Walmart Movie Streaming on the HP TouchPad | webOS Nation
 
 

Walmart Movie Streaming on the HP TouchPad 40

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Wed, 27 Jul 2011 8:26 am EDT

Movie fanatics are getting yet another gift today for their TouchPads, though not in a direct way from a developer. Walmart.com, one of the largest and most well known retailers in the Western world, has made available a brand new movie streaming service based on VUDU Videos On Demand, which they acquired last year. With thousands of movies available for renting, purchasing and streaming from any flash-enabled browser, the HP Movie Store is getting some competition from an unlikely contender. Prices start at just $0.99 for their daily movie rental specials (which you can vote on through Facebook), but most movies are between $2.99 for Standard Definition and up to $5.99 for 1080p HD video with a 24 hour rental (or you can purchase the movie for unlimited viewing from your VUDU Library). The question is, how well does it work on the TouchPad, and is it a good alternative for watching movies to the options HP has given us?

From the very start, we liked the new VUDU service and what it had to offer. The collection of movies that are available for viewing is much larger than some other services we've looked at (like YouTube Movies and Hulu), though that's to be expected from a huge retailer like Walmart. Navigating through the website is a breeze, since the TouchPad follows the web standards that have been put in place for desktop browsers. including flash. Of course, Walmart's website could use a little de-cluttering, but they're probably not going to be making changes anytime soon, so we'll let that pass.

As for actually watching movies, things couldn't get much better than what they currently are. Where other services get buggy and take forever to buffer or load, thus interrupting the viewing experience, Walmart's VUDU has none of those typical problems (which means that a lot of bugginess that has been reported by reviewers is actually somewhat at the fault of content deliverers, and not the TouchPad). When you start a movie from your library, tap the bottom right corner icon to load it up in full screen view. All of the controls work perfectly, and you can even drag the bar along the bottom of the screen to choose a specific spot within a movie to jump to (with a neat thumbnail preview so you can make sure to pick the right place). We found the 720p HD movies to stream just fine, and even the SD versions weren't bad quality.

While the service is still only a day old, it does have some great potential. Yes, the prices are not as cheap as we might like them to be (you'll definitely spend more than the $16 Netflix is currently asking for a month), but they are still competitive to other on-demand movie streaming services, plus they have fewer limitations in the selection. We'll probably still stay with the HP Movie Store, if only because it's a native application with the movies right on the device. But there's no doubt we'll go to Walmart's new VUDU service when we can't find a specific movie elsewhere. If they would bring a monthly subscription package along with it, we might just call the whole thing "perfect" - but we'll just have to wait and see what the company does in the future

Source: Walmart.com/VUDU; Via: CNN.com;

40 Comments

nice!

...such a shame we start hitting these little "snags", which is the lack of everything that is not iPad 1 compatible, that HP in their wisdom decided to hack out of their new webOS "flagship"...

Namely, video output on the TP, which KILLS one of the most handy and cool use cases, that would be possible otherwise: browse the video library with your family, in the comfort of your couch, pick the one you want, connect it to your home cinema, and fire away...

But what do I know - comparing to "biggest IT company in the world, with bucketloads of cash, and fully committed to double-down on webOS...". I am just an "armchair analyst", so whatever I say, must be by definition stupid and irrelevant, comparing to this immense sea of consumer and corporate wisdom.

Well done HP, way to go! I am sure there will be another examples to follow, that will laid bare your ignorance and arrogance.

You don't seem like a webos fan.

I get that other tablets have video output, and that the Touchpad does not. However, it seems like an eventuality.

It seems like you just want to remind us that other tablets are, in your opinion, better. However, most of us here are aware of other tablets and still prefer the Touchpad!

Uhh, dude. It's a tablet. It's not a terminal disease. Chill out.

..actually, it IS a terminal disease, what is happening to webOS currently. Only that patient is in denial, but it doesn't matter, it is dying nonetheless

I have an iPad 1 as well as a TP and I have never once felt the desire to hook a tablet up to my TV.

I just don't know that consumers at large care about that functionality. I think a lot would think it's cool but very few would actually use it.

If you need video out so bad, don't buy the TP. Simple as that.

Yeah, I don't see any need to use my TouchPad as a media server. I'll use my server to do that, and if I need to share something externally, I'd rather do this with a USB key or my phone. Much more slick.

