A few weeks ago I was invited to join an “Evangelist” program for vudu.com. All it took was that I watch a gazillion movies, that I have kick-ass internet speeds and an extra Cat6 patch cable available within a few feet of my home theater. That and my charming personality, my scintillating conversational skills, my world-class argumentative skills and my Pied-Piper-esque ability to cast affinity spells from the comfort of my sofa and my blog.
No, not really. At least not all of it.
I could start off with all the tech specs, cuz you know how I am about the geek stuff, but honestly, first and foremost, the vudu box is not about the box, nor about its remote (sexy and simple as it is), nor about the vudu service, per se.
It’s about the experience.
There’s almost nothing between you and watching a movie you want to watch.
There’s instant-starting of the movie after you’ve chosen the movie to rent or to own. The remote control beats Apple by one button: it has only the five buttons, one of which isn’t used for anything but future expansion. The remote is RF (radio frequency), so you don’t need line-of-sight between the box and you. The box is minimalist, so you can put it somewhere out of the way if you like.
Thanks to vudu, I just hit the “Video 1” button on the remote for my receiver and I find me a movie to watch. The remote is easy enough to navigate by feel, in the dark. It’s the quintessential Apple experience, doing everything possible to remove the barriers between your intent and its fulfillment.
They’ve just added HD content, inaugurating it by the surprise gift of the first two Bourne movies in HD already pushed down to the vudu box.
I’ll continue to write about vudu, even moreso when I get back to San Francisco and back to using it, but I wanted to get the ball rolling and start spreading the word. But I’ll leave it with this: find a movie, watch a movie. It’s better than Comcast’s “On Demand”; it’s more direct than iTunes to Apple TV. It’s more convenient even than choosing a DVD from your own collection to watch. It’s just There.