OnLive, the cloud-based streaming game service, is now set to be built right into TVs. Actually, it’s not just TVs, but Vizio’s expected tablet, phone, Blu-ray players and everything in their new Via product line. That means your gaming can follow you everywhere, from your TV to your pocket, in real time and through the same set of devices. Sweet.

That’s especially intriguing because the technology behind OnLive already allows for PCs, the microconsole and iOS devices to work together in perfect harmony. It makes sense that the next step is integrating the microconsole directly into TVs, cutting out the extra hardware and cable requirement. That means anyone buying a Vizio with OnLive functionality, which requires very little from Vizio in terms of additional hardware, can start playing graphically intensive games within minutes of the TV’s installation. And it’ll work in 1080p, 3D, and 5.1 surround.

Surround is also new, though the service has supposedly offered it since launching back in June. All games available through OnLive only supported stereo gaming, and now the company has announced a partnership with SRS Labs to get surround sound, and high quality audio for non-surround devices, for the service. It may not sound like much at first, but for anyone who’s upgraded from stereo to surround knows, the difference is huge…as long as the media you view actually works in 5.1 (or higher). In OnLive’s case, now it does.

I’ll be checking out both the Vizio selection of TVs and devices with integrated OnLive, as well as how SRS’ 5.1 audio works with the service on Thursday. Stay tuned for first impressions then.

James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.