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VUDU Review: What is VUDU?

Product: VUDU
Rating: Rating:3.5
Pros:
-Vast Selection
-Current TV Seasons
Cons:
-No Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV
-Reports of buffering

VUDU is an online streaming service that allows users to buy or rent movies as soon as they are available on Blu-Ray or DVD, and sometimes even earlier. VUDU also makes current seasons of TV shows available for purchase, so it’s a great source for those wanting to stay current with shows on cable.

VUDU was acquired by WalMart in 2010 and is used as the companies primary video content distribution platform. VUDU doesn’t require a paid subscription as customers simply need to sign up an account and purchase content a la cart similar to Amazon Instant Video or iTunes. VUDU acts as a video library to digitally house your TV shows and Movies.

VUDU Review: Sign Up

Signing up is easy. VUDU is integrated with Facebook, so you can use the “Sign up with Facebook” option. You also have the option of creating a VUDU account. There is also the option to use a Walmart.com ID, as VUDU is owned by Walmart.

Ultraviolet

When registering your account, you are given the option to sign up for Ultraviolet. Ultraviolet is a digital rights library that allows users to buy movies and TV content, which can be watched almost anywhere. For instance, if a movie is purchased from an Ultraviolet supported service like M-GO or Flixster, it can be watched on VUDU as long as it’s linked to your Ultraviolet account. The same is true of movies purchased from VUDU being watched on other Ultraviolet supported services.

My VUDU

One benefit I like about Ultraviolet through VUDU is the ability to share movies. VUDU calls this feature My VUDU. With My VUDU, users can configure their Ultraviolet library to be shared with up to 5 people. This can be done from the “Services” menu when logged in to your VUDU account. Be mindful that there is also a device limit.

Once you invite friends and family, they then create their own VUDU accounts and link to your UltraViolet Library. They will then be able to stream or download the UltraViolet movies and TV shows in your collection. To ensure a movie supports Ultraviolet, just look for the logo below.

Unfortunately, there are some major providers not playing in the Ultraviolet ecosystem. The most notable are Google, Amazon, and Disney. However VUDU does support “Disney Movies Anywhere”, so any Disney, Marvel, Star-wars, or countless other properties can be linked on VUDU. You can link your Disney Movies Anywhere information from the “Services” Menu when logged into your VUDU account.

Movies on VUDU

After signing up I’m immediately impressed by the selection. Most newly released to DVD and Blu-Ray major motion pictures are available to both rent and buy. Furthermore, new movies are available for purchase before the official Blu-Ray and DVD release.

Once the movie is available for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray, VUDU appears to offer the film for purchase at prices similar to what one would find in a store. Furthermore, many of these are available for rent for prices ranging from $2.99 to $5.99 depending on the age of the film.

The selection of movies available is the real selling point for VUDU. They seem to have every movie released in a theater over the past 7 decades. There are over 3000 quality titles available from the 80’s and 90’s alone. I could find titles ranging from the smash hit “Ghostbusters”, to the lesser known Keven Smith film “Mallrats”

Just to see how far VUDU reaches back into film history, I took a look at their movies from the 50’s and earlier. They have classics like “Rio Bravo”, “Citizen Kane”, and “Vertigo. However, they also had some great cult titles like “Revenge of The Creature” and “Reefer Madness”

Movies are available in Standard Definition, HD 720p, HDX 1080p, and 4K Ultra HD. There are also a few movies available in 3D. For anyone looking to move to a digital movie collection, VUDU appears to be a great choice based on the selection available.

VUDU also offers frequent movie deals and bundles where you can buy a complete series of movies for a discounted price. At the time of this post, they were selling all 4 of the Transformers Movies for under $20.

TV Shows On VUDU

VUDU makes a number of current TV shows available for purchase. You can order the complete current season of The Preacher, Fear The Walking Dead, and many more. Purchasing a season makes the current episode available for streaming one day after the episode airs on it’s regular network.

Full seasons of shows start as low as $20. This makes for a very affordable method of watching current TV shows on cable without having a cable TV subscription. Let’s assume the average season costs $25 on VUDU. If you follow 10 cable TV shows a year, then that breaks down to less than $20 per month. That’s much cheaper than paying a cable TV company to watch those shows. Furthermore, you own the TV shows, so you can watch them whenever and as many times as you want.

