|Posted on September 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
This week Vudu and Roku announced that VUDU streaming channel will now be available on Roku players. This move is extremely important - prior to this, VUDU was available on a limited number of streaming devices, which likely hurt the streaming provider from being widely accepted as an option for renting movies online.
VUDU's selection is excellent, with more than 100,000 new releases, plus a wide selection of other genres including Hollywood classics, television series, independent films, and much more. In fact, for price and selection, Consumer Reports ranked them as the top streaming provider in terms of performance.
VUDU adds all kinds of niceties to its experience - you can browse titles by name, release date, most watched, video quality, top picks, genre, studio, ratings, and even Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer rating. You can also watch critics reviews, video extras, filmographies related to the title, and get a list of similar titles. VUDU also allows you to view trailers for many of the movies for free, and have 2 minute to 10 minute previous. You can also test your internet connection to make sure there aren't annoying buffering issues to ruin your experience before you shell out your hard-earned cash.
They also have a higher number of HD titles available, plus surround sound.
People who fire up their Roku players today may not find VUDU listed as one of their channel options. You will need to link your player through your Roku account, and when you do so, you will score a free $5.99 video credit if you are a new customer that can be used toward rental or purchase of any VUDU title.
Simply log into your Roku account, and you will immediately be directed to a screen that has listed all channels available for addition. Click on "Yes, Add Channel". The channel may take up to 24 hours to show up on your Roku player channel screen, but in my experience, channels show up immediately and are good to go.
Or, you can browse the Roku Channel Store right on your television set and add the VUDU channel through that venue.
Says Prasanna Ganesan, General Manager and CEO of VUDU "We're committed to offering customers access to their favorite movies and TV shows at the highest possible streaming quality wherever they choose to watch them. Our launch on Roku today allows us to offer our entire catalog on the most popular streaming player on the market."
Roku's Founder and CEO, Anthony Wood, was equally enthusiastic. "With it's impressive library of a la carte movies and TV shows, and high quality surround sound features, VUDU is a great addition to the Roku streaming platforms. The ability to instantly watch the latest Hollywood releases is certain to make the VUDU channel a big hit among Roku customers."
|Posted on July 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
While there are streaming providers who may be more popular than Vudu, according to Consumer Reports study released July 26, 2012, it is ranked best in terms of performance and overall customer satisfaction. Apple iTunes comes in a close second, followed by Amazon Instant Video. All three of these services are pay per view, and not all-access streaming libraries like Netflix and Hulu Plus.
According to ConsumerReport.org, 52% of the 15,000+ subscribers polled have used a streaming service in the past month, compared to 47% who viewed a movie at a theater, 43% who rented a DVD, and 32% who watched a movie via pay per view from their television provider.
Jim Wilcox, Senior Electronics Editors, said "Our survey revealed that a healthy selection of titles is one of the biggest factors in overall satisfaction with video services, which is why disc rental services and pay-per-view streaming services scored the highest in our Rankings."
While Vudu is ranked #1, it is not the number one streaming provider in the United States. Netflix has, and continues to hold that crown in terms of subscribers and / or account holders.. According to Consumer Reports, customers' biggest complaint with Netflix was it's limited selection of newly released movies.
It's important to note that we are comparing apples to oranges here. When you rent a movie on Vudu, you'll pay about $3. If you rent a Vudu 99 cent movie of the day, you'll pay $1. Compare that to the "all you can stream" unlimited access you get for $8 per month with Netflix or Hulu Plus. Renting 3-5 movies from Vudu can quickly cost you the same as a monthly Netflix subscription.
It's also crucial to understand that streaming service subscription providers have their hands tied. It is the owners of the copyrights of the new releases who do not grant licensing agreements to Netflix or Hulu. Rather, they allow providers like Vudu, Amazon Instant Video or iTunes to have first dibs, because a single rental generates more revenues than a flat monthly subscription. Likewise, by controlling the release of these newer releases, these copyright holders can create a "scarcity" environment where interested parties are more likely to go to the theater, rent a movie, or purchase a copy of the movie. There is, without a doubt, bigger revenues generated from these other sources as opposed to a streaming library where a blanket licensing agreement allows a subscriber to watch a movie whenever and however often they wish to.
In fact, Netflix disc by mail service (or Blockbuster, Redbox, etc.) has a comparable selection of films to Vudu and other services, but it operates on a queue basis, which adds to the "scarcity" factor that coyright holders are betting on. In other words, they believe you will get tired of waiting for the DVD to become available through (Netflix / Blockbuster) and will simplty rent it from Vudu, iTunes or Amazon, or perhaps you'll even purchase a physical copy.
Streaming 411 has long advocated for a home streaming selection that includes a monthly subscription to a library like Netflix or Hulu, plus supplementing with pay per view titles from Vudu, Amazon or iTunes.
|Posted on April 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
Walmart announced last month that it is teaming up with several major Hollywood entertainment companies and Ultraviolet's digital locker in the clouds to enable consumers to upload and store digital content of titles they already owned by DVD and blu-ray. That service is now available at over 3500 participating WalMart stores. Movie distributors included were Fox, Sony, Warner Bros, Paramount and Universal. Now Dreamworks Animation is part of the mix wth several titles, including Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.
