LeEco has been nothing short of a dumpster fire for the past few months. Back in May, Jia Yueting stepped down as CEO after the company's botched attempt to enter the US market left LeEco strapped for cash. Not long after, Yueting's personal assets were frozen due to a missed loan payment. If you thought things couldn't get worse for LeEco, you were wrong. Read More
According to The Verge, LeEco has just announced that it no longer intends to buy US television maker Vizio.
LeEco announced its plans to buy Vizio last July for $2 billion. It's not the first stumble for the company - they're in the midst of major fundraising efforts after an apparent cash crunch caused by over-expansion. It's now rumored the company is looking to sell some of its Silicon Valley property holdings, as well.
LeEco cited "regulatory headwinds" as the reason for calling off the merger. It could also have been a little bit, maybe, that it just seemed like a bad idea and honestly made no sense from a product strategy perspective. Read More
Looks like Vizio is pulling itself out of some hot water. The popular television manufacturer (among other products) has been fined $2.2 million, payable to the FTC and the State of New Jersey, for some pretty serious privacy violations. Starting in 2014, Vizio has sold Internet-connected TVs that track what the customers watch and send that data back to its servers. Read More
AMD is a pretty big name in the technology world. The semiconductor manufacturer, which rarely pursues legal action against others (at least publicly), has filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S ITC against several other entities. It asserts that the offensive uses of those technologies negatively impacts AMD and its licensees. Read More
A little while after LG's announcement that it would add Google Home compatibility to its Music Flow line, Vizio steps up and makes a similar announcement for its SmartCast series of connected speakers, displays, and the like. This will add the strength of voice control to Chromecast-ready devices like the Crave 360 and Pro speakers. Read More
When you hear the name Vizio, you usually would think of TVs. Perhaps some of you may even know of its soundbar product line. Whatever your knowledge of the likely-to-be LeEco-owned Vizio may be, we need to discuss this speaker. The Crave 360 is an odd thing that looks like an Amazon Echo, has Google Cast built in, and tries to be a viable Sonos alternative.
But does it succeed in its attempt at the latter? Not quite. However, it is still a nice-sounding, multi-room speaker that has a little bit extra that sets it apart from its run-of-the-mill cousins. Read More
LeEco can't seem to catch a break. Last month, its CEO Jia Yueting sent out a memo days after the company's US launch claiming it was over-extended and suffering from "big company disease," which seemed a clear euphemism for incoming job cuts. A month later, and things aren't any better.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the publicly-traded arm of LeEco, known as Leshi, had seen its stock tank earlier this week. Reports from Chinese media claim that an 8% drop on Tuesday triggered margin calls by Jia's lenders, meaning he will either be forced to sell some of his Leshi company stock or provide his margin accounts fresh funds. Read More
At a press conference in Los Angeles this morning, LeEco announced that it was acquiring the entirety of Vizio's hardware and software businesses for $2 billion. The acquisition, or at least an investment, had been rumored recently, but today it's official. Vizio will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of LeEco, meaning we can expect the Vizio brand to live on in the future, especially here in the US where Vizio is based.
Vizio's current executive management will remain in place at the company, which will continue to operate via its headquarters in Irvine, CA. Vizio's data business, Inscape, will be spun off as part of the acquisition, to become a separately, private-owned firm, run by Vizio's founder and CEO William Wong (LeEco will own a 49% stake in this business, with Wong owning 51%). Read More
If you've been waiting to "smart" up your home theater's audio, Vizio may have just given you incentive to pull the trigger on a purchase with its new SmartCast sound bar collection, launched today. They start at just a paltry $180 for the basic 38" three-driver sound bar and go all the way up to $500 for fully-equipped 5.1 systems. What makes them smart? Well, they're Google Cast enabled right out of the box, meaning you can cast audio to your Vizio SmartCast speakers just like a Chromecast, and that's pretty damn cool.
At launch, Vizio has nine configurations available, so there's probably a setup that fits in a price:performance:practicality bracket for you. Read More
Vizio's P-Series 4K TVs* are about to get infinitely more Google-y. The new second generation models (P-Series Ultra HD HDR Home Theater Display is the full name, but we'll gloss over that) come with Google Cast built-in, meaning a Chromecast or Cast-enabled set-top box isn't needed in order to cast over content.
There are four of them, all at different sizes and prices; 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch, ranging from $1,000 to $3,800. Note that Google Cast is different from Android TV - these TVs have no apps built-in, with all interaction being through Cast, same as when a Chromecast is plugged into a TV. Read More