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 (s AAPL) and Google TV, (s GOOG) 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 (s WMT) 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.
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