Vudu does movie magic, but is hamstrung by Hollywood

For a few years, technology companies have been racing to find a way to get movies from the Internet to the living-room TV in a way that will get consumers excited.

The Vudu, a black $399 box from a California startup, is the best attempt yet. It's easy to use and offers a large library of movies, even a few in high definition.

The device plugs into the TV and a broadband Internet cable. It comes with a small, simple remote with just five buttons and a scroll wheel. There's no monthly service fee: You pay for the hardware and the movies and TV shows you buy or rent. Most movies start playing the minute you buy them.

Yet it's difficult to see the Vudu as something that's going to bust the living room wide open to the Internet, at least not yet.

The reason has little to do with technology and much to do with Hollywood: The movies are rented out in a way that has studios dictating how quickly you need to finish them.


Film Business, Hollywood, Internet TV

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