Vudu to begin streaming 3D movies next week

Movie streaming operator Vudu has always aimed at the high end of the video streaming market with high-definition offerings, and now at CES the company has announced it will take its game to the next level: Vudu will begin streaming 3D movies to compatible devices beginning next week—and manufacturers will be rolling out more devices that support 3D content from Vudu throughout 2011. Devices supporting Vudu 3D content will include 3D HDTVs and Blu-ray players from a number of manufacturers, as well as the PlayStation 3 and the Boxee Media Software.

“We are proud to be a leader in the delivery of 3D movies,” said Vudu general manager Edward Lichty, in a statement. “Our launch of 3D today is another example of our commitment to deliver the best home entertainment experience available anywhere.”

Of course, folks will need to have a 3D-capable HDTV to take advantage of 3D content—that TV might have the ability to tap into Vudu streaming built in, or consumers might use another Vudu-compatible device to push 3D content to their television. Vudu’s 3D content will be available in three resolutions (480p, 720p, and 1080p), and Vudu says streaming 3D content has the same bandwidth requirements as 2D content.

Manufacturers already on board with supporting Vudu 3D content include LG, Mitsubishi, Philips, Toshiba, Vizio, and Funai (which makes the Magnavox and Sylvania brands. Select 2010 and 2011 Samsung HDTV and Blu-ray equipped systems will also support streaming Vudu 3D content, along with the PlayStation 3 and Boxee set-top boxes from both D-link and Iomega. Vudu notes that its list of supporting manufacturers is not exhaustive and expects others to come on board.

Vudu isn’t saying how much 3D content it will have available when it launches the streaming service, but says it will expand its library of 3D content over the course of 2011.

Consumers have yet to embrace 3D TV in the home; in part the reluctance might be from having to buy new 3D TVs and gear (and those awkward glasses), but also a lack of compelling 3D content that creates value for the feature. By jumping on the 3D bandwagon, Vudu is leading the charge to bring 3D content to the home—and you can bet consumer electronics manufacturers with 3D gear are all in favor of that notion.

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