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Vudu Cuts Web Movie Player Price 50%

By Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 10 Feb 2009

Citing market forces, video-on-demand (VOD) set-top box provider Vudu Feb. 10 said it had reduced the price of its high-definition player to $149 from $299.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based tech company said technological advances and greater consumer awareness and demand for digital distribution of entertainment from the Internet to the television contributed to the price cuts.

“The combination of these factors has enabled us to lower the price and bring it within reach of more consumers,” said Edward Lichty, EVP of strategy at Vudu.

Contributing factors not mentioned likely included recent $100 movie set-top boxes and services offered by Blockbuster and Netflix — the latter gaining traction when Microsoft said 1 million Xbox Live subscribers had downloaded content from Netflix’s Instant Watch streaming service.

Indeed, by 2012, 70% of the set-top box market is expected to include high-definition and/or digital video recorders, up from 35% in 2007 and underscoring consumer demand for time-shifted entertainment and HD, according to iSuppli Corp.

Vudu claims a total of more than 13,000 VOD titles in its library, including standard-definition fare. High-definition titles are streamed in two formats: instant-start HD and HDX. The VBX100 box plays movies in 1080p resolution at 24 frames a second, including standard-definition titles, which it upconverts.

The company said it was also reducing the price of the Vudu XL, its proprietary home theater device that can store up to 500 movies and is sold through professional custom installers, to $499.

Earlier this month, Vudu bowed an application that allows Apple iPod Touch and iPhone users to browse and download movies to their homes.

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