Streaming VUDU In 4K - What You Need To Know

How To Stream VUDU In 4K

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.

One popular streaming service is VUDU, which, along with similar services, such as Amazon, Netflix, and UltraFlix stream a growing amount of content in 4K resolution.

What VUDU UHD Offers

What makes VUDU's 4K UHD streaming service exciting, especially for home theater fans, is that it offers movies that are encoded with enhanced video (HDR (HDR10 and Dolby Vision) and audio (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 section 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 2018, the compatible devices are as follows:

4K without HDR10 or Dolby Vision

  • Roku 4K TVs (Non-HDR models)
  • Roku 4, Roku Premiere media streamers (paired with a compatible TV)
  • Samsung KS-Series 4K TVs
  • Tivo Bolt
  • VIZIO Non-Smartcast M and P-Series TVs (2015)

4K with HDR (HDR10 and, in some cases, Dolby Vision)

  • All LG 2016/2017/2018 4K LED/LCD and OLED TVs (HDR10 or Dolby Vision)
  • Samsung KS, Q, MU and select NU-Series 4K TVs (HDR10 only)
  • Select Sony 4K TVs (2016-2018 model years)
  • TCL P and C Series 4K Roku TVs (HDR10 or Dolby Vision)
  • Other branded Roku TVs with HDR Support (may be HDR10 only)
  • VIZIO Reference Series 4K Ultra HD TVs (HDR10 or Dolby Vision)
  • VIZIO 2016-2019 M and P-Series SmartCast 4K Home Theater Displays and TVs (HDR10 or Dolby Vision)
  • Google Chromecast Ultra media streamer (HDR10 only - requires compatible TV)
  • Nvidia Shield TV media streamer (HDR10 only - requires compatible TV)
  • Roku Streaming Stick+, Premiere+, Ultra (HDR10 only - requires compatible TV)
  • Samsung UBD-M9500 UHD Blu-ray Disc player and media streamer (HDR10 only - requires compatible TV)
  • Xbox One S or X (HDR10 only - requires compatible TV)
  • Sony UBP-X700 Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player
  • Apple TV 4K

Stay tuned as more TVs and media streamers are added, or if any of the HDR10-only devices listed get the firmware updated for access to Dolby Vision.

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.

Even if your TV is not able to access either HDR10 or Dolby Vision enhancement, as indicated in the notes with the provided device listings, 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 than 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 Boxes, Invidia Shield, Bu-ray player, Game Console - Roku Streaming Stick+ and Chromecast Ultra have 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 data cap. For more downloading and streaming, these oftentimes go unnoticed, but if you venturing into the 4K territory, you are going to be using more data each month that you are now. If you don't know what your monthly data cap 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 (except for limited "Vudu's Free Movies On US offerings" - which do not include 4K). However, for most content, 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 2018, the rental price for each 4K UHD Movie is usually $9.99, but may be lower if the film has been available for awhile. If you decide to purchase a 4K title, prices range from $10-to-$30. Keep in mind that prices can change.

Titles Available and How To Access Them

For Viewing, as of January 2018, some of the titles available include: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, The Lego Movie, Mad Max Fury Road, Man of Steel, San Andreas, The Secret Life of Pets, Star Trek Beyond, Wonder Woman, and more. For a complete listing, as well as keeping track of titles as they are added, and additional rental/purchase information, refer to The Official VUDU UHD Collection Page.

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.

The Bottom Line

With the increased availability of 4K Ultra HD TVs, there are now several ways to access 4K content, one of which is via internet streaming from select services, such Amazon, Netflix, and Vudu. Vudu provides a continually increasing number of major titles, as well as adding more compatible devices (TVs, media streamers, game consoles) that can access its 4K streaming service.

If you unable to determine if you have full access to Vudu's 4K streaming service, contact Vudu or customer support for your specific TV or media streamer.