Walmart has teamed with five of the largest film studios (Disney opted out) to create a disc to digital service with Vudu, its cloud movie service. Bring in a DVD or Blu-ray disc beginning April 16 and for $2.00 you get a digital copy via Vudu. A second alternative allows a high-def upgrade for $5.00 if available. It all comes down to the struggling Ultraviolet service that still hasn't quite become mainstream. The good news is that movies purchased elsewhere can be used, the bad is that it is not yet available on Android. By the way, the video gets our vote for creepy ad of the year.
When the Boxee Box is released this month, an additional treat is in store. VUDU will be included in the device, providing 1080p video rentals and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. Boxee is providing free media center software for your PC or Mac for access to thousands of movie rentals, most of them $2.00 for two nights.
LG's latest standalone Blu-ray Player includes a 250GB hard drive with wireless networking. Store movies from VUDU, Netflix HD or BD-live, tunes from your CDs and access Gracenote's movie and music database. The BP 590 has quick booting with instant tray opening, full HD 1080p output with Cinema mode at 24 or 60 fps and comes with a remote that makes all your actions simplified.
Walmart is in the midst of purchasing VUDU. They claim it will give the megastore chain "a powerful new vehicle to offer customers the content they want in a way that expands the frontier of quality, value and convenience." Uh-huh.
The online movie service, now with a library of about 16,000 movies and licensing partnerships with major studios and distributors, will continue to develop Apps.
LG's latest Blu-ray player, the BD-590, features access to YouTube, Netflix (with updated interface,) BD Live and other online sites via wired Ethernet or WiFi. Add to that a 250GB hard drive that gives you the ability to download and save music via MusicID and purchase movies from VUDU to watch at your convenience. Displayed at the CES 2010, no price is available as yet, but expect two other Blu-ray players with similar features minus the hard drive.
Such a deal. Mitsubishi has begun to pack a free VUDU with each TV. Frank Martin, VP of Marketing claims that since most future TV will be equipped with streaming, the company's thinking is that until that time, free takes an excellent second place. Customers will also get a $50.00 service credit.
Vudu has decided to think outside the box by piggybacking on 3rd party devices like DVD players, set top boxes and IPTVs. The company has joined with Entone that makes its own IPTV hardware. This summer, expect to see Vudu's software in an Entone update. Although the press release states, "This is the first time two competing visions are coming together in one unified service," we think it is more like survival tactics.
VUDU has become the first on-demand service to offer HD movies for download to own. While users have only been able to rent about 1,400 of them, the company unveiled a collection of 50 independent movies available in both HD and HDX. Included are films from Independent Studios FirstLook, Kino and Magnolia's
"Man on Wire," the recent Academy Award Winner. Those that are purchased can be stored in the VUDU itself or in VUDU's Vault free online storage, which is certainly a plus considering that the company offers over 13,000 total movies and TV episodes. Each film is priced between $13.99 and $23.99. By the way, the company recently lowered the price of its player, no doubt to compete with
Apple TV and the Roku.