I guess I'll bite. First, HP did a good job of adding Flash to the Touchpad which is something Apple won't do for the iPad/iPad2. That means that sites like this will work on the Touchpad, unlike the iPad/iPad2 which will require "an app for that". Good luck on Walmart making "an app for that". I'm not saying that they won't do it, but since Apple is now charging developers 30% of their profits for in-app purchases, why would they want to make one? If I was Walmart and I made an app for the iPad I would charge you an additional rate to cover down for the loss in profits. A rate I would not have to charge Touchpad users. Either way it goes, the Touchpad has this now and the iPad doesn't so HP decisions so far can't be all that bad.

I don't think Apple is too concerned having the itunes store.

I get your point, but it's not a good example. Apple not only competes with, but absolutely smokes this service with iTunes Video/Music Store.

It's not like this is an alternative. Same movies for pretty much identical prices....less selection, and not native to your device.

not native to the device is a bad thing?

I prefer that I can watch it on my TouchPad, and then continue on my PC and then finish up on my web connected TV.

Which is another reason I would not hook this up to my TV to watch a movie. My TV and any new TV are web enabled, so why not just stream it from the source?

Unless of course the movie is on your tablet and then you are SOL.

With Netflix on iOS, you can watch on your iPad, continue on your phone, continue on your PC, continue on your Blu-Ray player, co....

Oh, you get the idea. Not having THAT is a bad thing.

Sure, Netflix would be great. Not for me, but for others. I would like Block Buster.

But I also have Amazon and I can watch those movies across my devices, so me personally, I am all set.

You and others are not set, I get that.

I apologize. I was trying to keep it in the context of the article and to point out that this service works on the Touchpad right now. I did not know we were comparing movie stores to movie stores. I thought this was just about one particular movie store. I do fear for iOS users as Apple keeps eliminate competition through monopolistic practices on their devices the user will began to suffer from a lack of choice. Unless of course they move to another device.

Edit: Does iTunes on the iPad have a streaming movie service? I see an option to buy a movie in iTunes (on my PC) but no option to stream.

This seems odd for a critique of Apple being that they have competition for many of their services. iTunes sits on iOS alongside a Vudu APP, HBO Go, netflix, Hulu Plus, FIOS, Xfinity, and many other video content apps.

The music store sits alongside Spotify, Mog, Rhapsody, etc.

iBooks sits alongside Kindle, Nook, Zinio.

You really think iOS users have lack of choice when it comes to services? Seems that's more applicable to WebOS and other nascent platforms that haven't put in the work to create a real content ecosystem.

With the recent story on Apple forcing these competitors to give up 30% of their profits for in app purchases how long will this last?

http://www.osnews.com/story/24990/Apple_Forces_Amazon_Kobo_Others_to_Cri...

Even though there are a ton of iPad users they still only represent something like 1% of total PC users. When you figure in other devices that can receive streaming movie services (PS3, Xbox, etc.) that number is even smaller. What is the motivating factor for these guys to keep their business with Apple when there is so many other competitive markets to go to? That's my fear for iOS users.

No offense, but I think iOS users are more afraid of having meager options, lesser hardware, unreliable release schedules, etc.....which is why they're on iOS, not WebOS.

As far as what's the motivating factor for companies to keep their business with Apple, it's called several tens of millions of paying customers. That doesn't mean they have to stay exclusive to Apple, but it's hard to spread the love when RIM is in a tailspin, WebOS is moving slow as molasses with soft launches to boot, Windows Phone 7 is in stasis until Mango drops, and Android has the sales, but also way more free apps and non-paying customers.`

Apple's explosive growth is merely filling the vacuum created by the various failures of the competition. HP, RIM, Google, or Microsoft is certainly capable of filling that void themselves as well. They're just not getting it done fully.

I agree here. Heck, it's why some of us stick around here. I want an option to Apple. Many of us see webOS with the strongest potential. It just doesn't get realized.

It's just baffling why HP didn't have Netflix, Slingbox, logmein, quickoffice editing, and some other top apps ready at launch with all their "top apps" talk and swat teams. Not to mention how they always seem to brag how quickly a webOS app can be done or ported. If HP was serious, they might have even considered some gamechanging purchases such as Netflix that could be leveraged.

This crack problem with the Touchpad may be the fork you have to stick in it. Only my Rice Crispies should go snap, crackle, pop. It's just an additional problem to the ones they already have. Yet, HP is full speed ahead launching to the world with a product that has a design flaw. Just something else they'll have to "make right" later...if there is a later.

Apple has nothing to worry about. The competition isn't there. Waiting on windows 8..

I'll bite as well, mostly because I'm replying to pure ignorance.

