Vudu is not the only streaming video rental service in the USA. Amazon also rents and sells videos for streaming alongside its Amazon Prime Video membership package. Netflix started out as an internet-fronted postal delivery video rental service. Netflix switched to delivering rented videos through streaming before finally abandoning individual pricing and creating an all-inclusive membership video streaming service.
Vudu has not followed Netflix all the way along that path and it doesn’t have monthly membership fees, although users are expected to set up accounts in order to pay for their individual video purchases and rentals.
The video library of Vudu contains more than 24,000 titles, making it one of the largest video streaming services in the USA in terms of content.
A rented video will be stored on Vudu until it is watched. The renter can delay watching a video for 30 days and it will still be available. The rental time limit starts counting down as soon as the renter starts viewing it. The video will continue to be available for 24 or 48 hours, depending on the selected rental period. Rentals can be extended for a discount price.
How is Vudu different?
The lack of a subscription fee makes Vudu pretty unique in the video streaming industry. The service doesn’t try to stitch its content into channels and its media player won’t roll through several videos for binge-watching.
The videos that customers buy can be uploaded to the DVR cloud storage of the Vudu service and even watched through other players.
Vudu differs from the video rental and sales activities of Amazon because it has many videos that can be watched for free. Some of the free videos are ad-supported, but many can be watched for free without interruption.
Videos in the Vudu library can be streamed in SD (480p) HDX (1080p), and UHD (4K). Higher definition rates give sharper video images. However, they also use up a lot of bandwidth. Customers with slow internet connections or metered data would probably be better off selecting the SD streaming format. The HDX format was actually created by Vudu.
Vudu operates a Disc to Digital service. With this, customers who have actual physical DVDs can get access to them in the cloud. An app for mobile devices allows customers to scan the barcodes on the DVDs that they own. Vudu already has those videos ibn digital format and it just notes that the customer has the right to access that, even though it wasn’t purchased from Vudu.
The Vudu service is owned by Walmart. Thanks to this link, it is possible to browse the DVDs in the Walmart store, pay for it in cash, and get that video credited to your Vudu account. So, you don’t need to pack the DVD and take it home and you don’t need storage space for it.
Who is Vudu best for?
As it doesn’t require a subscription, Vudu would be a good cord-cutting choice for people who are not in the country all of the time. Workers who get posted abroad with their jobs for months on end still have to keep paying subscriptions if they take out a membership with services such as fuboTV or HBO Now even though they are not able to access those services when they are not in the USA.
The Vudu service is also a good option for people who don’t intend to watch much — they don’t need to keep paying for a wider service that they never really use. Vudu customers only pay for the videos that they watch and, in many cases, they don’t have to pay anything because the videos are free.
The Disc to Digital service is also a great space saver. People who have racks of DVDs in their homes can just scan them and through the physical DVDs away, continuing to watch them from the Vudu cloud service.
How to access Vudu
Videos from Vudu can be streamed on Samsung, LG, and Vizio smart TVs without the need for any other device apart from an internet connection. Vudu can be streamed through Xbox, PlayStation, and Nvidia game consoles and Roku, Chromecast, TiVo, Apple TV, and Android TV streaming devices.
Vudu produces apps for Android mobile devices and iPhone and iPads. The system can also be played through any web browser by accessing the Vudu website. That will work with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari.