As I stared day after day at my unused DVD's, I finally decided it was time to do something with them.
I read a bunch of online reviews of people's experience with the VUDU conversion process and got mixed reviews. I decided to go for it and it turned out to be pretty awesome. VUDU charges $2 for Standard Definition conversion and $5 for HD (I believe a big part of the buzz is their HD streaming format of HDX - not really sure if it matters). You don't pay anything to sign up for the service.
Here's how it works:
- Sign up for VUDU - www.vudu.com
- Automatically got 10 free movies in my account. High five!
- Click the "Disc to Digital" tab and start to inventory your DVD collection (simply click "add to list")
- VUDU has agreements with various large studio's - allowing you to find a majority of major titles (tons more than Netflix & Hulu). However, no TV shows.
- The output is a list of DVD's - around 80% of my collection were available to convert - print this list out
- I took the DVD's (no cases needed) & lists to Wal-Mart's Photo Center
- Moment of truth - would the associate know what I was talking about / what to do?
- The associate had a bit of confusion, but jumped into action...
- Once you "convert" your DVD's - all they are supposed to do is stamp the DVD's. They still work to play in your DVD player, but they stamp to prevent others from double converting them.
- They couldn't find the stamp (or didn't have one), so they converted my collection without doing anything to the actual DVD's. By converting, I mean the lady clicked what movies I had in a portal to give me access to them.
- I paid the $2 per DVD at checkout - went SD only, which looks great!
- And within minutes, I had full access to the DVD's online. See below.
This is interesting in a few ways. I think iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and traditional cable/satellite are exposed with this feature. VUDU also allows you to rent and buy movies too - I think you can do a subscription service as well. You can play VUDU movies online or to your TV via AirPlay (if you have an AppleTV) & their iPad app, stream from most major game systems or a Roku type box, or a smart TV with the app on it.
Best Buy also got into the game with their purchase of Cinema Now - this allows you to do the conversion of your DVD's at home* (if you still have a DVD player in your computer). Overall, neither big box store markets this awesome consumer option very well. It was a scavenger hunt to do this on my own.
Anyways, I wanted to share that with the interweb's as a cool consumer project that pays off. Hope this helps.
* Quick update - @VuduFans tweeted to me that they will offering in home DVD conversion options soon as well. Nice.