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Roku Adds Vudu: Best Streaming Box Ever?

Tech of the Hub Review: Now that Roku offers Vudu, it is the most complete streaming media service -- tied with Xbox but you don't need an Xbox Live subscription.

Roku has one of the few streaming media boxes that offers Hulu Plus. But it has always had just one thing missing: Vudu.

Not anymore. Roku now has Vudu, and streaming media maven Gabe Gagliano from Tech of the Hub has a review.
Apparently, he explains, a technical issue with Roku prevented the box from carrying Vudu, but a recent firmware upgrade apparently paved the way.

Gagliano reports:

The implementation of VUDU on the Roku is solid.

The Roku version is a full featured version of the VUDU app with support for HDX video. VUDU’s HDX format provides 1080P video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound at a high bitrate. Testing has confirmed that the app does provide Dolby Digital Plus (as does Netflix on the Roku). I did my test drive on a Roku 2 XS. I’ll assume that the Roku LT and HD don’t have access to the HDX format as their video resolution maxes out at 720P.

The only feature missing, Gagliano says, is ability to control overscan settings “which I’ve seen on the Panasonic DMP-BDT220.”

Now that Roku finally has Vudu, it is probably the most complete streaming service on the market. Gagliano concludes:

The only other box I can think of that offers Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and HBO GO is the Xbox. However, the Xbox requires a yearly Xbox Live subscription to access these services. The Roku also had the edge in audio and video quality.

For more details, pictures and info on Ultraviolet support, visit Tech of the Hub.

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Video · Digital Media · Media Servers · Streaming Media · Vudu · Roku · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

3 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by John  on  09/24  at  10:22 AM

I agree that the Roku is a wonderful box.
I do hate that the newest versions did away with many of the connections custom installers need (component video & digital audio being the biggest). So now they are no different than trying to get an AppleTV to work in some systems.

You did miss 1 point on service however Julie. Yes, Vudu was a big service that was missing from the lineup (glad to see them finally add that). But there is still 1 more major service that is missing: Spotify!!! And a close cousin lastfm.
If Roku were to add those last 2, they would have every major player on the market and be the #1 choice for streaming boxes.
From what I understand they can’t add Spotify due to the format Spotify streams in, Roku won’t add the format to thier software and Spotify isn’t going to give them a special stream just for thier box.

Posted by lotusguy  on  09/25  at  07:36 PM

Vudu will not work on any Roku box prior to series 2.

Posted by JohnA  on  09/27  at  12:27 PM

@ John

Could you do this:

Install Plex ( on a local machine on your network. Install Spotify app in Plex. Access Plex from any Roku. Enjoy Spotify from your Roku.

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