Forbes says “Apple needs to watch its back” citing recent stats from Screen Digest which put Walmart in a deadlock with Amazon — both in third place with 750,000 online movie transactions in the last quarter of 2010. Leading the market, of course, is Apple with a 64% share, followed by Microsoft with just 8%. But Vudu, which was purchased by Walmart in February of 2010, has only to gain with the retail giant doing $3.5 billion worth of DVD business per year.
VUDU has launched 2.0 with optimization for HD viewing and improved user interface for browsing and filtering through movie listings per page. The update has also has added personalized recommendations based on your viewing history and ratings. The interface has kept features such as Rotten Tomatoes reviews and movie database information. No need to go searching around for the software, updates to your VUDU device will happen automatically via the cloud. And, all your previously purchased movies will available after the update.
A new firmware update for the Boxee Box brings VUDU flicks to your screen for $5.99 a pop in 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround. VUDU is offering Boxee Box owners a free credit of $5.99 upon signup for a rental or purchase. Standard-def movies are $2 a pop but why would you?
See the thing about Netflix is you get into their New Arrivals category for Instant Watch and see Shutter Island and you’re like “Cool, Shutter Island” but then you realize it’s just SD which looks terrible on a big TV and you’re left with a choice: Watch it in standard-def or add it to the disc-by-mail queue?
Then you see Death at a Funeral (a must-see with comedians Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence), Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Law Abiding Citizen, and your girlfriend spots The Bounty Hunter (Jenny Aniston & 300‘s Gerard Butler). But lo and behold they ALL only stream in SD.
Movies from VUDU are now available on the PlayStation Network, and, by activating your account you’ll get a movie rental in HD for free. VUDU offers movies streaming day-and-date with DVD/Blu-ray Disc releases, with a library of movies available for $2 for two nights.
On Nov. 24 you’ll be able rent or purchase movies streaming in 1080p from VUDU on Panasonic VIERA CAST-enabled Blu-ray players. The 2010 models with VIERA CAST will have access to VUDU’s library of over 4,000 HD movies from both major studios and independent distributors alike with no monthly membership fee required.
How about streaming some 1080p through your PS3? VUDU HD titles will soon be available for PlayStation 3 gaming consoles via an app, letting you stream full HD video and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. VUDU titles are rented a-la-cart for as little as $2 for two nights, and VUDU gets day-and-date releases with DVDs and Blu-ray.
In November, VUDU content will stream on the Boxee platform for both Mac and PC users, as well as the Boxee Box by D-Link. VUDU’s movie titles can be rented for $2 for two nights, and the software will be available as a free download from boxee.tv for Windows, Mac and Linux-based computers.
Former Blu-ray rival Toshiba has officially announced availability of two reasonably priced Blu-ray Disc players. The BDX2500 ($179.99) and BDX2700 ($249.99) include Wi-Fi, 7.1 channel audio, 24 frames-per-second, and compatibility with Netflix and Blockbuster On Demand.
Retail behemoth Wal-Mart aquired Vudu, Inc. today in a deal with terms undisclosed. Vudu, the struggling HD streaming service that was on the verge of extinction, had attempted to lure gadget freaks, movie-lovers and general consumers to its service by way of a pricy ($400) set-top box that really never caught on and spelled certain doom for the company as other, less-exclusive services, simply made alliances to be carried by myriad HD hardware manufacturers. Even after ditching the receiver box concept, the combined competition from the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Boxee, meant that Vudu was never quite able to mainstream itself.
Retail giant Wal-Mart will now enter the internet movie delivery world currently dominated by Netflix, by purchasing Santa Clara, CA based Vudu within the next couple weeks. With the acquisition, Wal-Mart will now be in direct competition with Netflix who offers movies by mail, internet on PCs, and streaming to your HDTV.
VUDU announced it will expand its streaming services this year to select HDTVs and Blu-ray players from LG, Mitsubishi, Samsung, SANYO, Sharp, Toshiba and VIZIO. LG was the first to offer VUDU on HDTVs last year, and this year 32 models from the company will be VUDU ready.
The LG BD390 Blu-ray Disc player will add streaming HD service from VUDU later this month, via a free automatic upgrade. The new service allows BD390 owners to buy or rent movies and TV shows from VUDU’s HD library.
LG Electronics has announced VUDU integration on their LH50 1080p LCD series and PS80 Plasma 1080p series televisions. The labeled “NetCast Entertainment Access” will begin next month, allowing viewers to buy or rent from VUDU’s library of over 2,000 high-definition movies.
VUDU announced it now offers movie titles in high definition from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment/Buena Vista Home Entertainment. This will be a first for Disney, with over 60 HD titles now available for download-to-own in VUDU’s HDX format.
VUDU is now selling hi-def content, saying it’s the first to do so among on-demand providers. The HD movies can be downloaded to the VUDU 1080p Internet Movie Player for between $13.99 and $23.99. The list will start with 50 titles available in HD from independent studios FirstLook, Kino, and Magnolia.
Vudu’s HD VOD library has reached 1,100 titles, surpassing any other cable or satellite’s HD VOD offerings. (Comcast now offers just over 1000.) The company added approximately 150 high-definition titles per week in October and began offering 65 titles in 1080p, the highest resolution currently available.
The set-top box that offers a library of movies via internet connection has now added high-definition content in 1080p. VUDU revealed yesterday its new HDX format which is supposed to rival other internet HD quality formats. However, due to its superior quality and resulting larger file size, the format is available for download only.