I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve. My wife and I followed our annual tradition of banning Dick Clark from the house. Nothing personal against Dick Clark kissing his wife, but we prefer sitting at home and watching a movie while the clock ticks to midnight. Just another night to cuddle.
In 2010, Vudu was bought out by Wal-mart, and they elected to stop making their own set-top boxes. Instead, the software is embedded in media components. A few months ago, Vudu was rolled out to PlayStation 3 consoles, and if you registered it (no charge), you got a $5.99 credit towards a free rental. I found the interface to be very aesthetically pleasing. There is a selection of 4,000+ movies to choose from, and rental fees cost between $2.99 for standard def, $4.99 for HD (720p), and $5.99 for HDX (1080p), but these can be further discounted depending on the movie selection. I also like the additional features, such as watching a film’s theatrical trailer, reading the associated reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and reading the Wikipedia entry.
For New Year’s Eve, we sat down to watch Inception again on Vudu. With our broadband, we watched the HDX version, which as I mentioned earlier, allows you 1080p resolution and 5.1 surround. I thought the experience was good, but the picture looked a little dark for me, compared to television, Netflix, and movies played on the PS3. I had to switch to an alternate picture setting on the tv with less contrast.
In addition, I also noted that rentals are only good for a 24-hour period. Since we didn’t finish watching Inception on New Year’s Eve, we watched the end at night the next day. I thought you had at least 48 hours, but no, it’s just 24 hours. In the evening, I turned on Vudu on January 2nd to find that we only had 6 more hours to go. We had to pause it again in the middle when my sister and my BIL stopped over, but it seems that pausing is okay. By pausing the stream, we were able to avoid running out of time, so we got around the 24-hour rental window.