VUDU made some pretty big waves with its Blu-ray-rivaling HDX downloadable format, and now it's pushing the envelope once again by becoming the first on-demand service to actually sell (as in, for keeps... on your box, anyway) HD and HDX movies. Starting today, all VUDU owners can browse a growing library of for-sale high-definition flicks, and it should be noted that both HD and HDX titles will sport the same price tags (between $13.99 and $23.99). Initially, only around 50 films will be available, all of which are from top independent studios. Magnolia Picture's Man on Wire, which just so happened to take home an Oscar this year, is in that group of 50 along with FirstLook Studios' Transsiberian and War, Inc.. Better still, VUDU intends to make future releases available for purchase day-and-date with the DVD release, and we can only hope that major studios get with the program and follow suit. Full release is after the break.
VUDU FIRST TO SELL ON-DEMAND MOVIES IN HIGH DEFINITION
2009 Oscar-Winner "Man on Wire" among First To Be Offered; Other Films Offered from Independent Studios FirstLook, Kino, Magnolia
Santa Clara, CA, FEBRUARY 24, 2009 – VUDU, Inc., a leading provider of digital on-demand entertainment products and services, today announced it has achieved another industry milestone by becoming the first on-demand service to offer high definition movies for download to own on its popular 1080p Internet Movie Player. HD movies are available for purchase today to all Vudu owners.
Until now consumers have been restricted to renting HD movies from on-demand services, including VUDU's library of over 1,400 HD movies, the largest HD library in the world. Today VUDU unveiled a collection of over 50 HD movies from top independent studios that are available for both rental and download to own. Movies offered in this collection will be available for purchase in both instant HD and VUDU's industry-leading HDX format at the same price. HDX is the highest quality on-demand format available anywhere on cable, satellite, broadcast, or the Internet.
Magnolia Picture's Man on Wire, the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary that has been showered with critical praise and global film awards, is among the first titles to be offered for purchase in HD on VUDU, along with critically acclaimed Transsiberian and War, Inc. from FirstLook Studios.
"Consumers are clamoring for the ability to own digitally-delivered titles in high definition, especially in our HDX format, and we are excited to be the first in the industry to meet this consumer need," said Edward Lichty, VUDU's EVP of Strategy and Content. "This is a watershed event for the industry as well, signaling the studios' recognition of and confidence in digital delivery as an increasingly important part of their business. We expect to see a continuing expansion of digital rights in the coming months."
FirstLook Studios, Kino, and Magnolia Pictures are among the independent studios offering films for sale on VUDU in HD. VUDU plans to offer every HD release from these studios for purchase as they are added to the service, day and date with DVD release. All current films and subsequent additions to this HD collection will be available to purchase in instant HD and VUDU's industry-leading HDX format.
"We are thrilled to work with VUDU to offer our new releases for sale in HD when they are released on DVD," said Dean Wilson, Chief Operating Officer of FirstLook Studios. "We continue to explore every channel for distribution, and the emerging digital platform that reaches consumers in their homes directly on their HDTVs via VUDU is an important new channel for us."
High definition titles purchased from VUDU can be stored on the consumer's VUDU box or in the VUDU Vault, a free online storage option for movies and TV shows that enables consumers to free up disk space while still retaining access to all their purchased titles. Movies are priced between $13.99 and $23.99.
VUDU's library of more than 14,000 movies and TV episodes, including more than 1,400 HD films, is updated weekly with new releases and library titles. VUDU is the only service to offer both instant start HD and HDX, the highest quality on-demand format available anywhere. Designed to deliver an optimized cinematic experience to owners of 40-inch and larger HDTVs and projectors, HDX with VUDU's TruFilm™ technology features a virtually artifact free 1080p picture and immersive, high definition sound.
Additionally, VUDU offers access to popular Internet based content, from video, music and photos from popular sites such as YouTube, Flikr, and to games and social networking applications, directly on the TV, all easily accessible using the VUDU remote control with no need for a PC.
VUDU is a leading provider of digital technologies and services that deliver Internet entertainment to consumers' HDTVs and Home Theaters. VUDU's 1080p Internet Movie Players, the VUDU HD, VUDU XL and VUDU XL2 are designed to deliver tens of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows directly to HDTVs. All versions support native instant start HD as well as HDX, and automatically upscale standard resolution movies. All movies are displayed in 1080p resolution at 24 frames per second, the cinematic gold standard.
Through relationships with every major US movie studio and more than 40 independent studios and distributors, VUDU offers a vast array of on-demand choices at the highest quality. The VUDU collection is constantly updated, and newly released movies from major studios are available on the same day as the DVD is released. Consumers can finally watch great movies without the hassles associated with traditional services:-no driving, no mailing, and no monthly fee. For more information, visit http://www.vudu.com/.