30
Mar
unnamed

Netflix. Google Play Movies. Hulu Plus. What do these services have in common? They're all better than VUDU, a long-standing streaming service for movies and television whose Android app leaves something to be desired. But it's a little more desirable starting today, as a reader tipped us: VUDU now allows users to stream rented or owned movies and TV to a handy Chromecast.

Screenshot_2014-03-30-09-07-16 (1) Screenshot_2014-03-30-09-20-13 (1) Screenshot_2014-03-30-09-08-29

VUDU didn't mention this in the app update text on the Play Store, and there are no peeks at the familiar Chromecast button in the screenshots. But if you install it on an Android device with Chromecast set up, you'll see the option quite clearly. VUDU's release notes mention "Bug fixes" and nothing else, so we think they were planning on announcing it at a later date. VUDU apps are already available on various smart TVs and set-top boxes.

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As many of the Google Play Store reviews note, the general interface still leaves a lot to be desired. It kind of feels like a ported web view, and loads thumbnails extremely slowly. Still, if you've got a collection of movies purchased on VUDU, now it should be a little easier to get them on your Chromecast-equipped TV.

Update: One of the commenters pointed out that VUDU is the only provider of UltraViolet videos (the digital versions that come with some retail Blu-ray and DVD packages) that supports Chromecast so far. That's a really good reason to have it handy if you've got a large disc collection.

Update 2: The full changelog has been posted. The only other feature listed is better compatibility for devices with higher-resolution screens.

Thanks, David!

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • lol

    ahah

    • BankSkillian

      hoho ?

  • Frozen

    The real news here is that VUDO is now the only UltraViolet provider with Chromecast support. UltraViolet is the primary Digital DVD/Bluray service that comes with retail discs. Anyone who has UltraViolet digital copies can link their UV account to Vudo and finally watch their movies on the Chromecast.

    • Xeratun

      This is exactly what I was just thinking. I was surprised the article didn't mention it. I'm not a fan of VUDU, but I've been waiting on a way to use UltraViolet through my Chromecast.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Ah, I didn't know Vudu did Ultraviolet - I skipped Blu-ray and tend to do everything online now. I'll add it in.

      • jm9843

        With the disc-to-digital program and many active communities for buying/trading Ultraviolet codes, it's a relatively inexpensive way to amass a movie collection in the cloud.

        Vudu's "at home" disc-to-digital is still running a promo where it's 50% off when converting 10 or more in an order. Which makes it a $1 each if converting the same quality (Blu-ray->HDX or DVD->SD) and $2.50 each if upconverting (DVD->HDX).

    • Jephri

      I love Vudu. I converted most of my video library to digital for a buck a disc in December and I am really enjoying the freedom to watch my movie library anywhere.

  • Lloyd Buckley

    Can any one provide a apk download

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    I don't understand why all these big developers hesitate to post detailed changelog for updates instead of "bug fixes" or "small improvements" or "improved stability and perfomamce"

    • Hosam Arnous

      They don't like to admit their mistakes

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        I don't see anything wrong with mentioning what bugs they have fixed or what errors were evaporated or what new features they brought in with an update

        • Hosam Arnous

          I can't agree with you more

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Oh, it's the same as the iPlayer, I bet. They want everyone to have the version with Chromecast, then tomorrow Google will announce it, and they'll update the changelog. I almost guarantee that this is how things will play out.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        But I am not talking about VUDU in particular, but most of the developers in general. Google has updated Chrome, like, 4 or 5 times during these past few months and all the changelog ever mentioned is "We have improved the stability and perfomance" and nothing else, no actual CHANGES or new features. And that is only one example.

        So why not post full changelogs? They can go under cuts anyways if they are too long...

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Oh yeah, that's definitely a problem.

      • http://www.twitter.com/dsilinski Darren

        I hope not, because the way it's implemented in the app is awful. There's no way to actually control it within the app - only the persistent notification. If this is how they choose to debut Chromecast for Vudu it will be pretty embarrassing.

  • Jordan Long

    Best ultraviolet service IMO.

  • Jordan Long

    Also, web player has chromecast support too.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    The experience of using Vudu is horrendous. The Gingerbread-themed loading box blocks all input while the images load. Ughhhhhhhhhh.

    • Jephri

      There android app is pretty awful. I use the tv and ps4 apps all the time though and love it.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Many Apps still have that loading spinner

    • DaveCXT

      I know what you mean about the poor selection on promotions... but its something I've come to expect over the last decade or two. I remember dvd players coming with promotions like that, recent bluray players as well and with a similar limited set of titles... all comes down to who they could make deals with I'm sure.

      As far as Vudu otherwise... I haven't had problems, interface or otherwise, for months now (they used to have login problems.) Yeah its a different interface from other apps... but I expect every app to look different. I'm a VERY heavy Android user, and honestly don't notice the Gingerbread/Holo/Kitkat theming of items... I've got an old droid X (GB) still in daily use as a Chromecast remote/VOIP device/deskclock/weatherstation... so maybe I'm just used to seeing multiple interface types. (And I wholeheartedly disagree with Android's general push to abandonment of the dedicated menu key like on Samsung devices... so I don't think new interface guidelines are all that anyway.) But I understand how that can annoy some people.

