Entertainment Internet

What Is Vudu and How Does It Work?

Kayla Matthews 04-01-2018

Do you love streaming movies and TV shows occasionally, but not enough to justify subscribing to Netflix, Hulu, or one of the other streaming services? If so, you’re not alone.


People’s streaming habits are as varied as the content they prefer to watch. Maybe your friend spends her entire weekend binge-watching a TV show. However, you typically only view a movie or a few episodes of a show each week.

Or maybe you don’t like the thought of paying subscription costs The 8 Best Free Streaming News Channels to Watch Online If you've cancelled cable TV and missing your daily dose of news, check out these free streaming news channels instead! Read More because your usage varies on a monthly basis. Plus, for people on modest budgets, reccurring subscriptions are not always feasible.

All these realities have made the marketplace ripe for a different kind of streaming service. You’ve probably heard of it before, or seen the little inserts that come in Walmart DVDs and Blu-ray discs with Vudu promo codes. The streaming service is called Vudu, and it might be a good option for you occasional streamers.

Below, we’ll explore what Vudu is and how to make the most of it after signing up.

What Is Vudu? Streaming Movies on Demand

vudu everything you need to know to get started


Vudu is a Walmart-owned website that allows renting or buying streamed content whenever you want. You can pay for your content with standard or prepaid credit cards.

You can also use Vudu credits available with various products sold by Walmart. Keep in mind that credits expire, so look for dates associated with them.

Find Out About Movies and Shows Using Vudu

vudu everything you need to know to get started

Hovering your mouse pointer over an interesting title lets you learn more about it. Get a plot synopsis to determine whether a movie fits your mood. Plus find out whether you can rent the content, buy it, or do either one.


You can also click the More Info button. It gives further details about the cast and crew (similar to what Amazon Prime Video does 8 Cool Things You Can Do With Amazon Prime Video You can do more than "just stream videos" through Amazon Prime Video. Here are several nifty tips, tricks, and hidden features that will improve your Amazon Prime Video experience... Read More ) and a rating from Vudu community members. This section also reveals the percentage score the movie earned on Rotten Tomatoes.

The site offers many new films and shows on or before their DVD release dates. That feature differentiates Vudu from competitors like iTunes and Netflix. Both of those services often make viewers wait for the most current content. (Check out our guide to Netflix The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Netflix This guide offers everything you need to know about using Netflix. Whether you're a new subscriber or an established fan of the best streaming service out there. Read More to learn more about that service.)

However, you can also find lots of classic content. While browsing, prepare to recall fond memories of the last time you saw a certain beloved title.

Vudu Offers Bundled Movies Too

vudu everything you need to know to get started


Maybe you sometimes prefer a different option than buying single movies. You have probably seen similar films packaged together at retail outlets. They often appear by the checkouts for impressively low prices. You’ll also see bundled movies in electronics departments and presented as gift ideas.

They’re great solutions if you like a particular actor or genre. Perhaps you’ve splurged on bundle packs after deciding to dedicate time to watching movies with shared characteristics. Vudu offers bundled films in digital formats.

Walmart Expands Your Viewing Options

vudu everything you need to know to get started

Like many, you might appreciate watching movies digitally but still want physical copies. Vudu lets you get free digital copies of qualifying DVD and Blu-ray titles bought from Walmart.


Known as Instawatch, this feature applies to movies purchased at your local Walmart or from Walmart.com.

Enjoy a Fantastic Range of Device Compatibility

vudu everything you need to know to get started

One of the notable advantages Vudu offers is flexibility related to the devices you use with it. It works with most Blu-ray players and high-definition televisions.

Alternatively, you can stream Vudu content on the Xbox One or Xbox 360. It also works with Google Chromecast, Roku, and some lesser-known set-top media boxes. Vudu’s Apple TV app is also available for fourth-generation devices.


Ready to invest in a Vudu-enabled device to ensure a hassle-free viewing experience? You can shop for them directly at the Vudu site — with help from Walmart.com, unsurprisingly.

Even if you don’t use Vudu, you can always use another method to rip your Blu-ray discs and DVDs to your computer The 11 Best Tools for Ripping DVDs and Blu-rays to Your Computer Here are the best tools for ripping DVDs and Blu-rays so you can digitize all of your media without any hassle. Read More .

There Is a Vudu-Specific Content Format

vudu everything you need to know to get started

While browsing Vudu, you’ll come across movies available in HDX and might not know what HDX means. In a nutshell, HDX is a Vudu-created format offering resolution quality up to 1080p.

