You can find Vudu on hundreds of devices, such as HDTVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, Sony's PlayStation 3 console, and the Boxee Box. In addition to all that, Vudu just announced that its entire catalog of content is now available directly on Vudu.com, accessible via your Web browser in a Flash-based player that will allow you to watch your rented or purchased flicks on your PC or CE device.
The movie studios have been floating the idea for months now, but according to All Things D, premium video on demand is launching soon. The system is being endorsed by four of the big studios: Warner, Sony, NBC-Universal, and Fox. Customers in select markets with DirectTV and Comcast service will have the option to pay $30 to rent films that are still in theaters. Pricey, but it might make sense.
The FCC took a stand back in 2003 saying that Selectable Output Control (SoC) was unnecessary, and could harm consumers. But a recent petition from the MPAA has resulted in a partial waiver, allowing SoC to be implemented in certain circumstances. SoC is an anti-counterfeiting technology that would force digital content to be output only to an HDCP compliant HDMI port.
The FCC will allow SoC to be used only on "high value" content. Specifically, any digital content (i.e. video on demand or streaming) that is not available on DVD or Blu-ray at the time, can be protected with SoC for up to 90 days. The rationale for this is a bit confusing. The FCC statement says, "Consumers simply cannot expect to be able to access something that does not yet exist." In short, the FCC doesn't need to fully protect people with older TVs because the expectation of getting this high value content is not assumed.
What this comes down to is that for owners of older TVs without an HDMI, you may be denied access to some special content that is made available before an official DVD release. Those with newer TVs however, may be able to get pre-release access to upcoming movies. How do you feel about this? Is it a reasonable trade-off, or should the FCC have held firm?
Hulu is celebrating its first anniversary. And what an amazing inaugural year it was for Hulu: its market share rose steadily through the year making it one of the most riveting video sites on the internet. The video-on-demand site has stepped into its second year armed with new social networking features.
Now website users can share their favorite shows with each other using the new "Hulu Friends" feature. Users can import contacts from major social networks and email services. The site ensures that friends are kept up to speed with each other’s viewing activities. This move is expected to make Hulu more enticing for advertisers.