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Anyone else try "Vudu" streaming on their PS3?


Well-Known Member
Looks like Sony added a Vudu app for the PS3 recently, and so thought I'd give it a try. The first rental is currently free when you sign up. Prices for renting new release movies appeared to mostly be $5.99 for 1080 HD, $4.99 for 720 HD, and $3.99 for standard def.

I rented "The Expendables" (starring Stallone and a bunch of other action stars). My TV is only 720p so I choose the 720p version.

It was easy to use. And I thought picture quality was decent, though I've certainly seen more impressive images on various Blurays. That said, I don't know what the quality of "Expendables" would've even been in Blu-Ray. Plus, many scenes in that particular movie are very dark and my TV doesn't handle blacks all that well. So it's hard to say exactly how good the streaming service can be, especially without a disc-based comparison.

My main gripe (besides high prices) was that there were occasionally some stray (and random-shaped) color graphics that appeared in the black bars above and below the main movie. Not sure if this is unique to just this particular movie or if it'll happen again. Also, I'm not sure if it was caused by a slow-down in my internet stream, possibly? I can't rule it out, but it doesn't seem likely to me seeing as how the main picture of the movie was always free of artifacts, and the speed test actually recommended I go with 1080; so I don't think it was digital compression artifacts. But, then again, what do I really know? Just my observation.
I agree. In fact, the only reason I tried it was because they gave me a free rental. And while it worked pretty slick, the experience wasn't good enough to warrant 5 or 6 bucks on a regular basis.

I do find myself coming around to the idea of "on demand" movies, though. But I'll probably have to be desperate before I try it again. Maybe I'd do it again if there are a bunch of people hanging around the house and if it's too late to go out for a rental (or if the video store is all rented out of a particular movie that everyone really wants to watch).

BTW... I forgot to mention before, but the audio was in 5.1 surround sound.
My experience, for anyone not watching Yesfans thread:

I just did a free demo with VUDU last night on the PS3. They gave a first time credit of $5.99 (that buys HDX, 1080p) I did the HD version at 720p ($4.99). Watched The Towns last night over wireless, not one stop hiccup, only one spot of maybe 5 seconds the screen got warbly a little but nothing distracting. I was very impressed.The PS3 speed test said I was at 6.1 for download speed. I did see the little things in the black bars twice, but it wasn't distracting.

I like VUDU, the app is a little slow to get rolling on the PS3, but 720p streamed effortlessly and the selection was great for new release. They even have some $2 for 2 day rentals and SD for $2.99. Pretty convenient, and cheaper than Comcast's PPV. Purchase average was around $15.

When my living arrangement changes I think I'm going to go the route of T7. I don't watch enough TV and there certainly are plenty of options which I expect to continue. Eventually I think TV will be going the route of pay for what you want to see for the casual watcher such as myself. VUDU impressed me so far as PQ, streaming and ease of use. Pricey? Sure, but I think it will come down and I only go 720p saving me $1 at the moment, I'm not opposed to SD either if it's an older movie or a cheaply shot indie.
I watched my freebie in 1080p HDX and it was flawless. I would rate the picture quality as better than HD cable, but slightly inferior to Blu-Ray. If they get the cost structure adjusted downward a bit, I could see myself using it more often. $6/movie is just too steep for anything other than a nasty snow day when I might pay a premium to not brave the elements.
How does the audio sound? When streaming stuff on Hulu or the networks I is usually pretty compressed and not in Dolby Digital 5.1 (since I do this on a laptop hooked up to the TV). Is it the same with this considering it uses the PS3s HDMI?

I still think watching Blu ray is much better, also those prices are hard to want to pay when I can rent one at the red box for $1.50 with superb sound and PQ.

But I might try the free rental though....
-B- said:
I did see the little things in the black bars twice, but it wasn't distracting.
Pricey? Sure, but I think it will come down and I only go 720p saving me $1 at the moment, I'm not opposed to SD either if it's an older movie or a cheaply shot indie.

Watching various "previews" on Vudu, I think for whatever reason that the 1080p versions might be close to flawless with regards to the weird blocks that pop up in the black bars. But that it seems to be more prominent when watching 720p and 480p. Wonder if the artifacts were somehow introduced by them poorly downconverting the images?

As for price, I think I'd use this service if they could rent "new releases" in 1080p for $3.00 (or half of current prices). Sure, it's twice as expensive as renting a BD from RedBox, but I'd use Vudu sometimes just to avoid wasting time and gas on the trip to and from the kiosk.

(Note: No way I'd ever actually "buy" a movie from Vudu, though. Just rentals.)
nelmr said:
How does the audio sound?

Some movies have 5.1 surround sound, but not all. Some are just stereo (possibly old school Pro Logic?).

Furthermore, in a strange twist, I was surprised to find some movies are merely "stereo" for the HD versions, yet it came in 5.1 for the SD version; see the movie "Easy A" for an example. How strange. (Note: You can verify if the movie has 5.1 or not before you pay for it by looking under the "more info" tab.)

For those in 5.1, Vudu claims they are "Dolby Digital Plus". I can't confirm though since my PS3 apparently did the decoding and outputted it to my receiver as 5.1 PCM. Sounds decent enough for movies, IMO, but I'm not being overly picky. Obviously it's not as good as TrueHD or DTS-HDMA, so long as it's not a "concert/music" video, then I'm OK with lossy audio.