A tablet isn't an XBox or DVD player and it doesn't have to be. Sure, it'd be nice if it could fill that role too, but that would generally mean even more powerful graphics hardware and comm ports that would require more space in the case, more power consumption, more requirements for cooling, and quite frankly, more cost to HP for the base hardware which means more cost to the buyer. It's cool to have HDMI in a pinch, it is. But not if it's going to mean a clunkier form factor because it's just not even remotely the main reason I'd want a Touchpad.

See, these online streaming services...well...they're not all exactly locked down by device. A lot of them let you log in to their site and stream it like that, whether you're using your PC, XBox, Mac, or Touchpad. That means that you could use something that was designed for playing high def media on a big screen, not some uber-portable computer that is really meant to be taken on the road to do a lot of different things, like reading books, surfing the web, maybe watching a video on the train...the Touchpad does all of that quite effectively already. And the more options for streaming video, the merrier. I know I like being able to price compare and purchase the deal that fits me best (say, I'm willing to pay a little more for a wider selection, but I don't need to pay for high def, etc.)

So, really, I don't have a problem at all with how HP is going about supporting media on the Touchpad. Adding an HDMI port (which is what you're obviously begging for) doesn't really make a huge amount of sense right now. Maybe when high end mobile graphics cards get a whole lot more power efficient it would be cool. Right now, it'd just be another hole on the device for dirt and grime to get into.

well guys, you didn't bite me at all. Frankly, I am not so much interested in addressing all of your arguments (and yes, each and every one of them above can be addressed pretty easily, but there is so many of them, and so many of them are so paper-thin, it really looks to me as you just "want to believe"). I just can't get my head around the fact, that so many so lenghty replies were written to excuse the lack of ANY VIDEO OUTPUT on TP. You know, that Enterprise-ready, consumer-bedazzling wondergadget, that has been in works for the last umpteenth years, to be "perfect", when finally released.

And HDMI is nothing but an el cheapo option, to be added fast. I would rather see wireless video output, with accompanying wirelessly receiving HDMI plug, or sthg like that (that Apple thing, you know, at least CAN CONNECT (wireless, at that) to that other Apple thing, called Apple TV, so your Apple folks CAN view their iPad 2 HD video content on their 52" HDTVs (which in my humble opinion makes way more sense than squinting at your 10" screen). But I know, this wireless thingy is more complicated to implement, so I would settle with simple HDMI output for ver. 1 of the hardware.

As for "more space required to fit HDMI", you must be kidding me? Show me more chunky, current generation tablet on the market (nope - none around...), and I will show you a plethora of connectivity options it offers. Space certainly isn't an issue here.

Power efficiency, chip horsepower required to play HD video is not there, you say? So how come, that TP is able to display HD content on it's own HD screen(not full HD, but still good enough to market it as an "HD resolution"), but according to you (and funny enough, addressing my "ignorance" ;) ), it is not there, to power external video display? I didn't knew that outputting video to external port vs screen is SOOOOO resource-consuming operation, thank you for your deep insight...

As for not being a webOS fan - wow, that is some heavy weight argument in discussion, against clearly pointed out hardware shortcomings! And strictly speaking, I am not a fan of what HP is (not) doing w/ webOS, and the direction in which it takes webOS (or rather, the lack of it).

And you just got to love this barrage of "I do not use it, I never felt like I needed, so it is unnecessary, in general case" posts. Believe me, it IS necessary - for all these unconvinced shoppers, that would compare prices and features, that different hardware offers.

As for Wallmart implementing "an app for that", you can bet your money on it, they will pay some independent mobile software house to implement iOS version some several tens of millions times quicker, than they will address ANY potential issues reported by all of them 13 TouchPad users out there, with their flash version (if any issues surface)

So PLEASE, don't call me ignorant, I was living and breathing IT and gadgets before most of you TP fanboys were able to use a toilet, and TP afterwards, on your own.

This was pretty easy to set up; VUDU is an option on my LG blu-ray player, so a concern I had dealt with how they'd link my existing VUDU account. It turned out to be a seamless merge (a simple checkbox asking if I'd like to link my Walmart account with my VUDU account), and from the Walmart website I can now access my wishlist/owned movies and stream them on the TouchPad.

I look forward to hearing some one try Vudu on the TP. I love the service and hope it works great. -crossing fingers

edit: First rental on my PS3 was free, look close, there may be the same option on the web.

