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Summary:

Boxee users will soon be able to enjoy Hollywood blockbusters as VOD rentals, thanks to a new VUDU application that is coming to Boxee soon. The Boxee Box will be able to play VUDU’s titles in 1080p, but the desktop client will only get SD versions.

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Boxee users will soon be able to enjoy Iron Man 2, The Karate Kid and other Hollywood blockbusters as VOD rentals, thanks to a new VUDU application that is coming to Boxee in November.

Owners of the Boxee Box will be able to enjoy VUDU’s titles in 1080p HD resolution with 5.1 surround sound, but users of the Boxee desktop client will only get access to SD versions of VUDU’s movie library, presumably due to DRM constraints. Each and every Boxee user will receive one free rental, according to the Boxee blog.

The deal is significant for Boxee, because it will help its Boxee Box to compete more directly with Apple TV and Google TV, both of which come with similar VOD offerings. Boxee recently launched its own movie library, but the catalog has so far been dominated by indie fare, as well as ad-supported and oftentimes fairly dated movies from sites like Hulu and YouTube.

VUDU used to be in the set-top box business itself. The company used to sell a box specifically designed for its VOD service, but gave up the hardware business in favor of licensing its platform to CE makers earlier this year, and was bought by Walmart in February. Partnering with Boxee means that VUDU is now supplying a direct competitor with content, but it’s also the first time VUDU’s content is available on the PC.

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required):

  1. According to the comments in the Vudu announcement blog post, Boxee software doesn’t get HD because of licensing issues, not DRM issues.

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    1. Licensing is tied to DRM working…

      Here’s the entire comment from Boxee’s Andrew Kippen:

      “it’s a licensing and security issue that’s out of our control, but we’re hopeful in the long term that we can bring VUDU in all it’s 1080p glory to every Boxee user.”

      Read: We didn’t get the license because we didn’t have the right security / DRM in place…

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  2. [...] “Vudu Brings Hollyood Fare to Boxee” – Janko Roettgers, GigOm [...]

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  3. [...] of connected consumer electronics devices, and just announced today that it has struck a deal to bring Hollywood movies to the Boxee Box. With Vudu back out of its quiet mode, it wouldn’t be surprising for Walmart to leverage that [...]

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