu has just announced that its Hulu Plus premium subscription service will shed $2 from its monthly price tag. As the press release reads: “The monthly price for Hulu Plus moving forward is just $7.99. Any current subscribers who joined during our preview period will receive a credit for the difference from the $9.99 preview price. This credit will automatically be applied to their next billing cycle.”
But the juice doesn’t stop there. Hulu has also announced the following promotions:
• One free week trials for all new subscribers. In addition, current subscribers who joined during the preview period will receive a credit for one week of Hulu Plus toward their next month’s subscription.
• Two free weeks of Hulu Plus for both current subscribers and friends they invite through our referral program. Subscribers can learn more by clicking on the “Referrals” tab on their Hulu profile page.
• 11 weeks ($20 worth) of free Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Sony BRAVIA connected TV or Blu-ray player through January 31, 2011. (See sony.com/huluplus.)
• One free month of Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Roku device through December 15, 2010. (See roku.com/hulu.)
The release also notes that the service is launching on Roku today and will be coming to “Internet-connected Vizio, LG Electronics, and Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player,” in the coming months. Updates to the Hulu Plus iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung, and PlayStation 3 players will be made available this week.
Anyone reconsidering Hulu Plus after the price drop? More →
Announced earlier today after months of speculation, Hulu Plus has finally become official. For $9.99 per month, subscribers will be able to watch their favorite shows — including those from seasons past — on a multitude of internet-connected devices. Mobile devices are a go, with iOS devices including the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd generation) being the main attraction at this point in time. The best part as far as mobile is concerned is that streaming will work on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. Several internet-connected HDTVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung already have support for the streaming service, and later on in the year, both Sony and Vizio will introduce support in some of their sets ad Blu-ray players. The PlayStation 3 will support the service “soon”, while the Xbox 360 will play nice come 2011. Hulu Plus will officially launch is July, but if you’re lucky you might just be able snag a preview invite. More →
VUDU has taken a great leap forward, moving from its small lineup of streaming media set-top boxes and its presence on a few home entertainment devices to being the embedded media service of choice for LG, Mitsubishi, Samsung, SANYO, Sharp, Toshiba and VIZIO. The popular streaming movie service will be installed on select models of broadband TVs and Blu-ray players across all partners, an arrangement that may put millions of VUDU-enabled home entertainment devices into living rooms across America. Customers who purchase a VUDU-spiced HDTV or Blu-ray player will be able to access VUDU’s 3,000 strong on-demand HD movie catalog and its exclusive 1080p HDX formatted feature films. VUDU also announced its new VUDU Apps application platform, a cloud-based application service that allows customers to browse photos, stream video, access social network sites and more from the comfort of their favorite chair. They’ve got over 100 applications in the catalog and they will be available on broadband HDTVs from Mitsubishi, SANYO, Sharp and Toshiba and on broadband Blu-ray players from Toshiba. We need this. Now. More →