The hits just continue to happen. The implementation of Flash on the TouchPad was a better idea than HP/Palm could have imagined. I love my device and I bought the TP, case, keyboard and charging dock. I have not regretted any of the purchases. I work as a business analyst in the DC area and the TP helps greatly in my work. This continues to be a better and better purchase each week.

I am a fan of the VUDU service. I use them to rent the latest movies on my PS3, and I have bought one on there, too. The quality of the movies is really good, and they have a nice selection.
This is great news that it runs on the Touchpad! I still cannot justify one until they release a remote desktop client that support the RDP protocol, but everything else about it is just spiffy!

This is the ONLY thing stopping me from getting TouchPad's

I want netflix

I wanted Netflix also. However, I'm searching for other services because I'm not too impress with Netflix' movie selection for streaming. They have to wait 28 days for some movies when the DVD comes out. I find myself turning to Comcast on demand to get just release stuff. Comcast charges $5.99 for new releases which is highway robbery. This service and HP Movie charge $3.99 for new movies on the same day the DVD is released. I just can't seem to find a service that offers TV shows on demand like Netflix does or has a selection that is just as large. HP Movie's TV show selection is not that large. BTW, this is for streaming services with a monthly fee, not purchasing movies/shows.

Edit: I spoke to soon. It cost $5.99 to rent a HDX movie (1080i) which is equivalent to Comcast but $2.00 more than HP Movie Store. I still like it better than Comcast, which has a lot of quality issues with it's set top boxes.

Well, HP's been teasing Netflix on the Touchpad for awhile now, so it's probably going to be available sooner or later.

Looks like the exact same selection as Google Movies, which isn't a bad thing. A native app would be better for a variety of reasons, but....baby steps....

Can't say i'm looking for a service to blow 6 dollars a pop streaming a movie. Netflix is much better.

carfan:

I believe what this service and HP Movie is missing is a monthly subscription. However, this is only a streaming service. Netflix can also send you a DVD but that comes with a price. You have to wait 28 days after most new releases before Netflix can stream content to you. You can see for yourself. I just streamed "Limitless" to my TV using Vudu (got a free movie with the trial). It's also available for streaming in the HP Movie Store (for $3.99), however it is not available for streaming on Netflix. I believe Netflix raised their prices because they found that most people were still ordering the DVDs instead of streaming but they leave you with no choice when the movie is not available for at least a month when streaming.

You're muddying the waters.

Netflix Instant Streaming is just that - limitless streaming.

Vudu, HP Movie Store, Google Movies and the like are rental/sales services. You either pay more than a month of Netflix for ONE title or you pay 1/3 to 1/2 of a month of Netflix for a 48 hour window to watch a title.

It's NOT the same, and there's a reason why Netflix Instant Streaming has been an explosive hit, while DVD rentals will result in red envelopes sitting around unwatched. People don't want the limitations of 24-48 hour windows when viewing their content. That runs contrary to the principle of On Demand.

The selections not found on Netflix Instant are held back because of studio greed that demands significant upfront payments from Netflix's coffers. Eventually, these subscription models like Spotify and Netflix will win out.

Does anyone know if this or the other movie services work in the UK? Just about to buy a touchpad - does the HP offering even work outside the US?

Is this site working on the Touchpad? I can play the movie trailers but when I try the "1st two minutes of the movie preview" it doesnt work. Dont see no video or hear audio.

Which version did you select for the 2min preview? SD, HD, HDX?

i watch Netflix on my $250 Nook color that is overclocked to 1.2Ghz. Hopefully Netflix will show up for you TP owners soon, i just can't justify blowing $700 on a tablet that is barely a tablet., but you guys have fun now ;)
BTW Netflix was just released for the original Droid, pretty sure that it came out when the original Pre did, hmmm guess there isn't to much interest in webos outside of this forum and at HP., another nice OS goes to silently die out in the pasture...totally regret not swithcing to android 2 years ago..cause now i'm lovin' it!

I don't understand why there should be differences between individual Touchpad units but VUDU movies will not play on my touchpad. All I get is a continuous buffering icon that never quits. I have tried doing an OS reset and then not doing anything else before proceeding to the Walmart site but that didn't help. Any suggestions?

same here. trying VUDU.com errors out saying I need a PC or MAC. trying Walmart I get one of 2 errors. endless buffer or can not connect to server. Yet my windows PC's on the same network work great with Walmart or VUDU.com

Note: 1st time I tried posting here, could not do it from my touchpad. had to fire up the windows PC. disappointment....

when I try to play a rented movie I get an error saying "video playback is not supported on this device"

does anyone have any suggestions??