Vudu has announced a plan of expansion for its formerly closed set top box. The company has initiated a platform for developing web applications while expanding free content on Vudu boxes immediately.
As of today, a new Vudu Labs area on standard Vudu boxes will offer access to Flickr, Picasa and YouTube. In addition, the Labs' new "On Demand" area opens free streaming from ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, Discovery, and ESPN—among lots of other web-available media.
Vudu's Rich Internet Application platform will be opened to developers in Q1 of 2009. And it seems like a pretty good way for Vudu to stay competitive against the likes of Netflix, Blockbuster and AppleTV.
VUDU Brings the Web to TV with Breakthrough Internet Application Platform
Company Launches More than 120 Channels of Web Based Content and Applications, Announces Rich Internet Application Platform Open to All Developers in 2009
Santa Clara, CA - Dec. 16, 2008 - VUDU today took a major step forward in bringing the Web into the living room by launching the VUDU RIA (Rich Internet Application) platform, a standards-based platform that brings Web-hosted rich applications and services to consumer appliances
such as the popular VUDU Internet movie player. VUDU RIA combines the openness and ease of development of Web applications, lightweight hardware requirements compatible with today's consumer Internet appliances, and a lean-back user experience optimised for television.
To demonstrate the power and flexibility of VUDU RIA, VUDU has created an initial set of applications and services in a new area of the VUDU home page, called VUDU Labs. Available today to all VUDU owners, these applications include casual games, implementations of Flickr, Picasa and
the entire YouTube library, as well as a new "On Demand TV" area with more than 120 channels.
Today, VUDU customers can access a broad selection of free on-demand shows provided by major network television and on-line specialty sites spanning news, food, music, sports, and more. Programs include daily highlights from shows such as "Today", "The Rachel Maddow Show", "Anderson Cooper 360", "Fantasy Focus NFL", "MTV News", as well as full programs, some in HD, from Nova, National Geographic, PBS and others. VUDU plans to add more applications and services throughout 2009.
"VUDU RIA enables us to quickly open up huge libraries of web based content to TVs in living rooms around America," said Edward Lichty, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Content. "We are excited to
deliver both high quality TV shows as well as Web applications which enable our customers to share their photos and watch the tens of millions of YouTube videos on their HDTV's." VUDU RIA Brings Web Application Development to CE devices VUDU RIA allows developers to take advantage of the most advanced RIA techniques such as asynchronous Web queries, local scripting, and persistent client-side storage, along with unique TV-centered technologies such as VUDU's acclaimed user interface, one-wheel remote control navigation, and VUDU's TruFilm-powered video rendering for
maximum visual quality. VUDU RIA enables the development of responsive, rich applications
optimised for display and use on high definition televisions that bring the wealth of data and content of the Internet to the living room without needing to deploy new software on the consumer appliance, a
first in the consumer electronics world. VUDU RIA is targeted at today's low power set-top boxes and Internet appliances and delivers a lightning fast user experience on a 300 MHz embedded processor with 128MB of RAM. Applications developed on the VUDU RIA platform are as responsive as native applications but have the added advantage of being able to pull from the vast and growing reservoir of
Internet content and services. They can also be updated anytime without modifying any software in the consumer's appliance, creating a dynamic experience heretofore unavailable in the living room. VUDU RIA
will be opened up to third party developers in the first half of 2009.
"Our goal in creating VUDU RIA was to allow anyone with Web development skills to easily author Web-driven applications for the TV," said Prasanna Ganesan, VUDU's Chief Technical Officer. "We are very pleased with the results and look forward to opening up VUDU RIA to the developer community."