Vudu offers ad-supported movies 'on us'

The video streaming store will let you watch select flicks in 1080p without paying first, or at all.

For years, Walmart-owned Vudu has had a reputation for its high picture quality and ties to Ultraviolet digital copies. Now, the video on-demand store is trying something new: free movies. There is a catch, however, as the free flicks will contain advertising breaks. Otherwise, viewers will be able to log in from computers, phones and TVs to watch movies like True Grit, Mad Max and more without paying a dime. It's an interesting scheme, and if anything, may get more people to try out the Vudu app installed on their TV, game console or Chromecast.

Vudu doesn't seem to be turning into a Netflix or Hulu competitor yet, as there's no mention of any subscription option to get open access without ads. I tried it out on PC, and a stream of the Mandy Moore classic A Walk to Remember opened with three ads totaling less than a minute -- very manageable -- and there are ads during the movie as well.

The ad-supported flicks will be available in up to 1080p HD, and in a statement, general manager Jeremy Verba says "This new service provides value for customers who want to watch movies and TV for free, when and how they wish to watch, without sacrificing quality." To watch, just look for the Movies on Us section under the new or Spotlight tab on Vudu's app and website.