VUDU HD Digital Media Receiver

Vudu HD

More and more movies being distributed on High Definition that provides a much awesome visual and audio experience. However, the problem lies on what format to buy, especially since the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD doesn’t seem to cease.

And now, getting into the fray is a new technology that promises to provide high-quality videos without going through the agony of deciding whether to go for Blu-ray or HD DVD. It’s called VUDU, a sleek black box that promises to deliver thousands of movies and TV shows instantly, even without a computer.

VUDU is a video-on-demand, interactive media device that distributes full length movies and TV shows on any television with the use of peer-to-peer TV technology. High-quality videos are streamed over a broadband ethernet connection in MPEG-4 format, and then upscaled to HD with an output of 1080i. It contains a 250-gigabyte hard drive.

The great thing about VUDU is that unlike its closest competitor, Apple TV, it provides you an option whether to buy the movie or rent it (which means, lower payment). And to keep up with the competition, VUDU has recently brought down its price to $295. It also offers instant access to HD films, with over 5,000 movies of different genres in their catalog. The list is also updated every week, plus hit movies are available in VUDU the week they are released on DVD.

Searching for what movie to download is easy, as the scroll-wheel remote lets you search by title, actor, director, and genres. Once selected, it lets you watch it immediately, with no waiting and buffering.

Another great feature in VUDU is that it has no activation fees nor subscription fees. Buy the unit and it’s yours to keep. All you pay are the movies that you want to watch, giving you the ease from getting in a crowded mega-store, or having your DVDs scratched.

However, VUDU has its downsides as well. For one, you can’t stream the videos from networked PCs, as well as you cannot transfer them to portable devices. Meanwhile, movie rentals are only limited on a 24-hour viewing period.

But still, VUDU has achieved what other video-on-demand devices have failed. It is closest to becoming a "Netflix in a box".

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