Before the Roku Netflix Player came along, the Vudu box was the toast of the town. It lets you stream movies directly to your HDTV from the Vudu service and—much like your cable provider—sends new movies your way each month in an exceptionally well-designed package.
The only problem: Vudu’s competitors are pushing it out of the market as customers realize its service no longer makes much sense. The biggest concern is that once you pay $299 for the Vudu box, you have to pay even more to rent SD and HD movies.
And to make matters worse, the movie rentals cost $0.99 to $3.99 for SD and $3.99 to $5.99 for HD. TV episodes cost $1.00, and movie purchases run $4.99 to $19.99, depending on title popularity and release date.
Vudu does let you stream movies—thousands, in fact—to your HDTV, but many of these movies are films you probably wouldn’t want to watch. Vudu is currently promoting favorites like Baby Mama and The Love Guru, but what it fails to mention is the losers, such as 10.5 and 12 o’Clock.
As a concept, the Vudu box is compelling. But when compared with competitors, the Roku Netflix Player and cable boxes offering video-on-demand services, it quickly becomes apparent that Vudu is the least desirable of the bunch.