Vudu has given everyone who purchased a movie or TV show in HD an upgrade to HDX, the service’s Full HD format that streams or downloads in 1080p resolution. Vudu says they’ve upgraded their entire library to HDX and completely done away with their HD (720p) option. (Look at the screenshot above, it’s gone!)
That doesn’t mean titles won’t stream in HD, however. Internet speed and the resolution of the output display will still determine what quality the video will stream at. For example, a 720p TV will still stream the lower HD resolution. And, desktops and laptops are device dependent. Meaning, titles will stream at the maximum resolution allowed.
Customers don’t have to do anything to get the higher quality video. In fact, Vudu has removed “HD” from the default playback options in Account Settings. That holds true when buying new titles. Now, the only purchase options for customers are SD, HD, and UHD (for select titles).
The free upgrades from HD to HDX aren’t as impressive as one might think, as HD and HDX have been the same price for a long time now. Hence, there isn’t much of a financial gain unless the titles were purchased in HD a long time ago. But the removal of HD aims to make things much simpler for customers.
For one, Vudu is growing their UHD library and remains a new option for some titles that are available in the 4k format. While HD was still a choice, customers might have had to choose from 4 different video resolutions.
It may seem like 720p was a good option to keep around, given the formats smaller file size. But devices like the iPad users can still choose between Low, Medium, and High resolution to conserve storage space.
There are a couple exceptions to the free upgrades. As one might expect, previously purchased SD titles will not be upgraded to HDX. And, rented HD titles that haven’t been watched yet will not be upgraded to HDX according to an FAQ section on Vudu’s website.