Tag Archives | Vizio

Vizio Set to Shake Up Tablet Industry?

Vizio looks set to introduce the Android-powered tablet that it first demoed at CES back in January. This Is My Next has images from a reader in Indiana showing that a local Walmart already making space for the device. According to the image, the tablet will retail for $349.

That would make it $150 cheaper than the lowest-cost version of the iPad. The Vizio Via does look an awful lot like the iPad from the front: it includes an 8-inch screen, a1-GHz processor, a front (but no rear) camera, 802.11g/n wireless, and integrated GPS.

An important feature of this device is Via Plus, which is intended to act in concert with the company’s line of televisions and offer some neat integration such as viewing of content across devices and a remote-control featuee.

We’re still not sure what version of Android this tablet’s going to run — Walmart’s placard isn’t too specific on what’s inside of this bad boy. But the price sounds right, and Via Plus could be a point of differentiation in a market full of me-too tablets.

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Engadget on the Vizio Phone

I’m not a huge fan of any of the third-party skins that phone companies slap on top of Android, such as HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s TouchWiz–they usually make things different rather than better. But Engadget’s Josh Topolsky is surprisingly enthusiastic about the modified version of Android on the first phone from cheap-TV kingpin Vizio–he says it’s in a league with Apple’s iOS and HP/Palm’s WebOS, which is the highest imaginable priase.

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OnLive Now Building Itself Into Electronics, Starting With Vizio TVs

OnLive really is becoming the gaming equivalent of Netflix, not only with its upcoming subscription plan for streaming video games, but with plans to become embedded in TVs and Blu-ray players.

First up are Vizio’s web-connected TVs. Consumers won’t need any additional hardware — I assume, or at least hope, that a controller is included — and Vizio can use the existing Marvell chips in its TVs to power the OnLive service, VentureBeat reports. Vizio will also offer OnLive through its connected Blu-ray players, tablets and smartphones.¬†Naturally, OnLive is trying to strike deals with other companies as well.

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Samsung Releases the First Yahoo Widget-Enabled TV

[UPDATE: I credited Walt Mossberg with the column I mention below–wrong! The column’s called The Mossberg Solution, but it’s by Katherine Boehret. Corrected, and sorry about that.]

Walt Mossberg Katherine Boehret of the Wall Street Journal has reviewed Samsung’s LED TV 7000, the first set that supports the Yahoo Widget Engine platform for Internet-enabled applications that run right on the TV. Walt Katherine is impressed with Yahoo’s system, which is based on the cool Konfabulator, the application that started the whole widget craze a few years ago. I was impressed, too, when I visited Yahoo and got to try out the Widget Engine on a Samsung TV a few weeks ago. (Unfortunately, the Samsung set wasn’t ready for review in time for an article I recently wrote for PC World on ways to bring Internet TV into the living room, although I did squeeze in a mention.)

The Widget Engine is slick–the applets I tried reminded me of iPhone apps that happened to live on a TV rather than a phone. And the best thing about it is that it’s open: Anyone who wants to can build applications for it, and any application that anyone builds is available on any TV that supports the platform. That’s a far cry from most previous approaches to putting the Web and Web services such as Internet video onto TVs, most of which have been highly proprietary. (Panasonic’s Viera Cast is conceptually similar to what Yahoo is doing, but it’ll only deliver the services that Panasonic signs up–which means, so far, YouTube and a couple of others, with Amazon Video on Demand on the way.)

I’m not going to have a Widget-enabled TV in my living room any time soon, unfortunately–I don’t need a new TV, and Samsung’s set, at $3,000, isn’t an impulse item. But Yahoo has signed up not only Samsung but also Sony, LG, and Vizio to make Widget-ready sets. Those four companies are responsible for a sizable percentage of the TVs sold in this country, so chances are good that Yahoo’s software will be showing up on plenty of sets. If developers are as enthusiastic about the platform as electronics manufacturers are, the Widget Engine could end up being reason in itself to be tempted by a new TV.