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Hulu Plus is the subscription-based premium service from Hulu (though you still have to watch some advertisements) that lets you watch recent episodes of many major, popular television shows. More than just a “catch-up” service, many consumers are using it as their DVR function of choice. This has been made easier as access to the service is showing up in some consumer electronic devices, eliminating the need for a computer in the living room.

Samsung was first to add it to some of its HDTVs and Blu-ray players. Now Vizio has it in its XVT3SV series models, which also won a CNET 2010 Editors’ Choice Awared. In fact, it’s available in any of the company’s models that support Vizio Internet Apps (VIA), a feature that provides access to a variety of programming sources, including Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and Vudu.

Building this support into the HDTV or Blu-ray player makes a lot of sense. It can’t cost much if the network media players such as Roku and Apple TV cost about $100, and it eliminates some connections and confusion in the process which is always a good idea for a consumer product.

It is getting to the point where I’d have a hard time choosing a new HDTVthat doesn’t have network support to get content from the Internet.

Posted by Alfred Poor, October 14, 2010 6:00 AM

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About Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is a well-known display industry expert, who writes the daily HDTV Almanac. He wrote for PC Magazine for more than 20 years, and now is focusing on the home entertainment and home networking markets.