Widgets and gadgets are the latest trend to hit HDTVs. Vizio is upping the game by equipping its soon-to-be-released HDTVs with an impressive suite of Internet applications and video streaming sites. So much so, that this portfolio will place them on top of many people’s wish list as these TVs will be better equipped than a TiVo or even Windows Media Server.
Forget about Vizio being a mid-tier, Walmart brand. These features might make some people question why they pay a monthly fee for a TiVo. Owners will be able to stream content from Revision3, Showtime and Pandora for free, while also able to subscribe to Vudu, Netflix, Blockbuster OnDemand, Amazon Video On Demand and Rhapsody. Plus, the sets are able to work with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the Yahoo Widgets Engine.
All this content should be easily controlled and managed with a Bluetooth remote that features a slide-down QWERTY keyboard. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing this feature finally becoming available. Hopefully similar remotes will soon be available from TiVo and Moxi as there is nothing more annoying than typing via an on-screen keyboard.
The HDTVs connect to the local network via either 802.11n or wired networking. There is no word on DLNA support, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that finds its way into spec list.
Expect the new XVT series to be available next month and start at $749 for a 32-inch. The series continues up in price as LED-backing and 240Hz options are added. The top of the line VF551XVT has both options as well as five HDMI ports for $2,199 and will be available this September.
We’re just hoping that the picture matches the impressive feature list…