Netflix provides unlimited streaming for movies and shows from their vast database for a monthly subscription fee of $7.99. Vudu offers free membership and registration, but every movie has to be individually rented or purchased. Rental prices on Vudu range from 99 cents to $5.99, while purchase prices can be anywhere from $4.99 to $24.99. TV shows are not available for rent but can be purchased either by episode or as a season.

Vudu offers streaming for new movies as soon as they are released on DVD but Netflix streaming is limited to older movies and a small percentage of newer DVD releases. Netflix's DVD rental plan (which is entirely separate from its streaming plan) offers DVD rentals for all new releases about one month after release.

Although Vudu has been around for a decade, it has not been as popular as its streaming competitors Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu Plus, until it was recently acquired by retail giant Walmart.

Comparison chart

Netflix versus Vudu comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartNetflixVudu
  • current rating is 4.02/5
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  • current rating is 2.41/5
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Website www.netflix.com www.vudu.com
Products Video on demand, online DVD and Blu-ray disc rental; primarily movies and older TV shows. Video on demand, video for rent or purchase, TV shows for purchase
Library size About 100,000 movies and TV shows 20,000 and expanding
Price Monthly: $8 to stream on 1 screen at a time in standard definition; $9 for streaming on 2 screens simultaneously in HD; $12 to stream on 4 screens simultaneously. Additional $8/month for DVD-by-mail service and an extra $2/month for Blu-ray discs. Free registration and membership; Movies 99 cents to $5.99 for rent; Movies $4.99 to $24.99 for purchase. TV shows $1.99 SD, $2.99 HD/HDX to buy, $16.99 to $43.99 to buy an entire season
Headquarters Los Gatos, California, US Santa Clara, California, USA
Founded 1997 2004
Media Quality Quality HD, able to stream 1080p video HD, HDX – true high definition 1080p, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound
Introduction Netflix is an American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, United Kingdom and Ireland and flat rate DVD-by-mail in the United States. Vudu, Inc. is a content delivery and media technology company responsible for Vudu-branded interactive media services and devices. Vudu distributes full-length movies over the Internet to television in the United States of America.
Availability North America, South America, United Kingdom & Ireland US, Mexico
User Interface Select membership – DVD only, stream only or both Create queue online for DVDs – keep DVD as long as necessary Select movie to watch online Register for free membership. Select movie to stream online; pay or purchase selected movie.
Compatible Devices PC and Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, iOS devices, some Android-based devices, Windows phone, some internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players PC and Mac, PS3, Xbox 360 with Xbox LIVE Gold Membership, iPad, all internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players
Release Date 28 days waiting period for DVDs, one year or more for streaming Same day film released on DVD

Content Library

Netflix has a database with thousands of titles. It offers 100,000 titles on DVD and Blu-ray and "tens of thousands" of streaming titles. The titles come from all the major movie studios: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, HBO, Showtime and FOX. It features an extensive library of older television shows as well as a library of children's shows. Additionally, Netflix has produced its own TV shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, both of which have been extremely popular.

Vudu offers 20,000 titles, and is rapidly expanding. Its content comes from all the major movie studios and over 50 independent studios. Vudu offers choices ranging from major motion pictures, independent films, documentaries, children’s programming, anime, musicals, recorded musical performances, cartoons and television series.

Availability

Netflix offers both DVDs, including Blu-ray, and streaming. There is a 28 day waiting period from the time movies are released on DVD until Netflix has them available. Users may have to wait a year or more for titles to become available for streaming.

Vudu only offers streaming. Vudu titles are available the same day they're released on DVD.

Netflix is available in the US, Canada, Mexico, South America, the UK, Ireland and Nordic countries except Iceland. Content availability depends on the region. Vudu is only available in the US and Mexico. However, users can view downloaded movies wherever that device is located.

Pricing

Netflix requires users to register for a membership, charging a monthly fee based on user preferences for rentals. The service provides both DVDs and streaming, which is great value for money as compared to cable TV. Users pay $7.99 for unlimited streaming on a basic plan, which allows streaming on 1 screen at a time and in standard definition. $8.99/month upgrades you to hi-def streaming on 2 devices simultaneously. The $11.99 plan is for families who'd like to stream on 4 devices simultaneously.

Netflix DVD rental plans
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Netflix DVD rental plans

Netflix DVD rentals are $7.99 for unlimited one-at-a-time DVD, $11.99 for unlimited two-at-a-time and $15.99 for unlimited three-at-a-time DVD rentals. There is also an option of renting just two movies for $4.99 a month. Blue-ray rentals are $2.00 extra. Adding streaming to any of the DVD packages is an additional $7.99.

Vudu requires users to register, but there is no charge for membership. They offer only streaming, but users are required to either rent or buy videos. For rentals, movies run from 99 cents to $5.99. Movies for purchase are from $4.99 to $24.99. TV shows are purchase only, and run $1.99 for standard definition, $2.99 for high definition, and between $16.99 to $43.99 for an entire season.

Device Compatibility

Amon all online streaming options, Netflix runs on the largest number of platforms — Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, PS4, PS3, iPad and other iOS devices, Android phones and tablets and plain-old Mac and Windows PCs.

Vudu has also made significant strides in device compatibility and now works on virtually all devices. Chromecast and Nintendo Wii are notable exceptions. On the Xbox, streaming Vudu requires a Gold membership.

See also:

Choosing Between Netflix and Vudu

With Netflix, users select a membership plan and choose between streaming and DVD options. DVDs can be queued up online, and get delivered by mail. Members keep DVDs as long as they wish; return postage is paid for. To stream, they simply select the desired movie from the list of online movies.

Vudu requires registration even for free membership. Users can select a movie and choose to either rent or purchase it. TV shows can be bought either as a single episode or the entire season.

Both Netflix and Vudu are able to stream in high definition. Netflix has some options for 1080 pixel videos. All Vudu titles are true high definition in 1080 pixels. They also come standard with Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound.

Price-wise, Netflix is cheaper and offers more options. However, Vudu has a higher standard of quality streaming and offers titles the same day.

References

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