Criterion Collection on VUDU

I am excited to announce that The Criterion Collection, the reference collection for cinema masterpieces, is for the first time available on a TV based streaming Internet movie service.

I am also very happy that the folks at Criterion chose to work with VUDU to make their collection available for on-demand viewing on TV’s. This is one of my all times favorite collections, a carefully selected set of the world’s best movies, painstakingly restored from the best audio and video sources by Criterion.

These timeless classics will stay with you long after you are done watching the movie. They are in many ways at the other end of the art-entertainment spectrum compared to the Hollywood blockbusters we all enjoy: most of these movies are not studio movies, they are deeply personal movies, unvarnished expressions of the director’s intent.

Frederico Fellini, James Ivory, Igmar Bergman, you may recognize some of these great cinematographer’s names, but perhaps never had the opportunity to watch one of their movies. They are now just a click away on your VUDU service!

Check these movies on Rotten Tomatoes: the “Tomatometer” rarely drops below 90% and for most of the movies it is between 95% and 100%. Yes, this is how good these movies are.

Watch them with your friends, watch them with your significant others, watch them with your kids, watch them with your parents, but watch these movies, your neurons will thank you.

Tell us about your favorite Criterion movie.  Is there a particular film that resonates with you or brings back memories?

The Thief of Bagdad Harakiri The Honeymoon Killers
Black Orpheus Harlan County USA The Horse’s Mouth
Hopscotch Heat and Dust The Red Balloon
Il Posto Juliet of the Spirits The Rules of the Game
Mon Oncle L’avventura The Shop on Main Street
Vengeance Is Mine La Pointe Courte The Spirit of the Beehive
Au Revoir Les Enfants La Strada The Vanishing
Autumn Sonata Lord of the Flies The Virgin Spring
Bombay Talkie M Thirst
Branded to Kill Maurice Walkabout
Clean, Shaven Overlord Burden of Dreams
Cleo from 5 to 7 Picnic at Hanging Rock General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait
Closely Watched Trains Quartet Lord of the Flies
Cria Cuervos… Ratcatcher The Cranes Are Flying
Divorce Italian Style Salesman Blood Wedding
Elevator to the Gallows Sans Soleil Deep Crimson
Fat Girl Shakespeare Wallah Equinox Flower
For All Mankind Sweet Movie God’s Country
General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait Sweetie Howards End
George Washington The Beales of Grey Gardens I Shot Jesse James
Grey Gardens The Cranes Are Flying Monterey Pop

Trailer Showcase: HDX to the max

We just added  a great new feature to the VUDU movie service: “New Trailers”.

You will find it under a new tab on the VUDU movie service start screen. With this new feature you can watch hot new Hollywood trailers, right on your VUDU enabled TV or Bluray player. And, as always with VUDU, it is all on-demand, all in 1080p resolution with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.

In industry parlance these trailers are pre-theatrical trailers, trailers that movie studios put out to create buzz for upcoming movies. We get these trailers as soon as they are out, and make them available in SD, HD, and HDX quality.

These high quality pre-theatrical trailers provide a great way to sample the VUDU experience without having to spend a dime, even if you do not have a VUDU account. Many of our beta users also report using the trailers to test their home bandwidth and find out which VUDU movie qualities work best with their broadband service.

A really cool feature we added by popular demand is the ability to automatically watch the trailers in sequence, essentially creating a “nothing but trailers” movie. Trailers are an art form in their own right, enjoy them now in their full glory… in HDX.

VUDU Does Its Magic Dance Onto Network Blu-ray Players From LG

If you follow the VUDU blog (thanks!), or read Engadget, Gizmodo, or WIRED, you know VUDU has been busy lately.  Last week we officially launched VUDU on both LG and Mitsubishi broadband HDTVs, letting owners of those TV get VUDU without having to buy a separate box.   We know VUDU is the best possible streaming movie experience around – true 1080p picture quality, 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, and no need to drive to the video store (or even walk out to the mailbox.) Today, we’re excited to offer yet another way to get VUDU. 

We are joining with LG to add VUDU to their award winning Blu-ray player, the BD390.  It’s the best Blu-ray player out there (8.8 on CNET!).  Fast response times, outstanding picture, excellent upscaling for normal DVDs, and it’s a network player (meaning it connects to the Internet, in this case via built in wireless).  If you’ve been trying to figure out how you are going to get movies in the future, you now have your answer – the BD390 with VUDU lets you watch movies however you want – DVD, Blu-ray or VUDU.  For anyone with a home theater, or if you just love watching movies that look and sound great, stop reading this and go get a BD390 now.  And if you already bought a BD390?  Worry not my friend.  You’ll get VUDU automatically via a software update.

We are expanding our service rapidly, bringing HD streaming movies to new and different devices.  Our real goal at VUDU is to deliver the absolute best HD streaming movie experience to as many people as possible.  If a device lives in your living and connects to the Internet, we think VUDU should be on it.  That way you always have access to new Hollywood features in true 1080p and 5.1 surround.  Keep an eye out for VUDU to join more TVs and more Blu-ray players – we’re coming soon to your living room.  🙂  

Free Movie Preview: Try before you buy

This week we are introducing Free Preview for most of our movies.

This new feature is initially available to users of the VUDU embedded service – running on VUDU enabled TVs or BluRay players.

This nifty little feature allows our users to watch the first 2m:10s of any movie for free. A great way to sample movies and get a sense for the acting, photography, pulse, and atmospherics of a movie without having to buy it. Can’t do that with a DVD 😉

Free previews are also a great tool to test your home bandwidth and see which of the three VUDU qualities, SD, HD, and HDX will work best in your environment. SD delivers DVD like quality, HD delivers cable/satellite like HD quality, while HDX delivers Bluray like quality. And our HD and HDX come with high bit-rate Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 sound, great for home theater settings.

Now you might ask why the odd choice of 2m:10s for the preview duration?

I have two words for you: “Union Rules”. The showing of free previews is governed by contractual agreements between the various guilds that represent Hollywood workers, from actors to engineers, and the studios. They stipulate that no more than 2m:10s of any movie can be shown before the movie contributors are owed money under their contract.

Enjoy your free previews!

VUDU now on Mitsubishi TVs

We are happy to announce yet another fantastic partnership.  Mitsubishi has integrated VUDU into their Diamond Unisen line of smart HDTVs.  These high-end TVs are pretty awesome by the way – cool design, beautiful picture quality, and a super innovative, 18 speaker “soundbar” that delivers 5.1 surround sound right from the TV (check out the pic above).  VUDU, as you well know, not only offers 1080p picture quality via our super-amazing-happy-fun-time HDX format, but also provides Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound, so you’ll be able to make the most of those integrated, cool-looking (and cool-sounding) speakers. 

This is the second partnership with a world-class consumer electronics manufacturer that we’ve been able to announce, in as many months.  (Last month was LG, in case you missed the news).  Worth noting here is the fact that Mitsubishi will be buying the 1st two months of VUDU service for their customers (up to $50 in their first 60 days).  So if you’re in the market for a Diamond Unisen television from Mitsubishi, make sure you plug it into your router and start streaming VUDU movies.  We think you’re gonna love it.  

Comments and questions are welcome – please tell us what you think.  

And if you’re interested to read about the Mitsubishi-VUDU collaboration in the news, you can check it out via some of the links below.

Engadget

CNET

Gizmodo

Hot Hardware

PC World

Electronic House