Vudu, the Blu-Ray killer

17 September 2007 No Comment Mike Evans

Vudu media streamer set top box

The great Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD battle may about to be relegated to a meaningless squabble as a new streaming technology threatens to render the whole concept of watching movies on a disc as antiquated as recording them onto a magnetic tape.

The technology in question comes in the form of the new Vudu, a set top box that streams over 5,000 high quality movies direct to your TV. No need for a PC, and no subscription or activation fees, either. You can rent movies from $0.99 to $3.99 or buy them from $4.99 to $14.99.

All you need is the Vudu set top box, an Internet connection and a TV – oh and a sofa wouldn’t hurt as well!
Vudu media streamer showing movies for streaming from your set top box

We’ve had similar Internet movie streaming devices before, but the Vudu looks set to succeed where the others failed:

  • With over 5,000 movies available at the push of a button, the Vudu has the range of titles required to compete with your local Blockbuster.
  • The streaming technology it uses means that the movies can be watched instantly at the touch of a button – no waiting for the movies to be buffered.
  • The quality of the movies is also impressive, with the Vudu providing full HD resolution pictures and quality HDMI outputs to ensure the movies you watch are as good as they would be on a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD device.

All this combined with the low rental and purchase prices makes the Vudu a convincing proposition.

However, Vudu isn’t alone in focusing on streaming movies over the Internet, with even Sony and other electronic giants involved in the great Blu-Ray/HD-DVD battle working on similar technology.
Vudu media streamer remote control

All this means that the shelf life of the DVD, in whatever format you choose, is limited. TechNewsWorld author Rob Enderle argues that for either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD to succeed, the players need to come down to below $200 in the next year, and that only HD-DVD has any chance of doing that.

With huge external hard drives, fast broadband speeds and protocols such as BitTorrent that are capable of shifting large files swiftly, there are fewer and fewer reasons to use DVDs, and certainly ones as expensive as Blu-Ray.

As such, the Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD battle may be a phoney war, a mere footnote in the evolution of technology, in which streaming media devices and super cheap hard drives render the optical drive redundant. You might want to think about that before spending hundreds on your next DVD player!

[Source: TechNewsWorld-1, TechNewsWorld-2, Vudu]

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