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Vudu Bows 'Full 1080p' Movies via Broadband

Vudu, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm that makes set-top boxes for broadband video (notably movies), last week released its own format (dubbed "HDX") that it says allows Web content to be downloaded and viewed in 1080p. Vudu does not claim, however, that the resulting quality equals Blu-ray Disc imaging per se, which is also 1080p, but does not have to endure any degradation (among other things) that can occur with downloads.

But to date, only a tiny percentage of its library of about 10,000 titles—primarily consisting of Hollywood releases, TV shows and adult fare—available via its STB are available in HDX. The HDX titles that are available (a mere 65 at last count) include mostly new releases such as "Baby Mama," "Smart People," "The Bank Job" and "Vantage Point."

HDX "rental" price points range from $4 to $6 per title. (SD titles are about $1 less.) There are no monthly fees, and the firm said for users with bandwidth of 4 Mbps, HD downloads begin almost immediately (and 2 Mbps for instant SD).

Through this holiday season, Vudu (opens in new tab) said it is giving purchasers of its $300 box a rental credit of $200.