If you own a DVD that is distributed by one of the companies mentioned above, here are the steps you can take to get a digital copy of your movie:
There is currently no limit to the number of discs that can be converted at once. Also, there isn't a discount for bulk conversions.
|Posted on March 25, 2012 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
Understanding exactly how a service works is the key to finding the best one for you - matching your needs, preferences, and budget with their business model and specific service offerings. In taking a closer look at the Vudu Review, there are some key components that might end up tipping the scales for you toward Vudu:
These are some of the features you can expect to enjoy with Vudu.
|Posted on March 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM||comments (0)|
If you've checked out the recent Vudu Review, you'll know that for nearly 2 years now Vudu has been offering consumers the VUDU $0.99 Movie of the Day. As the name implies, Vudu selects a new movie each day, and will provide it for rental in SD, HD, or even HDX quality for only 99 cents! You can easily keep up on the daily selection by following them on Twitter, or just checking into their blog via RSS feed. Don't like what's offered on Friday, but saw something on Tuesday you liked? Well, you can rent the movie on Tuesday for 99 cents, and save it to watch on Friday. All rentals have 30 days to start viewing, so keep track of the special movie of the day and then watch it when it's convenient. Movies that have been featured include Braveheart, Pride and Prejudice, The Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and Happy Feet, just to name a few.
Other highlights of Vudu include the fact that many Vudu Movies offer a free 10 minute preview so that you can decide if the flick is for you before you plunk down your cash. Other great features that this service offers is Vudu-to-Go, where you an download content and watch it offline on your mobile device when you know that you won't have access to a broadband connection.
|Posted on February 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Vudu continues to roll out 3D streaming capabilities to subscribers who have certain supported devices, such as Playstation 3, Samsung HDTVs and blu-ray players, Boxee Box, and 3D-capable blu-ray players from manufacturers such as Mitsubish and Toshiba. 3D Vudu movies should be available to other devices in the next few months like Vizio and LG. Nothing is required to be downloaded in order for your device to play a 3D content offering. All 3D content offerings are also offered in standard definition, as well as 720p and 1080p resolution. It's important for users to check bandwidth requirements before selecting anything other than standard definition to ensure you have streaming capability. To find out if your particular device can play a 3D offering, users can visit the official Vudu site and click on the devices tab. Select 3D, and then select whether you wish to check blu-ray players, HDTV, game consoles, or other streaming options.
|Posted on February 4, 2012 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
We all love to try before we buy. Nothing is more frustrating than shelling out your hard-earned cash for something that ends up being a disappointment. Walmart understands this. With their Vudu Movies and other video on demand content, there is a 10 minute free preview options on some of their titles. For example, I was on their official website today checking out the movie Contagion starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet & Jude Law. The title is available for rental, but I have a pre-set budget for my entertainment. So - the big question is would my entire family enjoy this? As of the time of this writing, the title is not yet available for purchase, but the 10 minute preview convinced us that we would like to watch the entire movie. So we rented it. And if it becomes available for purchase, it's on our wish list!
Vudu offers standard definition, high def, and HDX versions of several titles. Thei rental terms are typically either 24, 48, or 72 hours. As soon as you start watching the flick, the countdown begins. However, you can rent a title and keep it around for up to 30 days before you start watching it. That's handy for budgeting purposes as well. When you buy a title, of course you can view it as much as you want, whenever you want. They do list a disclaimer on their site that "studios reserve the right to impose blackout periods for their videos."
|Posted on January 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM||comments (0)|
Do you have questions about how a Vudu movies account works? Some of the more common questions include the terms of your agreement, specifically whether or not movies can be rented or purchased. In a nutshell, Vudu makes individual agreements with the entertainment companies who own the copyrights to the content. So, certain movies may be available for purchase, other movies available for rental, and still other movies are available for both transactions. Another question frequenty asked is how long you have to begin viewing a movie after you rent it. Vudu's terms of service dictate that you have 30 days from the time you rent a movie to begin veiwing it. Once you press play, you then have a 24 hour window to complete viewing the entire movie, at which time your rental will expire. During that 24 hour period, you can view the movie as many times as you wish. On top of that, movies from some independent studios give you an entire 48 hour window to view the film. Finally, you can view the Vudu catalog which details the list of movies at their website - www.vudu.com.
|Posted on December 15, 2011 at 9:30 PM||comments (0)|
The United States is notoriously low on the bandwidth speed list compared to many other countries, and many of us, especially satellite internet users, simply don't have available to us the kind of bandwidth that streaming services demand (a minimum of 3.0 Mbps is recommended, especially if your provider caps your usage). The way to have your cake and eat it too is to download content and watch it offline, whether you are taking it with you on your mobile device, or simply enjoying a movie at home. If you have low bandwidth, it might take a bit longer to download your content, but it's far better than the alternative of dealing with serious buffering issues, or dealing with overusage charges from your broadband provider. One service that deserves mention is Vudu-to-Go. You can purchase and download movies or Tv shows and watch them later. If you prefer rental options, you can also stream Vudu movies or television shows by renting content at $2 or 2 nights. This is a great choice for casual users who don't want to be tied down to a monthly subscription.
|Posted on November 21, 2011 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
There are a couple of things that make Vudu a streaming service worth investigating. First of all, there are no monthly subscription costs. Instead, you rent Vudu Movies or TV shows as you go for only $2 for 2 nights. For casual users who tend to be cyclical in their streaming consumption, this is the perfect scenario. Perhaps you tend to be very busy during certain times of the year, and you would be wasting your money with a monthly obligation. But during the stretches of time when it would be nice to stream a few movies, the service is there for you. When you activate a new account with Vudu, you receive a free movie credit instantly so that you can enjoy a flick on Vudu. This service is not for the serious streamer to rely on, because costs would quickly add up. But it can make a nice addition to your current subscription in the event that Vudu is offeing something that you can't get with your other service.