Unlike a global competitor like Philips, LG Electronics is still trying to make an impact in the North American TV market. It unveiled its version of Internet-enabled TV, called NetCast, last month with four new sets. Among other services, NetCast offers Netflix's on-demand movie service, and today it's added another streaming video service in the form of Vudu.
You may already know the company from its Vudu Box BX100 device, which supports 1080p HD movies through its HDX format. LG is the first TV manufacturer to offer the service directly through a network-connected set. While Vudu offers the choice of buying or renting movies, today's TVs don't have the storage capacity for storing downloaded HD movies (the BX100 has a 250GB hard drive), so this is presumably a rental-only version of the service. Vudu offers more HD titles than Netflix's service, and it doesn't require you to pay monthly fees. (Netflix's on-demand programming requires you to already have a monthly subscription plan.)
Will Vudu's jump from standalone device to TV-based service become a permanent shift in the future? The BX100 is unavailable from Vudu's site, and according to a company representative on its site forum, there's no official date when new shipments will become available. In the meantime, Vudu will arrive on NetCast next month, by which time the first four LG NetCast sets will all be on sale.