  • http://galaxyoftech.com Galaxyoftech

    That's Nice option for the newbies..
    Thanks Admin
    http://www.GalaxyOfTech.com

  • Jack

    VUDU has by far the best selection of 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound movies. The same movies on GPlay are almost all stereo. Home theater geeks tend to prefer VUDU above all other services.

  • Josh Crumley

    Thank you so much this VUDU team. I was waiting this app update. Its really great user friendly and smooth.

  • indic8r

    Yeah, so the Chromecast icons are there but I don't see any way to actually activate the 'casting'. Anyone actually done this yet?

    And while the interface is basically a web port, it works well enough to watch my movies and this pleases me. But they could certainly do better here.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I have successfully cast it - you can see the screenshots in the post.

      • indic8r

        Later that same evening I was notified that Vudu had updated. I then had the ability to cast. Not the greatest interface, but it works and is better than nothing!

    • DaveCXT

      I had no problem last night when I tried it out. I did notice there were two chromecast icons... I believe the normal one at the top of the screen to connect to chromecast (that's the one I think I used.)

      There also appeared to be a little one next to the SD HD HDX choices... I'm not sure if that was clickable as I didn't try.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dsilinski Darren

    I hope the reason they chose not to put in the changelog is because they're not finished with it yet... because if they are, this is disgraceful. Outside of the persistent notification when it's running, there's no way to control the playback. So no rewind, fast-forward, anything. In the app itself it doesn't even look like you're playing anything.

    This is an important addition to the Chromecast family because it's the first Ultraviolet app, but it really needs to get better than this before it's officially released.

  • Tykin

    It's weird that, at some point, Vudu (or Wal-mart rather) became the most available video purchased service on the web.

    Seriously! You can access it on Chromecast, Roku, Android devices (rooted and not), PC, iPad, and iPhone. Even my TV has a Vudu app.

    Their app sucks, but every time I want to redeem a digital copy of a movie, they're the only name I see that I can truly access on all my devices.

    • DaveCXT

      Exactly. The fact they are EVERYWHERE is a huge plus. I know Amazon (smartly) wasn't mentioned at the beginning of the article.. but that's one of my BIG complaints about them... no Android app. And one of the big problems of Google Play movies is that THEY aren't ubiquitous either.

      Netflix isn't a good comparison, because they don't do new movies. But what other ultraviolet and Video purchasing app can work on iOS, Android, Roku, many blu-ray players, Chromecast, and (I think AppleTv... via Airplay - may be wrong on this one.)

      Recently my wife wanted to buy Frozen (I think it was available digitally before DVD release.) I told her to buy Vudu because we could then easily watch on any device... including our iOS and Android devices unlike other streaming options. We used to buy on Amazon, but you can't load up movies on an Android tablet to take offline while on vacation. And now with Chromecast its that much easier to pull Vudu to my tv in the basement - or anywhere I want to bring it.

    • BrettyDaren

      VUDU has the record of getting movies out for streaming on its website on the same day when the DVD is released officially. But the one major problem is associated with Vudu is that its services are not accessible outside us and that makes it tougher. I setup VPN on my system and now getting quick access to VUDU. VPNs will let you access VUDU from anywhere in the world without any problem. It is a service that routes all your traffic by a US server by connecting your PC or device to it. Here are few of the recommended services according to my knowledge and research. http://www.vpnranks.com/how-to-watch-vudu-outside-us/

  • VectorRoll

    VuDu did mention that it was setting up support for ChromeCast in one of their blogs. I am glade it is finally here.

    I actually like VuDu. It works well on my PS3 and Android tablet (Transformer TF300T). One feature I really like is that you can take some older dvd's and bluray's that you have which didn't have digital copies and add them to your digital collection for like $2-$5 dpending if it is a stright conversion or upgrade from sd to hd. That is done on the pc and its called disc to digital. I did that to a few. They did have a special that offer 50% off when you do this for 10 or more in one shot. Not sure if that is still going on.

    Anyways I travel a lot so digital copies come in handy. Plus my family members take advantage of it as well when I get a new movie. Especially the kids with their tablets. So my collection of movies on ultraviloet, flixster, and vudu are used a lot. I do like how all three of these services are linked as well. Well for the most part. Every once and a while a movie comes along that will only show up through one service do to licensing. Disney for example just started offering some of their digital copies through VuDu. My Thor the Dark World redeemed through it but doesn't show up on Flixster like most myother movies.

    You know the 3D version of the new Frozen movie is currently only on VuDu for us in the USA right now. They only released some 3D BluRay versions overseas. I think Disney is looking for a double dip on it when they release it in 3D here in the US. Anways I got the 3D version of Frozen through VuDu and skipped getting a BluRay copy entirely.

    Anyways... VuDu is not bad. At least in my opinion. They do seem to be going in the right direction as well. This ChromeCast support is definitely the right move for them. ChromeCast works well and is very handy in certain situations. I use mine often. I would suggest ChromeCast and VuDu to people if they like using Digital Copies.

    That is about all I have to say. :)