updated 11:10 am EST, Sun January 6, 2008
VUDU today unwrapped the VUDU XL, an extra-high capacity version of the company's movie streaming and rental device. The company is hesitant to provide exact storage but indicates that the new model can hold a full 500 standard-definition movies, allowing it to serve as a stand-in for many users' whole DVD collections; the claim suggests 500GB of internal drive space. It also improves home automation with network-based setups and better compatibility with universal IR remotes that control multiple devices. The XL is capable of outputting surround sound and should ship in February for $999.
The company today also said it would have an edge over other set-top video hubs by offering far more HD movies in its catalog. Although it only has a small amount of content today, VUDU intends to have 70 movies in HD by the end of this month which will involve a mixture of the newest titles as well as 'classics' such as the Star Trek series. These higher-quality versions should be available to rent for between $4 and $6 depending on the title and will begin to appear on VUDU's network in the next few days.