The on-demand movie business is alive and well and living in the set-top box business. And competition is fierce. Climbing above the fray, Vudu is claiming to have more HD movies than anyone else. More than Netflix, Xbox 360, Apple TV, and remarkably close to the amount of HD available than you can get on Blu-ray. Amazing.
CNet reported on this and luckily for us, did the math. Vudu has over 1,100 HD movies, including the approximately 200 that are offered in their highest-quality HDX format that competes with Blu-ray. Compare that to the 391 that are available on the Xbox Live Marketplace, or the 700 available on iTunes. Netflix is entering the game, but only with about 300 titles.
Compare these numbers to the total number of Blu-ray discs available for sale at Amazon.com . . .
Amazon's entire collection of Blu-rays is close to 2,000, but this includes TV shows and box sets.
What remains to be seen is how successful the Vudu business model is. Their set-top box retails for $299, while Netflix's Roku box is a mere $99.00 (and Netflix offers monthly subscriptions.) Rentals range in price from $0.99 up to $5.99, while purchases range from $4.99 to $19.99. Through a special deal with Best Buy, they're offering a $200 movie credit through Best Buy that reduces the price so that it's competitive with the Roku, but no monthly subscription option.
With so many HD download options developing, even with more HD content, does Vudu stand a chance when they are the most expensive option? —Leslie Shapiro
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