That VUDU That U Du

We keep hearing that direct movie downloads are the way of the future. The question is, how much are people willing to spend right now for a set-top box that lets them download movies without a computer? The $399 VUDU, on display at last night's Digital Experience event, can store about 100 hours of movie content, which you can rent or buy from the company's online catalog of about 5,000 movies. Most of the current downloads are available at DVD quality, but the company is adding HD downloads to its repertoire and plans to offer 70 HD-quality films by the end of January. The player can output up to 1080p/24 through its HDMI connection, and it’s not too hard on the eyes either, with a glossy black case and matching remote. There are no activation or subscription fees; you can rent new HD releases for $5.99 and classic HD films for $3.99.