Vudu has begun offering high definition movies for download-to-own, making it the first VOD service to do so. Currently, Vudu’s rental library includes 1,400 HD movies, but it’s only selling 50 titles as download-to-own, including new Oscar winner Man on Wire, and other films from indie studios FirstLook Studios, Kino and Magnolia Pictures. From here on out, Vudu plans to release its HD titles from these studios for purchase day and date with DVD release. This new offering will be available in both instant HD and HDX format at the same price, ranging from $13.99 to $23.99.
In recent Vudu news, the company halved the retail price of its basic 250GB HD player to $150. It said the price slash was due to lower component prices, higher movie revenues and holiday sales fueling greater content demand. We suggested the actual reason was likely due to Vudu realizing that real money lies in rentals and purchases; a cheap player would entice viewers to rent and buy more titles.