Late last week, OPPO Digital officially unveiled its latest firmware update that adds VUDU movie streaming to the company’s BDP-93 and BDP-95 Blu-ray players. For owners of those models, this is a long-anticipated and very welcome development.
These days, Blu-ray players need to do a lot more than just play Blu-rays. They’re media hubs for all sorts of digital entertainment, chief among them movie streaming. After all, it’s only natural to want to centralize many forms of movie playback in one movie-centric device.
Since OPPO’s BDP-93 player was released at the end of last year, it has offered Netflix and Blockbuster streaming, plus a service called Film Fresh that I’d never heard of before (and that doesn’t appear to contain much of interest). The company suggested that it would add further streaming options in the future. VUDU was long-rumored to be in development. At one time, the VUDU web site even listed OPPO Digital among its partners, but then later removed that listing. VUDU’s 1080p “HDX” movie files are near-Blu-ray quality and often have significantly better video than Netflix streaming. VUDU seems like a good fit for OPPO Digital, a company known for the high quality of its Blu-ray playback.
I’m not sure what caused all the delays (perhaps licensing negotiations or technical issues?), but it took a long time for VUDU to finally appear in OPPO players. OPPO released a firmware update with the VUDU app to its beta testers about a month ago, and now that firmware has gone live for public consumption. The new firmware can be installed from the internet via the player’s Ethernet connection, or downloaded from the “Customer Service/Support” page of the OPPO Digital web site. By activating the VUDU app in either the BDP-93 or BDP-95 players, you will receive a $5.99 credit good for one HDX rental, even if you already have a VUDU account registered on another device.
I first signed up for VUDU with the service’s now-discontinued dedicated download box. I recently uninstalled that and switched to the VUDU app in the PS3 instead. However, I have one of the older PS3s with fan noise like a Hoover when I turn it on, and I’m not fond of using the PS3 controller as a remote during movie playback. For those reasons, I’m pretty excited to be able to switch to the OPPO player for my VUDU needs. The free movie credit doesn’t hurt either.