VUDU also seems to allow you to watch the 1st episodes of some shows for free. I’m certain this is in the hopes to get you to buy the complete seasons, but I’m not one to complain about free content.

VUDU Device Support

There are numerous ways to watch VUDU anywhere in your home by streaming VUDU from the internet, straight to your television. Here is a list of devices that currently support VUDU:

  • Currently VUDU has apps available for Android and iOS for Apple devices
  • VUDU is also available for many Smart TVs and Blu-Ray devices, so check these devices you may already own
  • VUDU is available on Roku and Google Chromecast devices
  • Video Game consoles like Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and 4 also support VUDU
  • Of course you can also watch on your PC or Mac
  • many other devices

How Does VUDU Work

To ensure that you get the most out of VUDU, I always recommend you optimize your home network. VUDU recommends the following internet speeds depending on the streaming video quality:

  • SD (480p) requires 1 Mbps
  • HD (720p) requires 2.25 Mbps
  • HDX (1080p) requires 4.5 Mbps
  • UHD (4K) requires 11 Mbps

I’ve personally had very few problems when using VUDU. There is the occasional buffering and picture distortions, but they are infrequent. While VUDU delivers good service quality, it is a step behind industry leaders like Hulu.

Be aware that there have been quite a few complaints regarding VUDU service quality when searching the web. I still recommend trying the streaming service for yourself, as some of those issues could be based on the reviewers network. The ability to share movies and TV shows with My VUDU makes VUDU worth a try.

VUDU = No Subscription

I recommend signing up. It’s pay per purchase, so there is no commitment or subscription fees. VUDU also appears to adopt the “Buy Once, watch Anywhere” approach, which I feel is key for more people to adapt to watching movies online. VUDU’s promotions need a little work, but the selection of movies available is hard to beat. If interested, you can sign up with no obligation through my VUDU affiliate link below.

VUDU Sign Up

For more information on cutting the cord, check out my post on watching TV without cable.

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Categories: Streaming Services
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (13)

  • if you want to build a multiplatform library, including Vudu, try buying movies that include the Digital HD download code. they come with instructions that let you choose a retailer and one of them is Vudu since they are ultraviolet codes. if they are disney movies, link the codes to disneymoviesanywhere.com, along with the deisired accounts, vudu being an option, and any movie with a code will slowly fill Vudu. ones obtained that have the UV logo will get added to your ultraviolet library, so if you have a device, say a Nook, that didnt have Vudu, it could use CinemaNow to access your ultraviolet library. the website to set up the linking between providors is myuv.com, the official ultraviolet website.

    • Vudu suspended my account for unauthorized purchases. When it was cleared up that the purchase email was the two rentals they did nothing to open my account or give me back my money or even transfer my movies to my husband account then they tell me that there is a different name on the account and they can't tell me the name. They basically stole my money and kept my movies I'm calling a lawyer

      • Let me know how this turns out. I'm sorry to hear this. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Customer service is still a joke. Streaming issues (Vudu side, not client side) are ruinous during peak hours. 3D streaming is mostly only available through purchasing at $35 per title rather than $6 rentals. Apps and the web interface can get unusably slow. Bugs abound on all platforms. Streaming is unwatchable in IE Edge due to frame delivery inconsistencies (even on my souped up gaming PC - worked fine in Chrome).

    I've used Hulu, Netflix, and Prime extensively and a bit of iTunes. Vudu is a disaster by comparison that still feels like it's in early beta.

  • I initiated a DVD to digital conversion when there was s 50% off offer. I had trouble getting it to accept discs so I did not checkout until the next day 3/24. I didn't receive the discount because they changed the entire D2D format on 3/24. Called immediately to ask for 50% off OR a full refund. NO ANSWER AFTER 6 WEEKS so I disputed the charge with my bank. Went to log in to VUDU and they had suspended my account because of the disputed charge (which is temporary). I'm told I need to 1). tell the bank to cancel the dispute 2) provide VUDU w/proof from bank JUST SO they'll restore my account and ONLY then they'll resolve the refund issue. REALLY? SPEND 4 MORE HOURS AND HOPE THEY'LL RESOLVE IT WHEN THEY DIDN'T AFTER THE FIRST 6 WEEKS? DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I CAN VIEW MY LIBRARY ON FLIXSTER? WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER AND D2D ONLY WORKS 10% OF THE TIME.

