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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reviewing the new Vudu movie box ... Comparing the iPhone with the new iPods

- David Pogue of the NY Times has a favorable review of Vudu, a new set-top box for delivering movies over an Internet connection. I've seen Vudu in action, and the image quality is pretty sweet - but even sweeter is the fact that a movie starts playing as soon as you select it. Right now, Vudu offers 5,000 movies, and they hope to quickly expand to 10,000. And every major studios has supplied at least a few titles.

Pogue's caveats:

    Vudu’s dependence on the notoriously conservative, profit-driven movie studios also explains many of its frustrating inconsistencies. Some Vudu movies are available for purchase or rent; others, only for purchase. Some movies have previews (movie trailers); others do not. The list includes hundreds of movies from some studios (Paramount, Sony, Warner) and only a handful from others (Disney).

    While we’re nit-picking, it’s worth noting that Vudu offers no DVD extras — deleted scenes, subtitles and so on. Be prepared, too, for a less obvious loss: serendipity. With other movie sources, the limited selection or the wait for the mail carrier can provide a moment of happy surprise when you find something good or open the mailing envelope. Vudu is more like shooting fish in a barrel.

Here's the Vudu Web site, and a Variety piece I wrote last month that talks about Vudu and a competitor, Building B.

- Video guru Anthony Burokas has been wondering whether Apple's new iPods, unveiled yesterday, will be better than the company's iPhone for filmmakers who want to tote around their demo reels. Here's his analysis.

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