Android users rejoice, Vudu is now available (for certain tablets).
At long last, Vudu is finally available for select Android tablets. The new app arrives at Google Play about a year after Vudu launched to iOS, and it brings with it access to more than 100,000 movies and TV shows to supported tablets running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later. Vudu says it plans on expanding support to include "many more tablet models and smartphones" in the near future, though stopped short of offering up any specifics.
Technology is transforming the humble idiot box into a powerful Internet appliance. Whether you call it “smart TV,” “connected TV,” or “Internet TV,” it has the potential to upend our boob tube experience, letting us watch our favorite shows whenever and wherever we want, and merging TV shows with online content in cunning, clever ways. Smart TV won’t prevent television from rotting your brain (it’s not that smart), but it should empower you to find, and get more from, all the content that’s available.
Hollywood studios and TV networks are finally waking up to the power of the Internet, thanks to pioneering efforts by the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu. And if you can wait for pay-TV services such as HBO and Showtime to release their original programming on DVD, you can seriously consider ditching your expensive cable or satellite subscription services, too.
In the following pages, we’ll solve all the mysteries of smart TV. We’ll explain every important service and device that falls under the smart TV rubric (omitting only the most obvious players, such as YouTube), and tie everything together into a neat and simple package. It’s time to turn on and tune in.
Western Digital's WD TV media player family just got a little bit better with the addition of streaming movie service Vudu. That's in addition to several new sports and entertainment services WD rolled out to the WD TB Live and WD TV Live Hub media players, both of which are already content rich with support for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, CinimaNow, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Facebook, and a bunch of others.
Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video may have gotten all the attention in our recent head-to-head, but one of their competitors now has something that neither of those two streaming video services offers: discrete 7.1-channel surround sound. Dolby has announced that it has entered into an agreement to bring Dolby Digital Plus’s 7.1-channel audio to some of Vudu’s cinematic offerings, starting today with Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
Videogame publisher Electronic Arts announced preliminary financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2011, posting numbers that came in higher than what analysts were expecting. EA's GAAP total net revenue for the quarter settled in at $999 million, up 23 percent from the $815 million it posted in the same quarter one year ago.
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.
There's a new firmware revision available for Boxee Box owners that finally adds Vudu support, which Boxee has been promising since late 2010.
"Vudu on the Boxee Box means: access to the largest selection of HD movies on-demand, new releases (same day as DVD), thousands of movies available for rental at $2 for 2 nights (in standard definition). We are psyched," Boxee's Avner Ronen wrote in a blog post.
To celebrate the occasion, Vudu is offering every new user who signs up on the Boxee Box a $5.99 credit towards a first rental or purchase. If you own a Boxee Box, you should have received the update by now, but if not you can force the issue by heading to Settings > System > Update.
The latest firmware release also adds a boatload of enhancements and bug fixes, but still no Netflix. Not to worry, Boxee says it's "still on track for a release later this month."
For those of you who received a Boxee Box for the holidays and were disappointed to find out that both Vudu and Netflix aren't yet supported, don't despair, both are coming soon.
"We're sorry that Vudu and Netflix will not be available on the Boxee Box until January," Boxee's Avner Ronen wrote in a blog post. "I know many users will be upset. I am disappointed that we couldn't make it happen in time for the end of the year. However I'd ask that you put your faith in us. There are countless devices with access to these services available, but I'd like to think you chose Boxee because we offer something different, in our approach, in our commitment, in our passion, in the way we communicate (whether it's good stuff or bad), and in how quickly we move on the stuff that matters most to our users."
Ronen says that Vudu should be up and running by the end of next week, which the Boxee team hopes will be enough to pacify users until Netflix joins the fray at the end of the month. So why the delay?
"While both services are up and running in our offices on the Boxee Box, we need some more time to test each application to make sure they are ready for launch," Ronen explained.
The news broke today that troubled movie streaming service Vudu is being acquired by Wal-Mart for a rumored $100 million. Amid interest from Comcast, Amazon, and Best Buy it seems that America’s largest retailer just had the deepest pockets and the apatite to get into the streaming game. The deal is likely to be finalized in a matter of weeks.
Wal-Mart is the largest seller of DVDs, but has never had a platform for delivery of video over the internet. With the purchase of Vudu, they have a mature service with many content deals already in place. The interesting thing about Vudu is that they stopped making a stand-alone hardware box last year, instead focusing on getting their software embedded in various devices like TVs and Blu-Ray players. Guess who sells a lot of TVs. Yep, Wal-Mart.
It would be reasonable to expect Wal-Mart to aggressively push Vudu enabled TV’s and other devices now that they own it. We may also see manufacturers become more receptive to adding the Vudu service to their products now that a behemoth like Wal-mart is involved. Wal-mart effectively drives down prices wherever they go, could that also hold true in the video streaming space? Could we be looking at a cheap streaming future? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Onwers of LG's LH50 LCD series and PS80 plasma series can now access VUDU's library of on-demand 1080p movies via LG Netcast.
"LG is proud to lead the charge on delivering high-quality streaming movies for the high-def family-room experience," said Peter Reiner, senior vice president, marketing, LG Electronics USA. "VUDU offers content in 1080p resolution with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound, enabling the ultimate streaming movie experience on premium LG HDTV models."
After applying the automatic software update (if applicable), owners of the above mentioned models will be able to rent the first HD or HDX movie free of charge. After that, normal rental charges apply, which ranges from $0.99 to $5.99 per movie with no subscription or monthly fees.