Say hello to Viewdini.
Last year, Verizon
The Viewdini moniker may draw smirks and remind investors of the ill-fated Netflix
In many ways, this portal looks like it might deliver the central content library that Google wanted to create in its Google TV platform, or Apple
The first wave of Viewdini content will include all the usual suspects: Hulu Plus, Comcast Xfinity, and Netflix. Verizon's own FiOS will join the fray "soon," with other cable operators and TV station websites to be announced later.
The idea is simple: Search or browse for whatever you're in the mood to watch and Viewdini points you to a handful of sources for that show. Some sources, like Netflix and Xfinity, require subscriptions or one-off pay-per-view charges; others, such as TV station websites, might be available for free.
This is only for Verizon's stable of 4G LTE Android devices at first, though capability for "other operating systems" (read: iPhones and maybe Windows Phone gadgets) is coming soon. No word yet on whether Viewdini is designed to work over Wi-Fi links or exclusively over data-capped LTE connections.
For content providers like Netflix and Hulu, Viewdini becomes yet another potentially useful ally. Watching long-form movies and hours of TV shows on a tiny handheld screen might not add a whole lot of value for these guys, but every little bit helps. And Verizon gains a customer-friendly feature to set the company apart from AT&T
All things considered, I call this "progress." Smart move, Big Red.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and Netflix and has created a bull call spread on Netflix, but he holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.