LG HDTVs Gain Vudu HD Movie Streaming

While it's not quite a household yet just yet, Vudu is definitely well-known and respected in the media streaming sector. The company broke through a few years back with its dedicated Vudu movie streaming device, and by and large, it has stuck to its guns so far. Today, however, it's showing a new side of itself, along with an all new Vudu user interface and a partnership that'll definitely have you considering an LG as your next HDTV.

In what amounts to the company's first significant non-set top box initiative, Vudu has announced a deal that will bring its movie streaming service to LG HDTVs, even to existing ones. For those unfamiliar with the service, Vudu is a rather elegant streaming service that allows users to skim through new and old movie releases in both "HD" and "HDX (1080p)" form. From there, they can "rent" or "buy" the movie, with the latter keeping a stored copy on the Vudu box. Not all films are available for purchase, but a good amount are, and Vudu is working tirelessly to bring more releases out day-and-date with the DVD launch.

Now, owners of select LG high-def televisions will be able to experience that same "instant gratification" of downloading a movie over one's broadband Internet connection at home, yet without the box. As the TV industry continues to pack more and more into slimmer sets, LG's smattering of Netflix-capable HDTVs have been selected to be Vudu's first integrated sets. The LG sets--which unsurprisingly fall into the company's 'NetCast Entertainment Access' family--allows users to hop online via Ethernet, and once connected, they can check out an on-demand Netflix selection, or soon, a Vudu selection.

Currently, the Vudu service offers over 2000 high-def movies and TV titles, and there's no monthly fee associated with. You simply pay for the titles you rent/buy, and that's it. In this case, there's not even any additional hardware to buy. You just upgrade your set, fire it up, and enjoy. Speaking of which, the service will become available to LG TV owners in the US starting next month, and it'll presumably be a firmware update for existing owners. The 47" 47LH50 LCD HDTV, 50" 50PS80 plasma, 42" 42LH50 LCD and 60" 60PS80 plasma are the sets you'll want to watch for, as those are the four that support Vudu.

The Vudu service will be totally free to add; you just pay for whatever content you end up consuming. Also, users will notice a new Vudu UI when firing things up, one that features instant fast forward and rewind, instant start for all movie qualities including HDX, and an even faster and more refined user interface.

Key VUDU Features:
  • Instant viewing experience: unlike typical Internet and on-demand video streaming, VUDU movies start immediately, and viewers can fast forward, rewind and browse chapters without the delays or the frustration associated with buffering.
  • Highest quality on-demand experience: VUDU's unique HDX format delivers true 1080p resolution, TruFilm picture enhancements, and high resolution Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound
  • No monthly fees: customers can instantly buy or rent from VUDU's extensive library of standard and high definition movie and TV titles.
  • Largest HD library anywhere: over 2,000 titles are available in HD or HDX format.
  • New releases: Newly released titles from all major studios are available day and date with the DVD release, months before they are typically available on subscription-based services.

The new VUDU Service for smart TVs will make its debut on LG Electronics' upcoming models of Broadband TVs this fall.