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Wal-Mart buys Vudu

Wal-Mart buys Vudu

The Vudu service is being built into several HDTV sets from major manufacturers - and is now a Wal-Mart property.

American retail behemoth Wal-Mart - owner of the Asda range of supermarkets here in the UK - is branching out into streaming web video with the purchase of video on demand service Vudu.

According to a New York Times article, the retail giant is looking to offer high-definition content to HDTV owners via the Internet connections - although, at first, the service will be limited to the US.

The deal is thought to be worth around $100 million (£64.5 million) to the start-up company which launched three years ago offering on-demand film content to paying customers, and comes after rival retail chains Best Buy and the web-based Amazon.com showed interest in acquiring Vudu. Considering that the company has yet to show a profit, that's pretty good going.

The acquisition of Vudu is the second time Wal-Mart has attempted to enter the video download market, having launched a service back in 2007 in partnership with Hewlett-Packard - which sadly failed, and was terminated when HP closed its media streaming technology division. Wal-Mart has a rather more successful music download service which has been going since 2004, but despite its continued existence remains a bit-player in the face of Amazon MP3 and iTunes.

After its failure to convince consumers to buy their set-top box, Vudu moved into the technology licensing market and currently partners with LG Electronics, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, and Toshiba to build the Vudu streaming technology into their HDTVs. With Wal-Mart being one of the biggest retailers of HDTV sets in the US, the partnership makes sense - and prevents the technology from becoming proprietary to a single manufacturer.

While the Vudu service will continue as normal for now, Wal-Mart has already announced one major change it will be making once the deal is signed: the not-inconsiderable selection of porn available on Vudu will be deleted "immediately" so as not to harm Wal-Mart's family-friendly image.

Are you pleased to see Vudu get the back it'll need in order to become a household name, or has Wal-Mart made a mistake and backed the wrong horse in this race? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

24 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
rickysio 23rd February 2010, 14:17 Quote
@Wal-Mart

Wash your neck and wait for Anon.
Tyinsar 23rd February 2010, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
@Wal-Mart

Wash your neck and wait for Anon.

I knew it - Bit-Tech has turned into 4chan lite :( :( :(
perplekks45 23rd February 2010, 16:23 Quote
I don't know about this. Streaming HD movies to my sofa? Really? Might as well go to the cinema then.
And as long as I'm not allowed to actually download and PERMANENTLY own a movie the whole part of the market is non-existent for me.
Floyd 23rd February 2010, 16:25 Quote
So now your TV is slowly turning into a small PC in a way.
I remember good ol' days when TVs just displayed things.
rickysio 23rd February 2010, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyinsar
I knew it - Bit-Tech has turned into 4chan lite :( :( :(

What? Even the lousiest seer could probably predict this.
erratum1 23rd February 2010, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
I don't know about this. Streaming HD movies to my sofa? Really? Might as well go to the cinema then.
And as long as I'm not allowed to actually download and PERMANENTLY own a movie the whole part of the market is non-existent for me.

My download speed needs to be quicker to be able to stream hd content, but films on demand is the future. Why rent a dvd when you can pick from an online library of thousands of films and just sit on the sofa and watch. Great stuff !!
Farfalho 23rd February 2010, 17:22 Quote
At least erratum1 saw the purpose on VOD, not to have to go outside to browse for films and the possibility that the local "blockbuster" doesn't have said film.
Azayles 23rd February 2010, 17:42 Quote
I'm with Dr Cox on this one (Scrubs)

"If you delete all the porn there will only BE one website... And it'll be called 'BringBackThePorn' "
brave758 23rd February 2010, 17:53 Quote
No porn NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Unknownsock 23rd February 2010, 18:12 Quote
I want my Pr0n!

On a serious matter im sick of families..and stuff getting changed because of family branding.
People need to stop acting so seriously. As if abit of C**k or P***sy will damage a kids mind.

