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Vudu Slashes STB Prices

2/10/2009 09:17:00 AM Eastern

Santa Clara, Calif. — Online video service Vudu said Tuesday that it is reducing the price of its on-demand Internet set-top movie players by up to 50 percent.

Under the new plan the Vudu HD set-top now retails for $149, Vudu XL retails for $499 and the XL2 retails for $799.

A accessory wireless kit for the systems is now selling for $79, the company said.

Vudu sells the set-top movie player at Best Buy, audio/video retailers and online.

The Vudu service offers various levels of both SD and HD movie releases (including 1080p) for download to its set-top boxes, which are equipped with large hard disk drives for storage.

The new $499 Vudu XL bundle, which can store 500 purchased movies, will also include at no extra cost a home-theater connectivity software package that previously retailed for more than $100, the company said.

 “We are reaping the rewards of success in the retail channel over the holidays, lower component prices and higher movie revenues,” stated Edward Lichty, Vudu strategy executive VP. “The combination of these factors has enabled us to lower the price of Vudu and bring it within reach of more consumers.”

“In just a year, we’ve been able to drive down the price of the product by 50 percent while increasing image and sound quality, growing our content library to more than 13,000 movies and TV shows, building the world’s largest HD library of more than 1,300 titles and providing access to free Internet content.”

The company also recently launched the Vudu RIA platform, an open platform that can bring Internet content, from video, music, photos, games and social networking applications, directly to the TV. These are made accessible through the Vudu remote control without the need for a PC.

All versions of Vudu set-top boxes support native instant-start HD as well as movies in its highest-quality HD format available, HDX 1080p/24fps. The boxes also automatically upscale standard definition movies to up to 1080p/24fps format.

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