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$400 Set-Top Box: Will You Vudu?
September 18, 2007 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Another set-top box aims to deliver the best (and worst) that video-on-demand has to offer.
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Posted by ken fox  on  09/18  at  06:13 PM

David Pogue said the general technology was great and the user interface just as good.  I’ve used it and I agree.  It’s very easy and lightning fast.  You also don’t have to wait 40 minutes for a download.  The beta test movies were so-so, but they’re loading the very good stuff now now that it’s for sale.  Popular Science online had a very interesting article, indicating how much more content and better quality VUDU has than Apple, who is their natural competitor.  Apparently Apple only gets content from 2 of the big 6 movie content providers, while little VUDU has content from all six majors and fifteen independents.  Also you have to buy movies if you use Apple, whereas most people only want to rent and not pay yearly subscriptions, and VUDU hits on all cylinders there.  Netflix and Blockbuster don’t come anywhere near competing with this high-quality stuff.

Posted by Rachel Cericola  on  09/18  at  06:45 PM

That’s a great summary… thanks Ken!

Posted by david Pogue  on  09/18  at  10:20 PM

Nice summary—thanks!

But you don’t have to be a Times subscriber to read any of my stuff. It’s all free, all the time!

(You have to “register” with the Web site, but that just means supplying an email address and making up a password. It’s free.)

—David Pogue

Posted by Pete S  on  10/04  at  01:37 PM

One of my issues with the Vudu is the peer-to-peer component. If I’m paying $400 for the hardware and $15-$20 to buy a movie, they can darn well pay for the bandwidth rather than using mine.

I’ve heard there’s a Nice to Network (?) setting that chokes down the P2P stuff but it of course also limits download speed.

I’d just like to hear a report from someone who has a P2P unfriendly ISP, just to see if the Vudu gets them in trouble.

More of my thoughts in this post:

Posted by KEN  on  10/05  at  09:54 AM

VUDU has gotten even better as they are loading more and more movies.  Apple has only 500 downloads, VUDU has 5000 already going to 10,000 in 6 months.  I have not had a single glitch in 60 movies.  You do need broadband 3 MBPS.  My carrier increased my speed at no charge (it’s a competetive market.)  Once you use these guys, you feel that you will never go back to DVDs or physical media again.  No going to the store, or going online to order, no mailing, no waiting 40 minutes for a download.  VUDU downloads are a click and the movie starts in a second or less.  It’s cool.

Posted by ken  on  10/05  at  10:40 AM

To previous responder.  It didn’t slow down my computer at all, unlike Apple which downloads to the computer and does slow things down.  No problem here.  As far as peer to peer…it’s fabulous technology, works great, and you shouldn’t ##### as long as it does the job its supposed to do.  You seem to be negative without ever having used the thing.  You mislead people in the wrong direction when you comment about something you never even used.  You were wrong in your assumptions.  I would predict that if you did use it, you’d like it.  Every time I show it do people, I here “wow’s” all over the place.  It is impressive and just works the way they said it would.

Posted by Pete S  on  10/05  at  11:11 AM

Erm, I never said anything about it slowing down your computer…why the heck would it?  I just voiced a desire to hear what impact it had on your bandwith and more specifically your relationship with your ISP.

You suggest I shouldn’t (some expletive) as long as it does the job its supposed to do. Perhaps it works for you, but unless you have the same ISP that I do, you can’t say I’d have the same experience. You also can’t say how the system will scale until the Vudu becomes widely adopted.

I don’t think you’re even understanding my concern. If I run a P2P service (bitTorrent, most often), the first thing I notice is that the quality of my VoIP telephone drops drastically. So I have to shut it down before I can use my phone. No problem with a client I’m using, but will I have to unplug my Vudu? How can I throttle the bandwidth its using?

The second thing that happens if I use too much bandwith via P2P is that the ISP starts sending nasty-grams. Maybe you don’t have that problem with your ISP. If not, consider yourself fortunate.

What I’m trying to ascertain is how much bandwith the P2P feature uses and whether it’ll be a problem for people with VoIP phones and snarky ISPs.  Presumably Vudu has considered the problem, but I’d like to hear from someone with first hand experience.

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