VUDU, the little set-top box that couldn’t, said today it’s slashed the price of its HD movie rental device in half, to $149. And it credits the ability to enact such a deep discount to strong holiday sales and content revenue flow, as well as lower component costs — not because the company is in any kind of trouble or anything.
To its credit, despite undertaking moves ranging from price cuts, the addition of porn, opening up its box to other services, losing a CEO and two rounds of layoffs, VUDU is still around. Indeed, that which didn’t kill VUDU may wind up making it smarter. Gizmodo writes that the company is focused now on creating software to port to other devices and that the VUDU hardware is not long for this world. As set-top devices become more multifunctional, offering movie rentals from more than one source, such as Amazon and Netflix, let alone this functionality being built directly into TV sets with no need for boxes at all, this is probably for the best.
As part of its announcement today, VUDU said that it was also lowering the price of its high-end VUDU XL box to $500, and it will now include the home theater connectivity software package that used to separately cost $100.