The Vudu set-top box has come down to $295 in a probable response to Apple TV’s new price and upgrades.
The Vudu box had sold for $399, although last fall you could get one for $250 as a special deal. The new price includes shipping.
Vudu’s “Bourne Identity” special continues, for now: buy a box and get the first two movies in the trilogy on HD, as permanent downloads.
The Vudu box comes with a 250 gigabite hard drive, good for about 100 SD movies. Output via HDMI goes to 1080i/1080p24.
There is no monthly subscription cost but you do have to pay up front, using an automatic credit card charge to keep, say, $20 in an account. Then your rental movies cost $3.99 for new releases (30 days max/24 hours once started, same as iTunes rentals). Purchased movies, when available, run up to $20. Here’s the movie set-top box’s FAQ.
The new-breed Apple TV looks like a serious threat to Vudu at $229, given its many synergies with iTunes and the Internet. Stay tuned for more Vudu discounts and program revisions.
Read the Vudu service review from our friends at last100.