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Attracting Customers with VuDu
Posted By David Evans On April 29, 2007 @ 11:33 am In Digital Media, Internet-Based, Technology, Internet TV | No Comments
VuDu, which was profiled in the  biz section of today’s New York Times, is the latest entrant into the race for viewing movies at home on television. With some ex-TiVo execs in control, this new company is going to be challenging Apple, Microsoft and a host of others.
Using computers to distribute and play movies is an ambition many have chased since the early 1990s. But the technology is ripe for doing so and my bet is that someone is going to crack the “living room” (outdated shorthand for where people watch television) in the next few years. The VuDu guys are using “peering”. Over time movies get stored on the VuDu home boxes which are connected to the internet. When you watch a movie it gets stream in pieces from other boxes on the system. Done right this can make for fast and efficient distribution.
Of course, like all catalysts VuDu has to crack the chicken and egg problem. From the NYTimes article it sounds that their slick technology, good digital rights management, and solid security has attracted the movie studios (just about everyone who matters but Sony). They have an impressive number of movies to start. Now they are going to be out prowling for customers to sign up for their service. They need a critical mass of people to get the peering technology to work.
Some of the people interviewed for the NYTimes suggested that people wouldn’t want another box in their living rooms or might resist the prices. I doubt it. If VuDu can really offer movies, on demand, with no muss and fuss, it is hard to imagine that people who used to pay several hundred dollars a year for video recorders and schlep to the video store won’t get on board this platform. The real issue is whether people will flock to the simplicity of VuDu over the additional bells and whistles they might get from the Xbox (after all, it is a big computer) or the Apple TV (which is compatible with the iPod lifestyle). Time will tell whether VuDu has the magic.
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URL to article: http://www.thecatalystcode.com/theconversation/blog/2007/04/29/attracting-customers-with-vudu/
URLs in this post:
 biz section of today’s New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/29/business/yourmoney/29vudu.html
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