Vudu’s New HDX Content Ready To Clog The Tubes

Posted by Tyler Pruitt on October 2, 2008 
Filed Under: Best Buy, Downloads, Format War, Rental, VUDU

Over the past few weeks we were able to get a sneak peak at VUDU’s new higher quality “HDX” content. During our evaluation we viewed the HDX content on a Samsung 1080p DLP projector (Joe Kane Model), as well as on our Panasonic 50” plasma.

The HDX movies we had the chance to check out were: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Chronicles of Riddick, and the latest Rambo film (2.59 kills per minute!). The films took between 3-4hrs to download, and checked in at 6-7GBs in size.

We were very impressed with the amount of detail/sharpness in the films, including preservation of film grain. This was achieved without any visible compression artifacts. We did notice a slightly softer image on the HDX stuff, when compared to the HD DVD/Blu-ray versions of the 3 HDX movies we have looked at. Don’t get us wrong, the PQ killed the HD stuff on the AppleTV, PSN Video store, ect.

With 1080p24 H.264 video that utilizes variable bit-rate encoding with a 20Mb/s peak, VUDU is able to approach Blu-ray quality while crushing all the other HD download services. One thing that everyone has  glossed over is the HUGE gap when it comes to audio quality. While VUDU is offering 640Kb/s Dolby Digital, it is far from a 24bit Lossless L-PCM/TrueHD/DTS-HD MA track.

The good thing about the new HDX content is that it is the same rental price as the current VUDU HD content ($3.99 for Catalog titles, $5.99 for New Releases).

VUDU has 50 HDX movies ready to download right now, including the demo quality HDX version of “Speed Racer”.

Best Buy will now be stocking the VUDU in all of its retail locations, and if you act soon you will get a $200 movie credit on your VUDU account. So it is like getting the VUDU box for $99.

We do have some VUDU provided split-screen image comparison pictures, but we figured we would spare you from the J6P treatment.

Related posts:

  1. VUDU: A Few Questions Answered
  2. Vudu Movie Box On Sale For $99
  3. Vudu Gets HD Disney Movies Day-and-Date With Blu-ray
  4. VUDU Now Lets Users Purchase HD Movies, Not Just Rent Them
  5. Vudu Adds YouTube, Flickr, Games, and More


3 Responses to “Vudu’s New HDX Content Ready To Clog The Tubes”

  1. Ben Drawbaugh on October 2nd, 2008 6:12 am

    According to Vudu the audio is actually encoded in DD+, to bad the hardware appears to be HDMI 1.2, so you’re limited to DD.

  2. Mehar Gill on October 2nd, 2008 9:25 am

    The file size is pretty small considering what it packs, on the XBLVM 720p videos with 5.1 audio are usually 3-6GBs at a bitrate of 6.8 on VC-1, then again VC-1 has always had problems with file sizes.

  3. Tyler Pruitt on October 2nd, 2008 12:40 pm

    @Ben Drawbaugh -

    According to Dolby, DD and DD+ @640k should sound exactly the same…..

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