July 27, 2011
Wal-Mart announced today it is now allowing HD movie streaming directly from its website courtesy its Vudu service. While this is great news for PC and Mac owners, we’ve got to ask: When will this service be coming to iDevices too? Founded in 2004, Vudu offers customers the opportunity to stream first-run HD movies using Blu-ray players and HDTVs, the Sony PlayStation 3 or through the Boxee service. In 2010, Wal-Mart purchased the service. Today, U.S. customers can select video with resolutions of 1080p/24, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i. Unfortunately, the service is not yet available on iDevices, which is really a shame. Vudu is different than industry-leader Netflix in two respects. First, Vudu offers no subscription plans. In other words, you only pay for the content you wish to buy or rent. Second, and most importantly, the programs Vudu offers are first-run and are available the same day as a DVD release. Netflix, despite having a much larger library than Vudu, does not offer streaming of first-run titles. According to a padGadget report from April, Vudu would very much like to offer its services on the iPad. However, to do so it would have to get around Apple’s infamous subscription policies. Plus, Vudu competes directly with Apple’s own movie rental business and this reality would have to be addressed as well. I’ve been using Vudu for a while now, even though I am also a Netflix customer. It provides new releases (posted each Tuesday) that are not available via Netflix. Plus, unlike with iTunes, you don’t have to download the content before you view it. Hopefully, Vudu finds a way to bring its service to the iPad. In the meantime, watch Vudu programming via your PC or Mac at www.walmart.com/vudu. What do you think? Leave your comments below.