Add the LG BD390 to the growing list of products that will soon offer built-in Vudu support.
The flagship LG Blu-ray player will become the first disc player to include Vudu functionality via a free firmware upgrade due later this month. The upgrade will effectively offer the same basic functions as Vudu's standalone BX100 set-top box. That gives users access to Vudu's streaming library of movies, which can be purchased or rented on a per-title basis (there's no monthly fee). Vudu has set itself apart from other Internet-on-demand providers like Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, and Apple by stressing audio and video fidelity: it offers over 2,000 titles in 1080p high-def, many with full 5.1 surround soundtracks.
The Vudu upgrade makes the already excellent LG BD390 an even better deal. Currently, the player is CNET's top-rated standalone Wi-Fi Blu-ray player. Vudu will join Netflix, YouTube, and CinemaNow streaming services on the LG; the player can also stream many digital media files from PCs on a home network. The BD390 lists for $400, but it currently can be found online for less than $300.