I was reading Paul Stamatiou’s site for TechDispenser yesterday and he posted a review of the Vudu online movie rental service. Something about this gadget has gotten under my skin and I’m on a quest to slay it…enough so that I went back today and posted comments with my concerns.
This isn’t the first time I’ve commented about the unit. I posted this at Jaded’s Pub earlier this month:
Following up on the discussion we were having in the hi-def movie thread, there’s a new product called Vudu hitting the market soon. It’s a $400 box that has 5000 ‘movie stubs’ pre-loaded onto it. You hook it to the net and and pay per movie to watch. The ‘stub’ will start playing immediately with the rest of the movie downloading in the background, hopefully faster than you’re watching.
The movies aren’t high def, but the unit is supposed to upscale if you have an HDTV. It is capable of high def movies but they’re still negotiating the rights. You need a cable modem or better to use it. DSL isn’t fast enough, they say.
NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/technology/circuits/06pogue.html
You *can* buy the movie for “$15-$20″ or rent it from $2-$4 (after which you have 24 hours to watch it).
The rig uses peer-to-peer with other Vudu users. NY Times seems to consider this to be a “cool feature” but to me it’s a drawback. I don’t need my ISP barking at me because I’m uploading huge files to random strangers. And I know when I use bittorrent (at least) it sucks down every byte of bandwidth. Heaven forbid the (internet) phone should ring because I can’t use Vonage and do a P2P bittorrent transfer at the same time.
NY Times seems really bullish on this product. Me, I’m not seeing it. $400 to pay full price for movies that I could play on any of my existing DVD players?
I still don’t get it. People think shelling out $400 to buy a piece of hardware that lets you buy more things from the people you bought the hardware from is a good deal? I mean, I get the whole ‘razors and razorblades’ thing, but $400 doesn’t feel like a bargain price for this piece of hardware. They aren’t subsidizing the cost of the thing to get it into your living room. And they’re using the bandwidth you pay for in order to service their other customers!
I really hope this gadget/service flames out, because it sets all sorts of bad precedents.