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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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OnLive Game Service Adds Surround Sound, Coming To VIZIO HDTV, Tablet, And Phone

by Rainier on Jan. 4, 2011 @ 9:47 p.m. PST

By distilling specialized game hardware out of the equation, OnLive will allow games to be played as a pure media experience on virtually any device, with the same flexibility and instant-play experience that we’ve come to expect from online video and music.

The OnLive Game Service is an interactive platform that introduces a unique way for consumers to discover, explore and experience video game content. It offers immediate access to premium video game content on a PC or Mac via a broadband connection through a web browser, and via OnLive's MicroConsole TV adapter.

OnLive and LCD HDTV manufacturer VIZIO announced a partnership to integrate the OnLive Game Service directly into VIZIO HDTVs, the new VIA Tablet and VIA Phone and Blu-ray players in the VIA Plus ecosystem. The partnership will incorporate the OnLive cloud gaming experience across the next generation of VIZIO Internet Apps consumer electronics devices that share a unified, sophisticated and intuitive user interface for seamless access to high-end, interactive content.

Unprecedented Game Performance, Convenience and Flexibility

New-release premier core and casual games will be available for instant play with the flick of a remote -- as fast as changing a channel -- with no console, discs or downloads required. Games will be available at up to full 1080p HDTV in 3D with 5.1 surround sound, providing a rich, immersive gaming experience on the TV; OnLive game compatibility will also be extended to the VIZIO VIA Tablet and VIA Smart Phone, complementing current OnLive availability on PC, Mac® and iPad®. Since OnLive games run in constantly-upgraded data centers rather than in local devices, game performance steadily improves over time as the device ages, a key benefit for long life-cycle devices, such as TVs.

"Today's OnLive/VIZIO announcement marks a major milestone: for the first time in the history of video games, consumers will be able to enjoy premium video games directly on a TV, no console or computer needed," said Steve Perlman, Founder and CEO of OnLive. "VIZIO's innovative and cutting-edge technologies are ideally aligned to complement OnLive's vision for the future of entertainment and together we look forward to providing a wealth of rich-media, interactive content to consumers this year."

With the integration of OnLive across the VIA Plus ecosystem of compatible VIZIO devices, consumers can access the OnLive cloud gaming service directly through any VIA Plus HDTV, Tablet, Smart Phone or Blu-ray Player for instant gaming on any VIA Plus device -- even seamlessly continuing gameplay from one device to the next -- without the need for a game console.

Early demonstrations of the OnLive cloud game service on VIA HDTVs are running at the VIZIO showroom and in OnLive's suite at the Wynn hotel this week. OnLive-enabled VIZIO TVs and other devices will be available to consumers later this year.

"Consumer adoption and feedback on VIA has been phenomenal, and we're excited to work with OnLive to bring instant gaming direct to our products," said Matthew McRae, Chief Technology Officer at VIZIO. "Besides having on demand access to top movies, TV shows, and music, VIA Plus users will also be able to enjoy the unparalleled convenience of playing the latest hit gaming titles with the freedom to switch games much like you change the channel."

OnLive launched its innovative, award-winning cloud gaming service in June 2010, enabling the instant delivery of rich gaming experiences to HDTVs via the pocket-sized OnLive Game System's MicroConsole TV adapter, and to PCs and Macs via a small browser plug-in. The OnLive Viewer app is available for iPad and is in Beta for Android tablets. OnLive's unique social features include friending, chat, massive spectating of live games in play, and Brag Clip™ videos, enabling users to record and share their greatest or funniest in-game moments.

OnLive's growing game library includes over 50 instant-play premium titles priced to suit any budget, including free trials, PlayPass game purchases/rentals ranging from $2.99 to $49.99 and a recently announced $9.99/month all-you-can-play plan called a PlayPack.

SRS Labs, Inc. announced that it has partnered with cloud gaming pioneer OnLive Inc. to deliver top-tier video games in rich 5.1 surround sound to any compatible consumer electronic device through the use of SRS 5.1 Surround Sound, an advanced, format-agnostic, easy to deploy and manage end-to-end surround sound technology solution used for content creation, transmission and consumption. OnLive users will receive SRS 5.1 Surround as an automatic free update in early 2011.

"We are very excited that OnLive selected SRS 5.1 as its format of choice for encoding video games in 5.1 surround sound," said Chuck Cortright, Vice President of New Business Development for SRS Labs. "On-demand gaming communities and services like OnLive, which provide instant access to great content, are just one of many practical applications for our SRS 5.1 surround sound encoding and decoding solutions. Gamers will absolutely love the more immersive and lifelike experience of playing their favorite games in surround sound over standard stereo."

SRS 5.1 Surround Sound does not require a proprietary decoder for the receiving device and requires no extra bandwidth, as it piggybacks on normal stereo transmission. This provides OnLive with the right tool to create and deliver true, high-quality streamed surround sound encoded content across TVs, Mac and PC computers, iPad, Android and similar mobile devices that can tap into a broadband network. Because millions of TVs, A/V receivers, PCs and mobile devices today feature one or more SRS audio solutions such as Circle Surround, TheaterSound , StudioSound HD , TruSurround and Premium Sound , every one of these CE devices are natively equipped with the capability to decode SRS 5.1 surround encoded content, resulting in a "surround everywhere" entertainment experience.

Additionally, for devices unable to decode SRS 5.1, the encoded content will default back to stereo and can still be heard, which is not the case with traditional surround codecs that require the appropriate decoder for outputting sound.

"OnLive's state-of-the-art video games provide incredibly realistic experiences, and a core part of the user's immersion into these games is a rich surround sound environment," said Steve Perlman, Founder and CEO of OnLive. "SRS 5.1 not only achieves superb surround sound fidelity through OnLive, but it does so with simplicity and compatibility across all devices OnLive supports-from handheld mobile devices, to PC/Mac, to TVs with high-end home theater systems-achieving the best audio experience each device can deliver. We are delighted to partner with SRS to provide OnLive users an outstanding cross-platform compatible surround sound experience."

SRS 5.1 Surround Sound features SRS' Circle Surround, an advanced matrix surround sound processing engine. The Circle Surround engine is a highly versatile multichannel audio encode and decode system that's capable of supporting a wide range of surround sound creation and playback applications. With SRS 5.1, surround sound is made available without sacrificing the 2-channel reach and experience. Some of the other major benefits of SRS 5.1 include:

  • Produces surround sound from any audio material, including multichannel, stereo and mono audio sources
  • Delivers both multichannel and front-rendered surround sound, depending on playback configuration
  • Streams surround over bit rates as low as 96kbps
  • Ensures smooth steering and full bandwidth for a seamless and immersive surround environment
  • Is backwards compatible with legacy matrix decoders and stereo
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