Every major media and content provider are now in on the streaming game, but what service is the best?
Some of the biggest names in tech and retail continue to compete for your cash. Netflix is the undisputed king of on-demand streaming content, and it breaks the mold not only in user experience but in what the entertainment establishment believes is possible from content creators.
Then there’s Vudu, which takes a smaller market share but has something unique to offer.
What will you get if you sign up for Vudu vs. Netflix? We break down the similarities and differences here.
What You Get From Vudu
You know the big players in online streaming—Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple—but there are a few smaller services out there gunning for the big three’s market share.
Vudu is one of those streaming services without the name recognition found in Silicon Valley’s biggest names. It isn’t, however, an outfit based in someone’s kitchen. Vudu is Wal-Mart’s foray into the world of streaming.
It offers an incredible web browser platform that makes it easy to use on any device without worrying about app development or submissions. Vudu’s HTML 5 website means it offers the latest HTML standards, and it makes it versatile across devices.
So, what does Vudu offer? Here’s how it works.
Vudu has a library catalog of around 20,000 titles including films and television shows.
Unlike other platforms, it isn’t in the market to produce its own content. The films and programs you’ll find here are like those you might find on iTunes or Google Video. The big difference in content isn’t so much in the type or number but in how you access it.
In addition to its web store, Vudu connects with a service called Free Movies Anywhere.
Free Movies Anywhere requires a separate account and credentials, but you can link it up with your VUDU account in a flash. The program allows you to use VUDU streaming to play back content you purchased other places, like from iTunes, in addition to the VUDU available content all in one place.
The platforms had to get picture houses involved to ensure rights wouldn’t become an issue, but so far, the following studios have given the collaboration the green light:
You can also use VUDU with a service called Disc-to-Digital. If you have a box of older movies on standard definition DVDs, you might be able to access HDX versions of those films for a low fee and stream the quality digital version on your computer or another device.
If you’re a film buff who loves the latest Hollywood releases, then you’ll love VUDU’s close connection with the studios. VUDU says it gets the newest titles faster than Netflix and other streaming services.
The word on the street is that Walmart intends to launch a streaming competitor to Netflix under the Vudu brand. However, there’s no word as to what that competitor looks like or how it will fit into Vudu’s current pricing plan. Sources say that it could be a mix of original content with licensed material and speculate the new product could cost $8 per month.
Vudu does something extremely different from other media giants: it focuses on film quality. It claims to offer the most HD titles out of all catalogs, and when you stream in full HDX, you also get Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound for a far better cinematic sound experience.
Price And Payment
Vudu differs from Netflix in its payment and fee structure.
You can create a Vudu account and choose to pay no monthly fee.
Rather than charging you for all-you-can-stream content, Vudu gives users two options: rent or purchase. When you see a title you like, you can rent it in standard or high definition depending on your bandwidth and device. If you want to add it to your library permanently and watch it whenever you want, you’ll purchase it.
In other words, Vudu is the a la carte version of streaming services (more akin to iTunes) while Netflix is the all-you-can-eat buffet.
Vudu can be cost effective if you pick a movie now and then or you want to use one of the account structures to watch films you already own. It may also be more cost-effective if you attempt to use it as a replacement for a trip to the movie theater. However, those who want to binge watch content need to keep an eye on their monthly budget.
Vudu makes the whole process easy y allowing you to stream directly to a VUDU-compatible device. It accepts traditional devices like computers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles in addition to Blu-ray players.
As long as you have a high-speed internet connection, you are ready to go.
What You Get From Netflix
Netflix is the 500-pound gorilla of content streaming services. It rakes in so much money that it can spew out content at a speed even the most established Hollywood studios gawk at. It’s true: Netflix is so pervasive that it’s become a part of our vocabulary, even though a significant number of people joke about not even having their own account.
How does Netflix stand out and how might it compare to VUDU? Here are the real differences.
Netflix’s library size dwarf’s that of Vudu. It currently offers 100,00 films and television programs with geo-restricted content across the world.
In addition to Hollywood releases, classic films, international cinema, and entire boxsets, Netflix also offers some of the most popular content in entertainment. It also happens to be exclusive to Netflix. Why? Because it created it.
From cult-turned-mainstream hit “Stranger Things” to “Orange is the New Black” to the most expensive television episode ever made in “The Crown,” Netflix is home to some of the most talked about television in the media. If you aren’t watching it, you miss out.
Netflix’s primary product is its standalone streaming platform available on web browsers as well as its quality dedicated streaming apps.
A second product and the one that predates streaming is its DVD service, which remains in operation. You can still get Netflix DVDs in the post and use the analog method, which remains helpful for the significant number of people who don’t yet have access to high-speed broadband.
Netflix streams HD movies in full 1080p, but it doesn’t focus heavily on cinematic experiences. After all, its design is for anywhere anytime streaming, and that often means tablets and phones. It doesn’t compare well to Vudu’s HDX and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound, but again, Vudu is best for watching one-off film titles, and users willing to pay for specific titles should get the benefit of a higher quality experience.
Price And Payment
Netflix uses a tiered monthly subscription policy that works via direct debit or with a connected credit card. You have access to all the media available on Netflix in your region with a single subscription; you’ll never pay more for the most popular shows or latest releases.
Instead, Netflix uses its tiers to allow access for multiple devices. You can only use the number of devices allocated to your Netflix plan. So, if you have the lowest level, you can log-in and simultaneously use two devices at once.
Netflix’s tiered plan means you can log in on your PlayStation, smart TV, phone, and computer all at once – as long as you have a plan that accommodates four simultaneous streaming devices.
Netflix is available through your web browser and on apps for Android, iOS, PlayStation, Xbox One, and as a standalone app on your smart TVs. The standalone app sets Netflix apart from Vudu because not only is it very clever but it comes on more compatible devices than Vudu, which is more famous for coming pre-installed on smart TVs.
You can watch it anywhere, anytime, and the new download function means you don’t even need an internet connection to do so.
The download function is a high-value feature because it means you can use Netflix on-the-go without eating into your data. It also means you can use it in places with no broadband connection, like on airplanes or at your great aunt’s house.
All you need to do is tap the download button on available content, and Netflix stores it in your downloads folder. You can even download titles if you are in another country that has access to geo-locked content unavailable in your home country. Downloading it will save it to your device for a prescribed period, and you can watch it when you get home without your location impacting your access.
Vudu VS Netflix: What Will You Choose?
Vudu and Netflix are two media companies with grand plans for the future. But both cater to different audiences. Netflix works well for customers with a desire to binge content and access Netflix Originals.
Vudu is more for movie lovers who like to sit down with a great film, and who like the idea of having it in their library forever.
The world can expect exciting things from both these companies shortly. But for now, what service will you choose?