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Vudu Opens Software Platform

Santa Clara, Calif. — Video-content distributor Vudu said Tuesday it will open its proprietary download platform for software developers to generate new applications for its service.

The company said it will open the Vudu RIA (Rich Internet Application) platform, a standards-based platform that brings Web-hosted rich applications and services on its broadband connected movie players.

The platform is said to combine “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 optimized for television.”

Vudu has created an initial set of applications and services in a new area of the Vudu of its home page, called Vudu Labs.

Effective Tuesday, Vudu customers will be able to access casual games, YouTube and implementations of Flickr and Picasa as well as a new 120-channel “On Demand TV” area.

Vudu said customers will be able view free on-demand shows provided by major network television and on-line specialty sites including such topics as news, food, music, sports and others.

Programs include daily highlights from shows including “Today,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Fantasy Focus NFL” and “MTV News.” Full programs, including some in HD, are available from Nova, National Geographic and PBS, among others. Additional applications are planned for 2009, the company said.

Vudu said the Vudu RIA platform will enable developers to utilize its asynchronous Web queries, local scripting and persistent client-side storage attributes, along with TV-centered technologies including its user interface, one-wheel remote-control navigation and Vudu’s TruFilm-powered video rendering.

“Vudu RIA enables us to quickly open up huge libraries of Web-based content to TVs in living rooms around America,” stated Edward Lichty, Vudu strategy and content executive VP. “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 ten’s of millions of YouTube videos on their HDTV’s.”

“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 chief technical officer. “We are very pleased with the results and look forward to opening up Vudu RIA to the developer community.”