How Vudu Compares to Netflix and Hulu

Stream, rent, or buy movies and TV shows with Vudu

If you have never heard of Vudu, you aren't alone. The Wal-Mart-owned video streaming service doesn't have quite the same name recognition as ​Netflix or Hulu, despite being around for several years now. Nonetheless, Vudu's free content offers more than enough to give those platforms a run for their money.

Information in this article applies to the Vudu web streaming platform, which is also available as an app for smart TVs and mobile devices.

How Does Vudu Compare With Netflix and Hulu?

Vudu is an online streaming movie service that bears more resemblance to iTunes than Netflix or Hulu. Rather than stream movies based on a monthly subscription, you are able to rent individual titles in either standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD). If you really like a movie, you can purchase it outright. Vudu also has hundreds of movies and TV shows that you can stream for free with ads.

Vudu has hundreds of movies and TV shows that you can stream for free with ads.

Vudu's website provides an app-like interface within the browser, which means you can comfortably use Vudu on any computer, smartphone, or tablet. Like similar streaming services, Vudu also has apps for Roku and Apple TV.

Is Vudu Worth the Money?

Should you switch to Vudu? Is it time to flush those Netflix and Hulu subscriptions? Are we entering a post-iTunes movie-watching world?

Not exactly. While Vudu boasts more HD movies than any online streaming site, anyone hoping they'll get a Wal-Mart-style discount on those movies will be sadly disappointed. While they definitely offer more titles in high definition than iTunes, the pricing is about the same. In some instances, you might find a title cheaper on Vudu, and at other times, you might find one cheaper on iTunes.

That said, Vudu frequently runs promotions for new subscribers, so it may be worth it to sign up for a few discounted rentals. The free content is also worth checking out, especially if you have kids. offers promotional discounts on new movie rentals.

Is Vudu a Better Deal Than Netflix?

Vudu likes to brag about getting rentals quicker than Netflix, but if you watch a lot of movies, it is definitely more expensive. For the cost of two rentals on Vudu, you could have a subscription to the Netflix streaming service and watch as many of their streaming titles as you want. If you watch five or more movies in a month, you'll rack up the same costs as having both the unlimited streaming plan from Netflix plus the ability to have two DVDs out at a time.

Vudu does get new release titles faster than Netflix. However, Netflix also has a wider selection available for streaming, and between the streaming service and the subscription service, you'll save a lot more money. After all, for all those newly released movies for which you simply cannot wait to arrive on Netflix, there is always Redbox.

Of course, Vudu doesn't offer Netflix or Hulu originals, but it has its own small selection of original content. Like iTunes rentals and on-demand services from cable providers, Vudu is great for the occasional "must see" movie, but it's generally more expensive than services like Netflix. Still, it does have a fair selection of free content, which is something neither Hulu nor Netflix offer.

Vudu offers the newest movies to rent and a selection of free original shows.
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