Online video streaming has gone from that goofy YouTube video you uploaded for your mom to a major industry in the space of about five years. But the number of competitors has stayed pretty limited: Netflix has dominated pretty much the entire market, with Hulu controlling most of TV only thanks to being owned by a few networks. But the ‘Flix has controlled movies online, especially in browsers…until now.
Yes, Vudu, your would-be online video store, has finally managed to get browser streaming up and running. It wasn’t a technical challenge, obviously; it was a rights problem.
Unfortunately, those rights problems rear its ugly head again when it comes to the quality: the highest video quality you’ll get is 480p. The higher quality streams are apparently being sorted out for separate applications.
On the other hand, at least for your dollar you get instant access to your rentals, right there in your browser.
Does this change the online video landscape? Not at the moment: Netflix still has a death grip on the vast majority of the customers, and Vudu is still picking up the scraps. On the other hand, it’s stayed alive through the settop box wars and just scored a major victory…so they’re worth keeping an eye on.