We'll get right to it: the VUDU really isn't a stellar purchase for the average joe or jane, particularly when HD VOD is being more ubiquitous and options like Blockbuster / Netflix are still out there. According to a review by the AP, the VUDU was hampered by restrictions (mostly surrounding rental times) presumably enforced by studios who are still utterly terrified to let their precious content leave on any medium that could possibly be shuffled around the internet with any level of ease. Also worrisome was the pricing; $19.99 to purchase an SD film that will likely need to be deleted (or transferred to another HDD) should your drive fill up just seems absurd when you take a peek at the going rate for a DVD. Quality wise, it fared well when playing back SD material, but the "four-hour wait" to get an HD film even started was most definitely not enjoyable. Additionally, the reviewer found some signs of "false contouring" during HD playback, but once the thing got going, it was deemed fairly impressive. Overall, we just can't see the VUDU fitting well into most living rooms -- until the studios lighten up a bit, that is.

HDTV Listings for December 22, 2007