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Disney to Sell HD Titles on Vudu

One key term missing from most broadband film and TV services is “permanent”—as in downloads that can be purchased and viewed anytime—such as with typical physical packaged content such as Blu-ray and standard DVD titles.

Disney Studios is changing that by tapping Vudu to become the first digital video download service to offer permanent HD movie downloads, using Vudu’s set-top box which retails for about $150.

The Disney HD catalog, however, thus far is limited to a few dozen films, including relatively new releases such “Doubt” and “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” and some older titles such “The Sixth Sense.” But Vudu said it will soon begin offering newer Disney titles as permanent downloads on the same day they are released on Blu-ray and standard DVD.

Vudu said it was the first online digital service to offer permanent HD film downloads in February, albeit no Disney titles. Vudu’s non-HD catalog includes some 15,000 film and TV titles, it says.

Apart from Vudu’s exclusive Disney deal, iTunes from Apple currently offers a small catalog of HD titles for permanent downloading (including “Quantum of Solace” from MGM/20th Century Fox).