Walmart.com launches Vudu streaming video service

As a number of Netflix subscribers state they will be dumping the video streaming service due to higher fees, a competitor to Netflix has announced it is offering its own streaming service over at one of the biggest retail web sites. CNNMoney reports that Wal-Mart has started offering streaming movie and TV show rentals and purchases on the Walmart.com web site. The service is powered by Vudu, a company which Wal-Mart acquired back in 2010.

The streaming video service currently has about 20,000 titles to rent or purchase but it doesn't currently offer a monthly "all you can eat" subscription plan that Netflix offers for $7.99 a month. While Vudu currently doesn't have any plans to offer a subscription plan the service does have some special deals such a new movie every day for a 99 cent rental. In a nod to its customers, the Friday 99 cent movie rental will be picked by the users of Vudu's Facebook page. Normal rental prices peak at $5.99 and it also offers a selection of titles that can be viewed via 3D glasses on a 3D enabled monitor or TV screen.

This is actually Wal-Mart's third attempt to become a Netflix competitor. It launched its own DVD mail order rental service a number of years ago but shut down that business in 2005 and directed its remaining customers over to Netflix. In 2006 it launched a movie download service but shut it down a year later after one of its partners decided to pull out of the arrangement.

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14 Comments

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Nope, not going to do it. Was bad enough that I had to pay roughly that to rent from Blockbuster and that's exactly why I decided to join up with Netflix. However, I'm also not going to pay them as much as what they are asking for. So I cancelled my subscription and don't plan on renewing it until the price is reduced. I find it kind of bemusing that Walmart thinks that they will make anything off of basically Pay for View.

$6 to stream a single movie in HD? That's kinda steep. In addition, HD is available only thru appliances: according to what I read at MaximumTech and MaxPC, the streaming service for browsers only support 480P/stereo at this time...which means we'll only pay $4 to stream a single movie to our browser.

Each of my three HD televisions have a dedicated HTPC. I'm not going to pay $4 for a single highly-compressed standard definition stereo movie when I can rent a lesser-compressed standard definition AC3/DTS DVD for considerably less money at the grocery store or Redbox.

And if they do start streaming HD for the browser, I'm definitely going to save $4 by renting the same movie at Redbox.

They probably think Americans prefer convenience over price. That is incorrect: Americans prefer price over quality. That is why US consumers chose VHS over BetaMax. That is why we ended up throwing away millions of dollars in children's toys a few years ago.

Streaming is not quality, and the price WalMart has set is far too high to justify the inferior quality of streaming just for the sake of convenience.

is this supposed to be news? Vudu has been around for as long as i can remember...not a big deal if they just put a link up on walmarts site to rent movies. need to retitle this article.

Windows7even said,
is this supposed to be news? Vudu has been around for as long as i can remember...not a big deal if they just put a link up on walmarts site to rent movies. need to retitle this article.

Basically all it is. Looks like they've created a front end on the main Walmart site that links to Vudu content. I also noticed on Vudu's site, you can now log in with a Walmart.com ID.

But no subscription is required. You rent what you want and don't have a monthly sub. It is nice if you only want a couple movies.

tmorris1 said,
But no subscription is required. You rent what you want and don't have a monthly sub. It is nice if you only want a couple movies.

Sounds like torrenting but with a price tag attached to it...

mattygdot said,

Sounds like torrenting but with a price tag attached to it...

Just like buying goods in the store... It is a lot like shoplifting with a price attached...

seriously nothing will be cheaper than theft...

TechGuyPA said,
Shirley you can't be serious?

I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.

Ironically enough, all this Netflix talk is actually making me sign up for Netflix. They'll even out their losses from angry people.

Are you serious? this is still more expensive than Netflix...... The only advantage it has is the HDX video. I think blockbuster is better than this.

still1 said,
Are you serious? this is still more expensive than Netflix...... The only advantage it has is the HDX video. I think blockbuster is better than this.

Their HDX video quality is f'ing gorgeous!

still1 said,
Are you serious? this is still more expensive than Netflix...... The only advantage it has is the HDX video. I think blockbuster is better than this.

The quality is nice but Netflix is still better since it's still cheaper.