Vudu Offers HD Films for Download

Vudu has become the first on-demand service to offer high-definition movies for download to own rather than just rent.

Under agreements with such indie companies as Magnolia Pictures, FirstLook Studios and Kino, Vudu will begin by offering 50 HD titles, including best documentary Oscar winner Man on Wire, for purchase.

Vudu already offered a library of more than1,400 HD movies for rental. Vudu’s new collection, being unveiled Tuesday, will be available for both rental and purchase in both instant HD and Vudu’s HDX format.

In addition to Magnolia’s Man on Wire, other titles include FirstLook’s Transsiberian and War, Inc.

“Consumers are clamoring for the ability to own digitally delivered titles in high-definition, especially in our HDX format, and we are excited to be the first in the industry to meet this demand,” said Edward Lichty, Vudu’s executive vp strategy and content. “This is a watershed event for the industry as well, signaling the studios’ recognition of and confidence in digital delivery as an increasingly important part of their business. We expect to see a continuing expansion of digital rights in the coming months.”

High-definition titles purchased from Vudu can be stored on the consumer’s Vudu box or in the Vudu Vault, a free online storage option for movies and TV shows that enables consumers to free up disk space while still retaining access to all their purchased titles. Movies are priced from $13.99-$23.99.