Streaming VUDU In 4K - What You Need To Know

Vudu 4K UHD Streaming Spotlight Page
Vudu 4K UHD Streaming Spotlight Page. Image provided by Vudu

Without a doubt, internet streaming is very popular, and along with that popularity, more demands are being placed on content providers to up the quality of both a number of TV and movie titles, as well as video and audio quality.

With that in mind, several services, such as Amazon, Netflix, UltraFlix, and VUDU are now streaming content in 4K resolution.

In this article, let's take a look at Vudu's UHD streaming service.

What VUDU UHD Offers

What makes VUDU's UHD streaming service exciting, especially for home theater fans, is that has the ability to offer movies that are encoded with enhanced video and audio via Dolby Vision (HDR) and Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound.

What this means is that you don't have to put up with download wait times on systems offered by Kaleidescape and Vidity before being able to view your movie, or wait for the forthcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format, to access the best available video and audio quality to watch on your 4K Ultra HD TV.

Compatible Devices

So, did the previous paragraph get you excited? There is more you need to know - such as what TVs and media streamers are compatible with 4K UHD streaming. As of 2017, the compatible devices are as follows:

  • All LG 2016/2017 4K LED/LCD and OLED TVs
  • Roku 4, Premiere, Premiere+, Ultra (paired with a compatible 4K HDTV)
  • Roku 4K TVs (Models from TCL, Hisense, Hitachi Insignia)
  • VIZIO M and P-Series Home Theater Displays
  • Nvidia Shield TV
  • Google Chromecast Ultra (Dolby Vision will be available pending an firmware update from Google)
  • Xbox One S

However, if you wan to access the added benefit of 4K and HDR (Dolby Vision), then you need one of the following brand/model TVs:

  • VIZIO Reference Series 4K Ultra HD TVs
  • VIZIO 2016 Smartcast M and P-Series 4K Home Theater Displays
  • LG 2016 /2017 Super UHD and OLED 4K TVs
  • TCL (Announced but availability still pending)

Stay tuned as more TVs and media streamers are added.

Also, to take full advantage of Dolby Atmos, you need a home theater audio system that incorporates a Dolby Atmos-enabled Home Theater Receiver, as well as an appropriate Dolby Atmos speaker setup.

NOTE: Even if your TV is not able to access the Dolby Vision enhancement, you will still be able to watch VUDU UHD content. Also, if you don't have a Dolby Atmos-enabled audio system, you will still be able to access Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus surround sound signals.

Internet Speed Requirements

Of course, having a TV and audio system that can take full advantage of VUDU UHDs video and audio quality potential isn't all you need, you also need a fast broadband connection. Vudu strongly recommends that you have an access to an internet streaming/download speed of at least 11 Mbps.

Speeds lower than that will cause buffering or stalling issues or VUDU will automatically "down-rez" your streaming signal to 1080p or lower resolution in response to your available internet speed (which also means you won't get that 4K resolution, HDR, or Dolby Atmos.

However, at 11mbps, VUDU 4K streaming speed requirements are a lot lower that Netflix's 15 to 25mbps suggestion.

Ethernet vs WiFi

In conjunction with a fast broadband speed, I suggest that also connect your compatible TV or compatible media streamer (Roku, Invidia Shield - Chromecast Ultra has Wifi only) to the internet via a physical Ethernet connection. Even if your compatible TV or media streamer provides Built-in Wifi.

Although Wifi is very convenient in terms of not dealing with a long cable run to your router, Wifi can be spotty and unstable. A physical connection prevents unwanted interference that may interrupt your signal.

Those Pesky Data Caps

In addition to how you connect to the internet for the purpose of access VUDU UHD, take note of any monthly ISP data caps. Depending on your ISP (Internet Service Provider), you may be subject to a monthly datacap. For more downloading and streaming, these often times go unnoticed, but if you venturing into 4K territory, you are going to be using more data each month that you are now. If you don't know what your monthly datacap is, how it costs when you over it, or even if you have one, contact your ISP for more details.

You Have To Pay

VUDU is a pay-per-view service. In others words, unlike Netflix, there isn't a flat monthly fee, you pay for each movie or TV show you want to watch. However, you have both online rental and purchase options (purchases are saved in The Cloud - unless you own a compatible media streamer that has built-in hard drive storage, or use a PC).

As of 2017, the rental price for each 4K UHD Movie is $10, and if you decide to purchase, prices range from $25-to-$30. Keep in mind that prices can change.

Titles Available and How To Access Them

For Viewing,  as of January 2017, some of the titles available include: Man of Steel, Edge of Tomorrow, The Lego Movie, Jupiter Ascending, Heart of the Sea, Mad Max Fury Road, The Conjuring, The Secret Life of Pets, Star Trek Beyond, and San Andreas. For a complete listing, as well as keeping track of titles as they are added, and additional information, refer to The Official VUDU UHD Webpage.

Also, if you have a VUDU UHD compatible TV or media streamer, new titles and other information are accessible on the VUDU onscreen menu.

If your device is compatible with Vudu's 4K offerings, that category will be accessible from the selection menu. When you click on a movie, it will display the features offered (4K UHD, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, etc...) as well as rental and purchase options that may be available.

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