You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CES: Vizio shows ‘CinemaWide’ sets

Viewers watching Blu-ray see no black bars at home

Vizio is betting consumers are sick of black bars when they watch movies at home.

The TV manufacturer, known for its lower-priced screens, is introducing its CinemaWide line of sets at CES today, eschewing the 16:9 widescreen for a 21:9 aspect ratio, preferred by filmmakers.

As a result, viewers watching Blu-ray movies on the new TV line will see films full screen, without the typical black bars at the top and bottom.

“We’re trying to give consumers what they see in the theater in their home,” John Schindler, VP of products at Vizio told Variety. “We’re trying to bring all of the benefits of when you go to the theater to your home.”

All CinemaWide sets will feature Vizio’s 3D technology (which uses passive polarized glasses, rather than the active shutter technology favored by other TV manufacturers). They’ll also have integrated Wi-Fi, a Bluetooth remote, keyboard and USB multimedia ports.

The line will include three models, a 50-inch and 58-inch version that will debut in the first half of 2012, with a 71-inch model (featuring full array TruLED backlighting) scheduled for the second half of the year.

The company hasn’t yet finalized pricing for the set, but says it will be targeted at an affluent audience and carry a higher price point than its other TVs. Vizio is in the process of selecting retail partners to help market the CinemaWide to customers.

One thing’s certain: Vizio’s new screen won’t assuage theater owners’ fears that improved entertainment systems are encouraging more consumers to stay home rather than head to their local megaplex to watch movies.

While it’s being positioned as a movie lover’s TV, the CinemaWide is also Vizio’s push to reclaim viewer’s attention from the second screen.

Because of its extra width (the set boasts a 2560 x 1080 resolution), people can watch a TV program in typical widescreen ratio and have an app open alongside it, letting them chat with friends, browse social networks or access any of the dozens of Internet-based programs Vizio offers on its sets.

“We have to make the Internet easier to use for the consumer,” says Schindler. “A lot of the applications (available) are apps you want to do while you watch TV. Instead of grabbing that tablet and doing it there, you can now do it while you watch TV. You’re actually looking at one screen.”

Vizio says internal focus groups have also found that users were more likely to embrace 3D using CinemaWide, a bonus for a set that will be marketed to cinema fans. Still, Schindler acknowledges that 3D hasn’t been the replacement cycle driver the industry was hoping it would be.

Part of the problem, he says, was the decision by manufacturers to work separately, resulting in too many types of 3D TVs.

“If you ask the average consumer why they haven’t embraced it, they’ll say ‘I don’t really need 3D’ and that’s an opportunity for us to overcome,” he says.

“We have to make the glasses cool and hip … We need to work as an industry to drive the right standard. This will not work if there’s not a single standard for consumers. If we don’t do that, we’re not going to drive adoption.”

More Digital

  • Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La

    Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La Unidad’

    MELILLA, Spain — Spain’s pay TV leader Movistar+ has announced its newest original series, the anti-terrorist police drama-thriller series “La Unidad,” which started filming last week in the small autonomous Spanish community of Melilla, located on the Moroccan coast. One of the biggest international plays to date for Movistar +, the pay TV/SVOD unit of [...]

  • Vice Media

    APOS: Tencent Video, Vice Media Hatch Premium Youth Series for China

    China’s Tencent Video and global studio Vice Media have joined forces to create a premium youth series exploring hype culture. The eight-part series, with episodes of 25 minutes, will explore a generation obsessed with finding the next big thing. The series to be produced by Vice Studios is earmarked for a late 2019 release through [...]

  • Avengers EndGame Trailer

    ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Marvel claims the top spot in spending with “Avengers: Endgame.” Ads placed for the superhero film had an estimated media value of $6.28 million through Sunday for 927 national ad airings on 39 networks. (Spend figures [...]

  • Co-Editor-In-Chief of Variety, Andrew Wallenstein and

    10 Things We Learned at Variety’s Silicon Valleywood Summit

    Variety’s first-ever Silicon Valley conference, presented by PwC, didn’t just bring together the worlds of technology and entertainment, it also provided plenty of insights into the strategies of market leaders, creators and senior executives in this space. Here are 10 key lessons from the event, which was held at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in [...]

  • Korea's JTBC Signs up as Iflix

    APOS: Korea's JTBC Signs up as Iflix Investor and Content Partner

    South Korea’s JTBC Content Hub has become a strategic investor in Iflix, the South East Asia-based video streaming platform. Formed only in 2011, JTBC has rapidly become one of Korea’s most influential broadcasters, with a mix of news, creative dramas and entertainment shows. Its hit dramas include “SKY Castle,” “Misty,” and “Something in the Rain.” [...]

  • Twitter Jack Dorsey

    Trump Meets With Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey After Complaining of Bias

    WASHINGTON — Less than 12 hours after complaining that Twitter doesn’t “treat me well as a Republican,” President Trump met with the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, and indicated that they would be “keeping an open dialogue.” “Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and [...]

  • Wanda Sykes Silicon Valleywood

    Wanda Sykes on Doing Business With Netflix: 'They Moved That Comma'

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — Wanda Sykes wears a lot of hats as a comedian, writer, producer and entrepreneur, and that gives her a keen sense of the ever-growing content marketplace. She also has a very clear understanding of what she’s worth in dollars and cents, as she shared Tuesday in her Q&A at Variety’s Silicon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content