Despite sluggish hardware sales, two rounds of layoffs, and flirting with disaster, a shift in strategy along with a rumored cash infusion has landed Vudu some interesting licensing deals. While Entone (who?) and Vizio were the first to announce Vudu integration, it looks like LG HDTVs will be the first to stream Vudu video on demand.
Existing net-connected LG televisions and new models ($1700 and up) will both receive the Vudu service option next month. However, unlike Vudu’s standalone set-top boxes ($149 and up), these TVs probably don’t ship with massive amount of storage. Meaning, the Vudu distribution model has likely also shifted. Ryan Lawler of Contentinople is pleased with the results; Gizmodo is not.
Obviously, this space is crowding with multiple video streaming services offered on set-top boxes, gaming consoles, and now televisions. Which is great for us consumers – competition stimulates innovation and keeps prices competitive. However, at the end of the day, these guys are mainly battling the cable-cos’ massive household penetration/footprint and utilizing existing hardware (the cable box)… Far more economical and efficient than buying a new HDTV.