RokuGuide Quick Look: VUDU is a streaming movie service on Roku, competing with Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster on Demand, and Hulu Plus. But while Netflix and Hulu Plus require you to pay a monthly subscription fee, Walmart-owned VUDU has a pay-as-you-go model, charging you to rent or purchase each video. (Amazon straddles the center line on fees with all videos available for rent or purchase, while some videos are included with Amazon Prime membership.) Rental prices range for $1 to $5.99, while purchase prices start at $4.99.
So, is VUDU a better deal than the competitors? Well, you'll have to consider how many videos you watch. Heavy users will come out ahead financially by paying a fixed price for unlimited viewing on the other services, but it's not just about quantity. VUDU claims to have more HD titles than any of the other streaming services, and also claims to offer new releases much sooner than Netflix.
It's worth noting that VUDU has an advanced Roku interface with lots of options for finding videos. Aside from searching VUDU's library, you can browse over a dozen genres, browse by decade, sort by most watched, Rotten Tomatoes ratings (the Tomatometer), or release date, and perform other manipulations of VUDUs movie and TV listings. VUDU also has a speed test that will let you determine the best video quality for your Internet connection - 1080p, 720p, or standard definition.
New VUDU users get credit for one free movie when they sign up, so you can try it out with no risk.
-- Information is current as of September 21, 2012
Developer's Channel Description: VUDU delivers a cinema-like experience at home with the hottest new releases and the largest HD library. There are no subscription fees or late fees, simply pay for what you watch. Choose to rent or own from thousands of titles available in vibrant 1080p with rich Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Movies & TV
FEES: No subscription fees. Pay per video to rent or purchase; prices vary. Enroll here.