EVERYBODY uses it so why do we still have double standards?
Anfield 23rd February 2010, 18:14 Quote
Stream HD movies? what country with proper broadband should I move to? Or is it just fake HD like on youtube?
Rednik 23rd February 2010, 20:42 Quote
Anfield, could you please define "fake hd"? Last time I checked, HD meant High Definition, which is exactly what Youtube got, 1920x1080.
You should also consider moving to Sweden if you want a fast connection. We got Gbit-Internet-connection in some areas :O
HourBeforeDawn 23rd February 2010, 20:53 Quote
oh how I dont like walmart, you know a studied showed that if all the Walmarts in the US closed in under a year our economy would go up 33% becuase thats how many business it squeezed out ~_~

I like Walmart when it was owned by its creator, he stated he would always buy american first and once he died and his family took over it became chinamart ~_~ oh well....
confusis 23rd February 2010, 21:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyinsar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
@Wal-Mart

Wash your neck and wait for Anon.

I knew it - Bit-Tech has turned into 4chan lite :( :( :(

soon, the whole internets will be 4-chan
null_x86 23rd February 2010, 21:05 Quote
Well I already dont like Wal-Mart, but this just makes things worse...

@Wal-Mart, prepare yourself. This is war.
LeMaltor 24th February 2010, 00:17 Quote
Quote:
American retail behemoth Wal-Mart - owner of the Asda range of supermarkets here in the UK

No they don't - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/6527054/Wal-Mart-sells-Asda-for-6.9bn-in-group-restructuring.html
Adnoctum 24th February 2010, 01:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMaltor
No they don't.
Yes they do. Did you read the article you linked to, or just the headline?

Wal-Mart sold Asda to Corinth Services, but seing as Wal-Mart OWNS Corinth Services, it still owns Asda. It was just an accounting and corporate structure change, not a change of ownership.
livesabitch 24th February 2010, 02:19 Quote
well peeps NO porn NO go for me! i will stick with tube8.com

funny thing is tho i stopped watching porn a few months ago! so what am i complaining about??? :S
Xir 24th February 2010, 09:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rednik
Anfield, could you please define "fake hd"? Last time I checked, HD meant High Definition, which is exactly what Youtube got, 1920x1080.
You should also consider moving to Sweden if you want a fast connection. We got Gbit-Internet-connection in some areas :O


? Here I'm lucky if 480 is offered (as HD *snicker*), most content is 320.

Besides, I've tried the German "Maxdome" service that CLAIMS to deliver on-demand-HD over a 2000-DSL.
The video experience is like this: Buffering, more buffering, some more buffering, movie start, grind to stuttering halt buffering. After half an hour I gave up.
I get sent blurays thru the mail now, and mail them back...

The average bandwith of a BluRay in the mail is not to be underestimated* :D

Xir

*and yes, thats a misquote.
LeMaltor 24th February 2010, 11:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMaltor
No they don't.
Yes they do. Did you read the article you linked to, or just the headline?

Wal-Mart sold Asda to Corinth Services, but seing as Wal-Mart OWNS Corinth Services, it still owns Asda. It was just an accounting and corporate structure change, not a change of ownership.

Dodgey isn't it :p
Azayles 24th February 2010, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rednik
Anfield, could you please define "fake hd"? Last time I checked, HD meant High Definition, which is exactly what Youtube got, 1920x1080.
You should also consider moving to Sweden if you want a fast connection. We got Gbit-Internet-connection in some areas :O
AFAIK Youtube only goes up to 720p. It's Hi Def, but only by a lower standard.
perplekks45 25th February 2010, 09:31 Quote
It goes up to 1080p. Just need to find the right videos.

I can recommend Nine Inch Nails' last tour, just follow the link in my sig. ;) ;)
Azayles 25th February 2010, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
It goes up to 1080p. Just need to find the right videos.

I can recommend Nine Inch Nails' last tour, just follow the link in my sig. ;) ;)

So it does! :o I've NEVER seen a youtube video at 1080p before. Weird.
Learn something new every day :D
_Metal_Guitar_ 25th February 2010, 16:31 Quote
My net is way too crap for streaming full HD...hell, even normal youtube vids take a while to load...:( On the upside, if everyone had net like mine, we'd get some truly awesome singleplayer games, and pirating would be non-existant. :)
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