If you are familiar with video streaming on the Internet, Vudu is another streaming service which offers videos and programming on demand from its website online. Similar to Netflix and Hulu Plus, Vudu offers a wide variety of movies from different genres which are available on demand for a cost that is much less than cable television. In fact, many people are abandoning their cable television service in exchange for online video streaming services which offers a wide variety of movies and programming.
Vudu offers a broad range of movies as the result of partnerships with major companies such as Universal Studios, Paramount and many others. Like other video streaming services online, Vudu started out small until the service was purchased by Walmart a few years ago which provided the opportunity for expansion and additional partnerships with major movie companies.
Vudu Video Streaming Features
The difference between Vudu and other video streaming services online is that you only pay for the movies that you watch. Where other video streaming services charge you a monthly fee for access Vudu online charges per movie without any late fees like you are required to pay at your local video rental store. Instead, you can rent a movie for two dollars for two nights and watch it as many times as you like.
Vudu also offers two different payment types which include your credit card or you can choose to visit your local Walmart store to purchase Vudu credits which are prepaid. So if you are not keen on making credit card payments each month to a video streaming service you may find Vudu to be a viable option for home entertainment.
The original Vudu service required you to implement a Vudu box with software however; since Walmart bought the service you can choose what you want to watch from the Vudu website and stream the video to a broad range of devices which include your HDTV, Windows-based or Mac PC, tablet PC, Blu-ray player, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3.
One of the limitations on video streaming services online is the availability of high definition programming in a broad range of choices. Vudu offers a wide variety of movies which are offered in high definition 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound. You can also obtain access to new movies on the same day they are released on DVD.
Disc to Digital
Just a few months ago Walmart released its Disc-to-Digital service through Vudu which allows you to store your DVD movies in the cloud. The service allows you to bring DVDs and Blu-ray discs to your local Walmart store, sign up for a free account on Vudu, and convert your DVDs and Blu-ray discs to a streaming version that you can access via your free account. Here is more on how it works:
You can log onto the Vudu website and setup a free account. Once you setup a free account you get one bonus movie which you can select from a list of movie titles associated with the promotion. If you are an existing Vudu customer the free account that you setup is known as an UltraViolet account. This account is a necessary addition to your regular Vudu account since it involves the digital rights management process for converting your discs to digital streaming versions.
Once the two accounts are setup you bring your DVD or Blu-ray disc in to any participating Walmart store for conversion. The reps are located at the photo counter and will ask for your email address you used when you set up your account on Vudu so you can choose your bonus movies.
When you try the Disc-to-Digital program you get another 5 free movies when you convert your DVDs or Blu-ray discs to a streaming version. Blu-ray discs are automatically converted to the high definition format but if you have a DVD disc in the standard definition format you are provided with the option of paying $5 to convert the movie up to high definition.
Once you try the Disc-to-Digital program for the first time by converting at least one DVD or Blu-ray disc, you receive an email with a link that you click on to choose 5 free movies from the participating list. There are no contracts or commitments when you use the Disc-to-Digital service.
The DVDs or Blu-ray discs that you want to convert must also be associated with one of the participating partnerships with Walmart’s Disc-to-Digital program. As it stands right now the companies in partnership are Paramount, Universal Studios, DreamWorks, Fox, and Warner Bros. Once your order is processed the disc(s) you are converting are stamped with a label before they are returned to you. This prevents another party from using your disc for conversion to their UltraViolet account. Right now there is no limit on the number of discs you can convert but this may change as the idea catches on with other users.