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Vimeo gets 'couch mode' for Google TV, HTPCs

Vimeo is the latest to get in on the big-screen TV Web video-viewing experience with "couch mode"--a full-screen viewing mode for Vimeo videos that's remote control friendly.

Vimeo's couch mode
Vimeo's "couch mode" has been designed so Google TV and home theater PC users can watch Vimeo's video content from across the room. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Watching Web videos on your couch is nothing new, but with Google TV's rollout now in full swing, having a big-screen-friendly version of your video site is very much in vogue.

The latest site on that growing list is Vimeo, which has just released something it's calling "couch mode." Users who point their browser toward get a full-screen video player, with big buttons and straightforward navigation to various video playlists. The idea is that you can hit the site from your Google TV, home theater PC, or even laptop and veg out to full-screen videos without UI distractions.

Included in couch mode are things like Vimeo's HD playlist, its staff picks, any videos registered users have uploaded to the service, new videos from channels they subscribe to, and a list of favorites. Couch mode also integrates Vimeo's recently introduced "watch later" feature, which lets users bookmark videos without adding them to their favorites list. This can be especially useful if you're video surfing and find something you may want to watch, but others in the room don't particularly care for.

Another nice touch worth mentioning is the ability to dig into extended information about a video and its author, all without leaving the couch mode interface. This is very different from Google's own leanback experience, which fires you off to a new, regularly formatted tab in your browser.

To use couch mode, users need to be running Chrome or Safari, Vimeo says.

Related: Some networks blocking Web shows on Google TV