Over the weekend, the New York Times published a glowing story about Vudu, a new startup that's developing a set-top box for downloading movies. Yes, this is a plan you've heard before, from the spectacularly failed, Disney-backed Moviebeam to more recent efforts by Akimbo, along with the continued minimal impact of PC-based movie download sites. As Peter Rojas points out on Engadget, the Times story is "long on overblown claims and hyperbole and short on realistic analysis of how resistant consumers have been to paying to download movies over the internet". Vudu has signed up most of the major studios to supply content and says it's got technology that will make movies play immediately, without any waits or stutters. That's great and all, but when consumers have shown so little interest in these types of services before, it's hard to see things changing -- particularly when Vudu wants to make them buy a $300 single-purpose box, then pay per-movie charges on top of that -- in spite of the NYT's puff piece.
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