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Vudu Has First Disney HD Downloads

4 Jun, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey


Video-on-demand set-top company Vudu is the lucky host of Disney’s first ever download-to-own high-definition movie offerings, with 69 Buena Vista Home Entertainment titles available at launch June 4.

Vudu said it plans to offer more Disney titles in high-def in the coming weeks, and new releases will be offered day-and-date with DVD and Blu-ray Disc, Vudu said. Disney titles purchased through the system will be stored on consumers’ Vudu boxes and will be available in Vudu’s 1080p HDX format.

“Consumers are expanding the way that they acquire and watch films, and Buena Vista Home Entertainment wants to support this growing medium of digital delivery,” said Lori Macpherson, GM of North America for Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

The titles range from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy to No Country for Old Men. While newer animated fare such as Tinker Bell and Bolt are offered, Disney is not offering any of its more famous, classic animations, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Pinocchio.

Vudu has relationships with every major studio and more than 50 independents, with a library of more than 16,000 movies and TV episodes. Nearly 2,000 of those are available in high-def. Rentals from the service start at 99 cents, TV episode downloads start at $1.99 and movie download-to-own options begin at $4.99, running up to around $20 for a new release.

Vudu’s three 1080p movie players, the BX100, XL and XL2, display movies in 1080p resolution at 24 frames a second, and upscale standard resolution films. The low-end BX100 sells for $149, while the XL goes for $499. The XL2 has a reported price tag of about $1,300.

In May the company announced it was offering ad-supported music videos for streaming instead of download and was looking at the possibility of doing the same with movies.

Vudu EVP Edward Lichty said his company’s consumers have shown “a strong interest in buying HD films.” However, Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group, said new data from his firm shows those consumers make up less than 1% of the total American movie-watching population.

“It’s positive for Vudu, but for the set-top landscape it may not mean much,” he said. “The reality is the audience is beyond tiny, and we’re still not seeing an uptake in the set-top download market.”

A complete list of the HD titles from BVHE available now on Vudu:

Atlantis: The Lost Empire                            
Becoming Jane                                        
Bedtime Stories                                      
Beverly Hills Chihuahua                              
Brideshead Revisited                                 
Bridge to Terabithia                                 
Chicken Little                                       
Con Air                                              
Coyote Ugly                                          
Dan in Real Life                                      
Deja Vu                                              
Eight Below                                          
Enemy of the State                                   
Finding Neverland                                    
G.I. Jane                                            
Glory Road                                           
Goal! The Dream Begins                               
Gone Baby Gone                                       
Gone in 60 Seconds                                    
King Arthur                                          
Meet the Robinsons                                   
Miracle at St. Anna                                  
National Treasure                                    
National Treasure: Book of Secrets                   
No Country for Old Men                                
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End             
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest           
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Reign of Fire                                        
Remember the Titans                                  
Roving Mars                                          
Sky High                                              
Space Buddies                                        
Swing Vote                                           
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas                       
The Brothers Grimm                                   
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian             
The Game Plan                                        
The Great Raid                                       
The Guardian                                          
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy                 
The Invisible                                        
The Prestige                                         
The Queen                                            
The Recruit                                          
The Rock                                             
The Rookie                                           
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause                
The Secret of the Magic Gourd                        
The Sixth Sense                                      
The Wild                                             
Wild Hogs

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