by Gary Woods
An idea, which has been poking its nose under the tent for a while, is being able to download movies to your TV. The two biggest issues have been that the quality isn't quite up to DVD standards and that it can take some time to get the download going.
A new product called Vudu may have answered both of those issues. First off, there's no wait for the content to download. This means no "re-buffering streams." As soon as you've got the Vudu box hooked up to your Internet connection it starts downloading parts of movies.
The 250-gigabyte hard drive stores some of the movies so as soon as you hit play the picture starts. Then, instead of downloading the rest from a central server Vudu reaches out to all the other Vudu boxes around the country, each holding small pieces of the whole and those pieces get assembled on your screen. Now for the quality part of the equation, the films flow in at the resolution of a standard DVD, and then are enhanced to near-HD quality.
Currently there are about 5,000 titles in the catalogue compared to about 80,000 in Netflix vault. Some of Vudu films can only be bought for between $5 and $20; some can only be rented for between $1 and $4 and some are available for both rental and purchase. The Vudu box costs $399 and could be the "killer app" for movies we've all been waiting for.
If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or see my column on the Internet at http://www.santabarbaraproperties.com or call me at (805) 729-0910
Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc