If, like me, your DVD collection is languishing unwatched because you don’t have a DVD player or a disc drive on your laptop, Walmart’s Vudu has a solution.
On Thursday, Vudu announced that its app will now let you create your own personal Netflix, instantly, for $US2 per title (with the first movie free).
The main purpose of Vudu is to let you rent or buy movies digitally on “smart” devices — TV, smartphone, tablet, and so on. But now you’ll be able to use your smartphone to “convert” your DVDs by scanning the barcode, which will unlock the ability to watch that title on the Vudu app (as if you had bought the title straight from Vudu). For $US2 you’ll get access to that particular movie on all your devices, forever, through the Vudu app. You can also upgrade the quality — let’s say from DVD to HDX — for $US5 per title.
This service mimics Vudu’s original disc-to-digital service, which functions similarly but requires you insert the DVD into your computer, instead of using your phone.
There are a few catches to this new feature, however. First, there’s the two-dollar fee, which is a bit steep for something you already own. Second, it only works with about 8,000 titles so far, though Vudu GM Jeremy Verba said they are looking to expand to more, and the Vudu service itself has over 100,000.
Here’s how Vudu characterises the breadth of titles available:
“Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Bourne series, as well as classics like Top Gun and The Godfather. Fans can also convert comedies like The Hangover and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Animated family favourites like Kung Fu Panda and The Lorax, and romance movies like The Notebook are also available.”
“The average movie collector owns nearly 100 DVDs and Blu-ray,” Verba told Business Insider. Vudu says it focused on getting classic titles people are likely to have on DVD.
Personally, I have about 70 DVDs that are sitting in a box unused and didn’t make the move to New York with me. At $US2 per title, I don’t want to convert all of them, but there are definitely a dozen I’d like to make sure I could watch from time to time — take “Lord of the Rings,” for example.