Vudu eliminated its HD offerings and transitioned to HDX. It also gave free upgrades to all users with high-definition purchased titles in their libraries. Godzilla and The Golden Compass are two currently available, low-cost HDX films. It’s easy to understand how the sci-fi and fantasy realms work especially well for high-resolution content.

Watch Trailers Before Choosing Your Content

vudu everything you need to know to get started

Now let’s look at some ways to maximize your benefits from Vudu.

Notice how some of the titles in the screenshot above have a green and white play button below them? You can click that icon and watch the movie trailer before committing to a purchase.

Of course, you can also use one of the sites made for watching trailers The Best Sites To Watch Movie Trailers Online Read More too.

Convert Physical Movies to Digital Content

vudu everything you need to know to get started

Vudu works with an app called Movies Anywhere that transfers DVD and Blu-ray movies to iTunes Movies Anywhere: What It Is and Why You Need It You may have heard about Movies Anywhere by now, but what is it, and why do you need it? In this article, we take a look at Disney's new digital locker. Read More . Movies Anywhere handles content from Google Play and Amazon too.

To get started, download the Vudu mobile app and set up an account or log in. Then, tap the Menu button and select Disc to Digital. When your device prompts you, give it access to your location and the camera. Then, it can read the barcode on a DVD or Blu-ray title. Scan the code, then pick your preferred resolution.

Next, download the Movies Anywhere app. After installing it, select More from the bottom menu, then go to Manage Retailers. Finally, grant Movies Anywhere access permission for titles purchased from iTunes or the other compatible services.

When using Movies Anywhere, you only pay for purchased content. There are no subscription fees. However, there are prices associated with DVD and Blu-ray conversions via Disc to Digital in Vudu.

Vudu’s disc-to-digital program offers affordable prices, too. It costs $2 for a DVD upgrade to a standard-definition digital title, and $5 for HDX quality. As for Blu-ray, prices are $2 across the board, because HDX is your only format option.

This tip is an excellent one to try if you’re eager to transition to a fully digital media collection. The low prices and simple method also encourage people who are interested in it but still slightly unsure.

Download: Vudu for iOS | Android (Free)
Download: Movies Anywhere for iOS | Android (Free)

Focus on the Free Movies to Keep Your Costs Down

vudu everything you need to know to get started

Another characteristic that separates Vudu from Netflix and iTunes is its plentiful collection of complementary content. To sort through what’s available, go to the Movies On Us link within the Vudu header.

As you can see from the screenshot above, most of the free content contains ads. But sitting through commercials is a small price to pay to access such a large library of free content.

You can see Saoirse Ronan in The Lovely Bones before her popularity soared. Or you can laugh while watching the antics of Jack Black in School of Rock.

There is one similarity between Netflix and Vudu regarding the free content. See the “Last Chance to View” header at the bottom of the screenshot? It designates movies that won’t be available for free much longer.

Netflix doesn’t offer content at no charge, but it is well-known for removing content on regular basis Netflix Removes 50% of its Catalog to Fund Original Content Have you noticed the Netflix catalog getting smaller in recent years? We now know the number of titles available on Netflix has been halved since 2012 to fund original content. Read More . While looking at a title available on Netflix, you can check the expiration date. It gives you an idea of how much to prioritize a title you want to watch. In contrast, Vudu does not specifically mention when free content expires.

What Will You Stream From Vudu This Week?

No matter how you prefer to consume media, Vudu is a viable option. So much so, you may find Vudu becomes a worthy complement to (or replacement for) other streaming services you’ve been using Canceled Cable? 8 Streaming TV Apps to Fill the Void If you have canceled cable you may be wondering what to watch next. These streaming TV apps may be the answer, as they offer a traditional viewing experience. Read More .

The content library represents multiple genres and spans beyond recently released material. And the ability to use Vudu to convert physical movies to digital ones sets this service apart too.

What will you be streaming from Vudu this week? Or if Vudu doesn’t have the title you’re looking for, tell us what it is and we’ll try to help you find it elsewhere!

Image Credit: londondeposit/Depositphotos

Explore more about: Media Streaming, Movie Recommendations, Movie Review, Movie Trailer, Vudu.

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  1. Johng
    January 5, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Vudu is such an under used, under advertised service. The HDX format blows away Google and Amazon offerings for the same price! Despite the higher bitrate and superior audio, I have had little no buffering issues. Seriously people, use Vudu to rent movies or use any of their other services.