On Wednesday the Internet giant launched an app for Vudu, the streaming-video service owned by Walmart, on its Fiber TV set-top box, Google announced in a blog post. Currently, Google Fiber — which offers 1-gigabit broadband and a TV service with nearly 200 HD channels — is available in parts of the Kansas City market.
Google boasts a lineup of about 1,000 video-on-demand titles available to fiber customers. Vudu offers many movies for rent same-day as DVD, as well as TV shows for purchase. The Google Fiber TV box also provides access to Netflix subscribers.
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In Kansas City, Google Fiber is competing against incumbent cable provider Time Warner Cable and others. Google execs have said they intend to run the fiber-to-the-home project as profitable business, but it’s unclear how broadly the company will expand the buildout. Its ultimate strategy may be to spur cable operators and telcos to boost broadband speeds and lower rates — benefiting Google’s core web-search biz.
An updated Google Fiber mobile app will support Vudu to let users search for and watch movies and TV shows on Android devices or iPhones.
Google Fiber service rolled out first late last year in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., and the company has announced plans to expand two more markets: Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah.
The fiber-to-the-home service offers 1-gigabit-per-second broadband access for $70 a month — which is less expensive than less-speedy cable operator and telco services. Google offers broadband plus TV for $120 per month, which includes a 2-terabyte HD DVR that can record up to eight shows at once and a Nexus 7 tablet that doubles as a remote control.