After a quick test run on Entone's IPTV boxes, VUDU has now done the deed with a big time player. In a joint announcement today with LG, the outfit is announcing its first major foray into STB-less movie streaming. LG's Netflix-friendly LH50 line of connected HDTVs will act as the hosts, with VUDU's tried and true high-def streaming service acting as the highly anticipated guest. The outfit's next generation movie platform will enable owners of the 47LH50, 50PS80, 60PS80 and 42LH50 to buy or rent HD and HDX (1080p) films on demand through a refreshed user interface that promises no stutters or buffering waits. The new VUDU also brings along instant fast forward and rewind as well as instant start for all movie qualities, and as before, there's no monthly fee associated with the service. Eager to dive on in? It'll be made available for everyone (existing owners included) starting next month, and just so you know, we definitely don't envision LG being the last TV maker to slip under VUDU's covers. The full release is after the break.

Update: From the sounds of Vudu's solo PR, the LG sets are just the first off the line, so we'd expect a few more manufacturers to partner up soon.


LG ELECTRONICS FIRST TO BRING VUDU HD MOVIE SERVICE TO BROADBAND HDTVs

VUDU's Unique Streaming Movie Service, Largest Library of HD Movies,
enhance LG 'NetCast Entertainment Access' LCD and Plasma HDTVs

NEW YORK, July 29, 2009 -- LG Electronics will be the first to introduce broadband HDTVs with the instant-access high-definition (HD) movie service from VUDU Inc., a leading provider of digital on-demand entertainment services, the companies announced today. VUDU on-demand movies will be available on LG's LH50 1080p LCD series and PS80 Plasma 1080p series with "NetCast Entertainment Access," beginning next month.

"Our alliance with VUDU further demonstrates LG's commitment to delivering the ultimate HD viewing experience, by providing instant access to more 1080p movie content than ever before" said Peter Reiner, senior vice president, marketing and strategy, LG Electronics USA. "VUDU highlights the superb video quality of our 'Full HD' sets with NetCast Entertainment Access, while providing consumers with access to thousands of HD movies with the touch of a button."

The VUDU service allows consumers to instantly buy or rent from an extensive library of movies and TV titles, including an industry-leading catalog of more than 2,000 high-definition movies – with no monthly fees and without having to buy, install, or connect any additional hardware. Consumers will enjoy movies in VUDU's unique HDX format, with Full HD 1080p resolution, plus Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound.

VUDU's streaming movie service delivers a near-instant viewing experience – movies start immediately, including high definition HDX movies, and viewers can fast forward, rewind and browse chapters without the delays or the frustration associated with slow buffering. The VUDU catalog is updated weekly, and newly released movies from major studios are typically available months before they are available on subscription-based services.

"Together, LG's Broadband HDTVs and the VUDU service set the industry standard for easy access to on-demand HD movies," said Alain Rossmann, CEO of VUDU. "VUDU is blazingly fast on LG's Broadband HDTVs and makes discovering and watching new HD movies a truly exciting and fun user experience. With this partnership, VUDU is raising the bar on delivering Hollywood movies to this new class of Smart TVs."

With LG's NetCast Entertainment Access, consumers have instant access to millions of streaming movies, TV shows and web videos through an Ethernet connection. These models, ranging in screen size from 42- to 60-inch class sizes*, also include access to content from Netflix, Yahoo! Widgets, YouTube and more. With this enhanced connectivity, LG's Broadband HDTVs transform and personalize the home theater experience by offering a virtually endless array of entertainment options.
LG's 47-inch class* LCD HDTV (model 47LH50) and 50-inch class* plasma HDTV (model 50PS80) with NetCast Entertainment Access are available now at national retailers with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $1,699 and $1,799. LG's 42-inch class* LCD (model 42LH50) and 60-inch class* plasma (model 60PS80) will be available and existing LG Broadband TV owners will be able to add the VUDU service next month.

About LG Electronics USA
LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a global force and technology leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative home entertainment products, mobile phones, home appliances and business solutions, all under LG's "Life's Good" marketing theme. For more information, please visit www.LGusa.com.

About VUDU
VUDU is a leading provider of digital technologies and services that deliver entertainment to consumers' HDTVs. The VUDU service is designed to deliver tens of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows directly to HDTVs. The VUDU HDX format delivers the highest picture quality for on-demand content available anywhere, with true 1080P picture quality and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. For more information, visit http://www.vudu.com.


*60PS80 60-inch class/59.5-inch diagonal
*50PS80 50-inch class/50.0-inch diagonal
*47LH50 47-inch class/47.0-inch diagonal
*42LH50 42-inch class/42.0-inch diagonal

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VUDU's Streaming Movie Service Transforms HDTVs into Movie-On-Demand Video Stores

VUDU Launches Unparalleled New Movie Streaming Service For Next Generation Smart TVs

Santa Clara, CA – July 29, 2009, VUDU Inc., a leading provider of on-demand Internet entertainment services today announced its second-generation service platform specifically optimized for Internet capable smart TVs.

"Smart TV's are part of an exciting new industry trend. VUDU is partnering with leading consumer electronics vendors to embed the new VUDU service directly into the TV, eliminating the expense and hassle of purchasing, installing, or connecting another device to the TV", said Alain Rossmann, CEO of VUDU.

The new VUDU service delivers a compelling environment for consumers to discover and watch high definition 1080p movies on-demand. The company is also announcing that industry leader LG Electronics will ship new HDTVs that include the new VUDU service.

VUDU customers can instantly buy or rent from the largest library of on-demand high definition movies – including the newest releases from all major Hollywood studios, with no monthly fees. The VUDU's service uniquely delivers movies in true 1080p high definition and high resolution Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound, setting the industry standard for on-demand HD movies.

"Internet-delivered video to the TV, sans box, is the Holy Grail for what the TV industry today calls 'over-the-top' providers, "said Jimmy Schaeffler, Chairman and CSO of The Carmel Group. "I believe VUDU's widely acknowledged excellence in video quality and user experience is likely to be a key driver for customer adoption of this next generation of smart devices in the living room."

"With our second generation platform we are pushing the envelope even further by delivering for the first time features such as instant fast forward and rewind, instant start for all movie qualities including HDX, and an even faster and more refined user interface" said Alain Rossmann, CEO of VUDU.

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 [later this fall – subject to completion of availability language by LG in the LG release].

About VUDU
VUDU is a leading provider of digital technologies and services that deliver on-demand Internet entertainment to consumers' HDTVs. The VUDU service is designed to deliver tens of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows directly to HDTVs. The VUDU HDX format delivers the highest picture quality for on-demand content available anywhere, with true 1080p picture quality and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. For more information, visit http://www.vudu.com/.