  • Let me start by saying I loved vudu at one time. I was able to put our movie codes into it for easy access to stuff on the go and I was able to buy and rent movies easily. Now, this was a total of 62 movies total on my vudu account when all was good and then turned horrible.
    One day I just couldn't login. I called. Because it turned out my account was taken over by someone else. I was told I'd hear back in 5 days after review. I had them delete my billing information in the meantime. I had to keep calling back because I never heard from them. Two weeks in and still no resolution. I was able to verify all the billing information and card number used on the account and still no help. Three weeks and four weeks and still nothing. And they say it has to be submitted up to the top tier because they are the only ones who can make decisions based on payments. And still nothing. And they tell you that you cannot speak with the top tier people and the top tier people will only email you when they are ready. Still. Nothing. And now I have lost the ability to access my 62 movies that I paid for and can prove but it doesn't matter. And they can't change anything because the person who called and changed the account to their name has all the billing information too. A complete and utter mess and they said I could despute the charges with my bank to then have the account locked and never accessed. They actually told me that would be what would happen. So I'd only recover the money for the movies I purchased through vudu and none of the digital copies out in. And even then they said they could not guarantee that since I did admit to buying the movies when I was speaking with them on the phone. Completely horrible customer and managerial services from vudu. How hard is it to see a person used their card to purchase movies and say okay this is who the movies belong to. It's not rocket science and shouldn't be that complicated. They do not take care of their customers and their customer's private account information and they get out of it by citing they have "policies" in place that create these so called rules.
    Do not recommend you ever use them. It may be great for awhile but the moment an issue arises where you need to call them for help... you will be left feeling robbed and helpless. It's a horrible feeling and they don't care. That's the worst part. You know they could do the right thing but they choose not to.

  • Don't waste your time, money, or energy on this app. Their streaming quality is horrible! Mind as well have pulled out an old scratched up DVD to watch...it would have played better than Vudu. I have a brand new smart Samsung UHD tv, so there is no reason for movies to not stream well in HDX. I've had NO issues with the streaming quality from Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or amazon.

  • I agree with everything you said, up to a point. I have to wonder if you have experienced their customer support, and honestly, I believe that after you do, you'll change your review of them.
    I have had 2 issues with them- one where 3 DVDs said you should be getting a digital copy (Fast & Furious 1-3, Fast & Furious 4-6, and a 4-pack of American Pie). I sent them everything they asked for- pix of the DVDs with my home in the background, the barcodes, the packaging... they asked for the Walmart receipt from almost a year ago- of course I don't still have it, but I have the Walmart app showing that I had submitted the receipt. They left me waiting for 3 weeks for a response, then I accidentally didn't check their support center for 3 days, and because I didn't respond to them in those 3 days, they closed my issue number and I get this nice little notice stating that I can't reopen it.
    Currently, I'm having a disc-to-digital issue where I tried to get Independence Day and an error is coming up saying that this title is unavailable for disc-to-digital- I have sent them the pix of the disc, the packaging, the screenshot showing ID as available for disc-to-digital, the barcode. I sent it to them on 1/17/18. Today is 1/26/18- still no word from them, but I have to check every day just in case their pos customer service actually gets back to me and closes the issue the next day.

    • Thank you for the comment Michelle. I have not as of yet had to deal with their customer support. That said, I only use them when I'm updating the review. I'll use them for a week or two to get a feel for how the service has changed since I last reviewed them.

  • unfortunately if Vudu stops working on your unit for what ever reason, they blame your network connection even if your network connection works fine with other services like Netflix or Hulu. They still blame you, it can't possible be there streaming or servers. So when you call them they don't listen to what you are saying even if you are Tech qualified, they insist the problem is on your end even though other streaming programs work. So then what ever movies you have actually bought you are out of luck on the cost of them because you can no longer stream it online or watch it at home offline because well you don't have a disc to plop in the DVD or Blue ray player. Instead all you have is well nothing and they have your money. Yeah VUDU and Walmart for finding yet another way to screw people over, Maybe a nation wide boycott on both companies should take affect so if you are thinking of getting movies on vudu or even signing up I would rethink that thought before you get screwed out of hundreds of dollars on movies you pay for but get no discs for just online usage for a program that isn't guarenteed to work for you after a ayear or so.