Technology is transforming the humble idiot box into a powerful Internet appliance. Whether you call it “smart TV,” “connected TV,” or “Internet TV,” it has the potential to upend our boob tube experience, letting us watch our favorite shows whenever and wherever we want, and merging TV shows with online content in cunning, clever ways. Smart TV won’t prevent television from rotting your brain (it’s not that smart), but it should empower you to find, and get more from, all the content that’s available.
Hollywood studios and TV networks are finally waking up to the power of the Internet, thanks to pioneering efforts by the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu. And if you can wait for pay-TV services such as HBO and Showtime to release their original programming on DVD, you can seriously consider ditching your expensive cable or satellite subscription services, too.
In the following pages, we’ll solve all the mysteries of smart TV. We’ll explain every important service and device that falls under the smart TV rubric (omitting only the most obvious players, such as YouTube), and tie everything together into a neat and simple package. It’s time to turn on and tune in.
Hulu Plus has become a holy grail of sorts in terms of app integration, and just as Indiana Jones was able to get his hands on the mystical cup in The Last Crusade, Vizio says it's managed to track down Hulu Plus and add it to its VIA (Vizio Internet Apps) platform.
Vizio also added Blockbuster On Demand, both of which you'll find embedded into several CE connected devices, including LCD HDTVs and Blu-ray players.
"Our Vizio Internet Apps platform continues to be the most innovative and compelling connected experience for consumer electronics," said Matthew McRae, Chief Technology Officer at Vizio. "Service and application partners focus on Vizio because of the seamless user experience, class leading features, and award winning devices. The result is a product that gives consumers unprecedented choice and access to the best of what the web has to offer."
Both of these additions are subscription services. For Hulu Plus, you'll have to fork over $7.99/month, while Blockbuster On Demand offers rentals ranging in price from $2.99 to $3.99, and purchases priced $5.99 to $19.99.