VUDU Kicks Off 2010 With Four New Partners And VUDU Apps

Well, VUDU Fans, we’re starting off 2010 in style – we’re  in Vegas.  But while we love a good party as much as anyone, in this case we have a real and serious purpose for being in Sin City.  We’re at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and we have some amazing news to announce.  They say all good things come in 3’s, and here are ours:

1.  We are greatly expanding our relationship with our previously launched partners, LG Electronics and Mitsubishi, and we’re launching our initial products with another partner we announced last year, VIZIO.  VUDU services will be available on loads of new HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players (BDPs) from these outstanding CE manufacturers in 2010.

2.  We are dramatically expanding our footprint with new partners and will be shipping on HDTVs and BDPs from SamsungSANYOSharp and Toshiba in 2010.  Needless to say, taking the VUDU team from 2 to 7 partners in market is a great step for us and signifies the growing acceptance of VUDU as the best way to stream HD movies.

But wait (as the Sham Wow guy would say) – there’s more!

3.  The pièce de résistance of our announcements is VUDU Apps.  This new Internet applications platform provides access to a wide range of services and applications including streaming video, music on demand, photo browsing, social networking and more.  More than 100 applications are available on VUDU Apps, including popular services like Pandora, Picasa, Flickr, Dailymotion and leading news providers such as The New York Times and The Associated Press.

The underlying technology of VUDU Apps was initially developed to enable the VUDU Streaming Movie Service on broadband HDTVs and BDPs.  Using VUDU Apps, the movie service has been able to easily integrate popular Internet services like Rotten Tomatoes and Wikipedia directly into the movie service user interface.

VUDU Apps will initially launch on TVs from Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba, as well as BDPs from Toshiba and VIZIO.

You can see some screenshots that give you an early peek of VUDU Apps.  As you can see, we’ve kept the same cool elegance of our look and feel and extended it to a variety of popular internet apps.  Internet on the TV is about to take one giant leap forward!

So you can see that 2010 is going to be a huge year for VUDU.  We’re super fired up, but we’d like to know what you think as well.  Just leave a comment below.

Thanks,

The VUDU Team

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Wikipedia and VUDU: A Marriage Made In Heaven

We always look for ways to make the VUDU experience more enjoyable, more fluid, and more informative.  So today we’ve integrated Wikipedia right into the VUDU interface.

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Select the Wikipedia menu item on the page for any movie and find out what the world has to say about it.  And you don’t have to stop there – you can navigate through all of the links on the Wikipedia page just like you would on Wikipedia.com, going as far as your interest and curiosity takes you.  What’s more, VUDU automagically creates links back into the VUDU service for any movie, actor, or director it knows about.

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So you can navigate from a movie >> to its Wikipedia article >> to the Wikipedia article of an actor in that movies >> to that actor’s filmography on VUDU.  Super cool and guaranteed to make looking for great things to watch more fun and interesting than ever.

This is another great example of what we can do by leveraging our Internet platform. The movie service is no longer an isolated island – it benefits from live access to the wealth of Internet information.

You may have noticed we’ve been rolling out new features a lot lately, almost on a weekly basis.  We’re able to do this because our whole service, including its user interface, is hosted in the “Cloud”.  This architecture has several important positive benefits:

  • We can add great new features (Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, theatrical trailers, just to name a few) quickly and easily.
  • You don’t have to wait for a manufacturer firmware updates to get the newest and best stuff from VUDU.  It just appears.
  • We are able to deliver the same great VUDU movie service to all of our customers, regardless of what device they use.

Adding Wikipedia is our latest effort to make your movie-watching experience the best it can be, so check it out and let us know what you think.  If there are other features you think we should add, tell us that too.

Return of the Internet Apps Part 2

pandoraMany of you asked us to do that VUDU that we do… and we did. The Internet apps are back and ready for love. From Picasa, to Flickr, to free on-demand TV, to the ever popular Pandora, and a few casual picasagames.  These apps – previously hosted under the VUDU Labs tab on the VUDU box – are alive and well and living on  VUDU enabled TV’s.

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These great Internet apps add a ton of fun and free activities to the VUDU experience. Our complete set of Internet apps are available to VUDU box and Mitsubishi customers for now*.

We plan on releasing more Internet apps in the next few months, so comment below with some of your favorites. In the meantime, give our current Internet apps a spin and tell us what you think!

* Internet apps are not available on devices from LG Electronics at this time. Please refer to LG Electronics at www.lge.com/us/support/contact/support-message.jspif you have questions.

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Check out the VUDU $0.99 Movie of the Day – Braveheart

I’ve got some great news!  Starting today, we are going to be offering the VUDU $0.99 Movie of the Day.  Each day, we’ll offer a great movie to rent in SD, HD or HDX quality for only $0.99.  The selection changes each day, so be sure to check in often for the latest selection (or follow us on Twitter).  Once you rent the movie, you’ll still have 30 days to start watching it as always, but you can only get the special $0.99 price for that one day.

To kick things offer, we’re presenting the Mel Gibson classic Braveheart.  Nothing will get you fired up like watching Mel stick it to the English!

So, tonight enjoy Braveheart or one of the other thousands of great movies we have on VUDU

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“You Say Tomato, I Say Rotten Tomatoes”

largetoutfresh_v2 Another week, another cool feature from the VUDU team. This week: seamless integration with the world’s most popular movie review site: rottentomatoes.com. 850,000 review links, 7 million monthly visitors, rotttentomatoes.com is THE site for movie lovers, now on VUDU.

tomatoemeter No more going to your laptop to figure out which movie to watch, no more relying on a single critic review: summary reviews by dozens of the country’s most respected movie critics are available right on your VUDU movie page. From Rogert Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times to Mike Lasalle of the San Francisco Chronicle,  get the unbiased view of the leading movie critics, compare them, form an opinion, and watch a VUDU movie you will truly enjoy.

tomatoesThe whimsical fresh/rotten tomato icons capture the essence of each review and the Tomatometer collects reviews from a variety of sources (newspaper, online, magazines) and averages them into a single score you can really trust. You can sort any of your VUDU movie lists by Tomatometer score.

This feature has been consistently in the top 3 most requested VUDU feature and I am excited to be able to leverage our Internet platform to deliver fresh content from our friends at rottentomatoes. While we were at it, we redesigned the movie page to make it more interactive and more fun. It is now animated and provides key movie information without the need to navigate away from the movie page.

Enjoy your VUDU movies and tell us what you think, your input is key to planning the next set of VUDU features.