What was arguably the biggest story of CES 2008 occurred three days before the show actually opened for business: Warner Home Video went Blu-ray exclusive, leaving just Paramount and Universal (and smaller DreamWorks) as exclusive HD DVD content partners. Indeed, in the days since, the issue of those studios following Warner's lead seems to be one of when, not if. Blu-ray seems on the verge of a complete victory in the HD disc format war to become the high-def successor to DVD. As a result, combo players--including a newly announced model from Samsung--were greeted more by yawns than … Read more
With its ability to deliver on-demand movies to your TV via a broadband Internet connection, the Vudu was one of the more promising home theater gadgets of 2007. The company is building on that momentum by adding a second, step-up model to its lineup: the Vudu XL. Physically, it's a near doppelganger of the original model--which remains available--but it ups the internal hard disk to 1 terabyte of storage. That's 4 times the size of the current version, and--according to Vudu--enough to store up to 500 standard-definition movies. The XL is also designed to be more friendly for … Read more
When we reviewed the Vudu back in September, we said "only feature films are available, but Vudu says that TV shows are on the roadmap." Vudu made good on that pledge today, adding 12 TV shows to its content roster. Episodes are available for $1.99 each--the same price you'd pay for TV shows on Apple's iTunes Store.
TV content on Vudu is said to be "in beta," but it should be available to all Vudu owners as of today. The initial dozen shows offered are: 24, Arrested Development, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Family … Read more
It's been online for a few days now, but I just spotted (via PaidContent) Forbes' article titled The iFlop (subhead: "Steve Jobs tried to design--and dictate--the future of television. Here's how he failed.") Author Scott Woolley calls the Apple TV "a flat-out" failure, claiming that it's sold less than 250,000 units in six months. Among the supposed sins of the product: the lack of a built-in DVR and a "parochial and proprietary approach" to online video content. He also highlights a variety of on-demand video competitors, including Vudu, TiVo (via Amazon Unbox), and Xbox 360 (which offers rentals and sales of TV shows via the Xbox Live Marketplace)--while glossing over many of their shortcomings. Still, is he right? Is the Apple TV dead in the water? … Read more
Vudu won't be shipping for another few weeks, but I was fortunate enough to get one of the first review units of the device--and my gadget-jaded eyes were somewhat impressed. The Vudu box aims to deliver a wide variety of on-demand movies to your TV (no PC required) via a broadband Internet connection--think Netflix or Blockbuster, but with immediate gratification. The idea of a dedicated video-on-demand box has been tried before (Akimbo, MovieBeam), but the Vudu sidesteps many of the issues that made those previous boxes hard to recommend. It's got actual content that you want to see--all … Read more
Heard of Vudu? Neither had anybody else until this weekend, when the Silicon Valley start-up got a double shot of well-coordinated publicity that's been burning up the Web: a big write-up in the New York Times and a batch of exclusive photos on Gizmodo. Vudu, it seems, is the latest stab at a video-on-demand movie box--a little set-top device that hooks to your TV and downloads movies from a broadband Web service. But Vudu looks to have some key advantages over past efforts from the likes of RCA and MovieBeam. First, it has the backing of most of the … Read more