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|Industry||Video on demand|
|Owner||NBCUniversal (Comcast) (70%) Warner Bros. (WarnerMedia) (AT&T) (30%)|
VUDU is an American digital video store and streaming service owned by Fandango Media, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. The company offers transactional video on demand rentals and digital purchases of films, as well as integration with digital locker services for streaming digital copies of films purchased as home video at retail.
The service initially focused on a digital media player known as the VUDU Box. In 2010, the company began to abandon its hardware business, and focus on integrating its service and associated app platform into third-party devices such as televisions and Blu-ray Disc players. The company has since offered its services online, via mobile apps, and on devices such as digital media players and smart TVs.
In 2010, VUDU was sold to Walmart. In 2020, Fandango Media acquired VUDU for an undisclosed amount.
2020 January 1st, the VUDU "Disc to Digital" program solely exists for Mobile App users only.
2019 December 31st, VUDU sunsets/retires the "Disc to Digital" (D2D) disc optical drive scanning service. The Mobile-To-Disc (M2D) service will still continue, and still under the "Disc to Digital" name. VUDU customers are unagreeable to the loss of the (D2D) part of the service with unlimited disc scanning. The (M2D) service limits up to 100 movies within a calendar year.
2019 June, VUDU's selection contains over 24,000 titles in their catalog and over 8,000 television shows. Titles range from major motion pictures, independent films, documentaries, children's programming, anime, musicals, recorded musical performances, cartoons, and television series. VUDU has established content licensing contracts with all major movie studios as well as over 50 smaller and independent studios. Films are available to rent in standard-definition, high-definition, and 4K ultra high definition formats, with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 available on supported devices and content.
2018 October, VUDU partnered with MGM Television to develop and acquire original programming for Movies on Us, with a focus on "family-friendly, advertiser-friendly content" derived from existing MGM properties. VUDU premiered its first original series, Mr. Mom—a continuation of the 1983 film of the same name, on September 12, 2019.
2017 March, VUDU extends the "Disc to Digital" service, in releasing the VUDU Mobile App first for Smart phones & later Tablets. Now VUDU users have an additional way to convert discs, using the App paired with a Mobile device camera. The camera scans the barcode on the insert cover of DVDs and Blu-Rays. This new feature is nicknamed Mobile-To-Digital (M2D), to distinguish it from the original "Disc to Digital" (D2D) service where the discs are scanned by an optical drive. However, which ever way Discs are scanned, it is all within the "Disc to Digital" name. The App works via using 1 and only 1 home location. The service is able to scan any and all eligible DVDs and Blu-Rays. The "Disc to Digital" App can scan up to 100 movies within a calendar year from between January 1st to December 31st. The 100 movie limit has been reached when the App prompts and stops the a user with the VUDU exclamation message, "You have reached the Disc to Digital limit of conversions for the calendar year." Once a VUDU user account reaches the 100 limit, the user must wait until after December 31st. On the other hand, if the user does not reach the maximum limit by the end of the year, those remaining potential movies to purchase through the "Disc to Digital" service, do not roll over into the new year; a use-it or lose-it scenario. On January 1st, all VUDU user accounts, have their Disc to Digital movie counters, reset back to 0 movies, for the new year, and again with a 100 movie limit.
2020 April, it was announced that NBCUniversal subsidiary Fandango Media would acquire VUDU for an undisclosed amount; the sale closed on 2020 July 6. Fandango is minority owned by Warner Bros., and operates the similar service FandangoNow. As part of the sale, Walmart will maintain its relationships with VUDU, including account integration and promotion of the service via Walmart's website.
2010 February 22, Walmart announced its intent to acquire VUDU. The company had previously attempted to offer digital video sales in 2007, but the service folded due to competition with the iTunes Store. In order to comply with Walmart's content policies, VUDU subsequently discontinued its "After Dark" service (a collaboration with AVN), which offered pornographic content.
2010 January 8, at Consumer Electronics Show, VUDU announced that it would phase out its in-house hardware business in favor of focusing on integration of its rich Internet application platform, "VUDU Apps" (which featured VUDU as well as other streaming video and internet services), directly into internet-connected televisions and Blu-ray players, with initial hardware partners including LG, Magnavox, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba, and Vizio.
2009 February 24, VUDU became the first on-demand service to offer high-definition movies for download to own. Prior to VUDU allowing users to purchase high-definition movies, studios only allowed their films to be purchased in standard-definition format. LG was the first to integrate VUDU into its HDTVs, with access beginning in August 2009 through the television's NetCast application.
2008 May, VUDU began displaying and selling its set-top box in Best Buy stores. Before this, the box was only available via online retailers. In October, VUDU announced that it would begin to stream films in 1080p high definition, branded as "HDX". These films would feature a series of encoding and processing techniques branded as "TruFilm", including the dampening of artifacting and pixelation associated with darker areas of pictures, film grain preservation, "color gradient processing" to improve appearance on flat-panel televisions, and "statistical variable bitrate" to optimize streaming performance.
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