The Chromecast is one of the more useful, and certainly more portable, little streaming dongles out there. Although the app selection could be more robust, the ability to stream anything from any Chrome tab is a surprisingly powerful tool. But more apps are good, too, and Chromecast just finally added Vudu to the list.
The Vudu You Do
Vudu, for those unfamiliar, is essentially a video on demand service. In fact, it’s Wal-Mart’s video on demand service; the retailer bought out Vudu back in 2010. But if you like VOD, and don’t feel like waiting for movies to come to Netflix, it’s not a bad option. More useful, however, is its side benefit.
If you still buy DVDs, or get them as a gift, you’re probably familiar with UltraViolet, the digital copy service run by the Hollywood studios. It’s the usual drill; buy the disc, there’s a little code in it that gets you the movie. This is important not least because the usual providers of UltraViolet videos aren’t exactly what you call commonplace; know anybody who used Flixster eagerly or often? So adding this function means that Chromecast is slowly getting up to speed with all the other streaming tools out there, even if gaps remain, and is viable for those of us still buying DVDs occasionally.
Fording The Amazon
The question does remain about when Google and Amazon will come to an accord and put Amazon Instant Video onto the Chromecast. That’s really the biggest current gap for the Chromecast, especially with both Netflix and Hulu being present. But until that comes together, you can still stream from a Chrome tab, of course, and now you at least have some more selection when it comes to watching the latest movies. Even if you do have to throw Wal-Mart a little money.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.