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Vudu to Expand Movie VOD Access

28 Oct, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Vudu Oct. 28 said it would expand its transactional video-on-demand (VOD) service with Boxee software and the upcoming launch of the Boxee Box set-top platform.

The Boxee Box ($199.99), which is manufactured by D-Link, is set to launch Nov. 10. Vudu content, which include titles in full 1080p resolution, will for the first time be available to be viewed on an HDTV with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. The Box also includes streaming content from Netflix, MLB.TV, Comedy Central, Pandora, Last.fm and flickr, among others.

VOD titles are available from $2 for a 48-hour window.

Vudu, which Walmart acquired earlier this year for a reported $100 million, currently offers new release VOD movies through its software, which is embedded in numerous third-party consumer electronics devices, including Blu-ray Disc players.

The company originally sold a set-top box, which failed, and subsequently transformed into an OEM software provider to myriad devices manufacturers.

Noteworthy to the deal is that the Boxee software is free (www.Boxee.tv) and can be downloaded to a Mac, including Apple TV; a PC; and a Linux computer. As a result, users who connect their computer to the television can now access the Vudu app and watch movies (in standard definition only) on a transactional basis.

Boxee currently has 1.4 million users, of which about 80% connect their laptops to their TVs, according to a spokesperson.

The deal would also appear to nix speculation Walmart was going to partner with Redbox for a digital distribution platform.

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