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Walmart Announces Online Movie Service

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In a third-time’s-the-charm fashion, mega retailer Walmart announced Tuesday that its website will now offer options for consumers to stream or purchase movies.

The announcement comes just two weeks after Netflix announced its price hike, but the new service compares more to that of iTunes because users will not be offered a chance to subscribe. Rental prices, which are determined by release date and definition (standard or high), range from $.99 to $5.99, and prices to purchase a movie begin at $4.99. Customers can also rent or buy 3D movies at higher costs.

This is the third attempt Walmart has made to offer DVD streaming. According to CNN, the retailer’s first effort was in 2005, but was abandoned when it failed to take off. As part of the shutdown process, customers were directed to Netflix.

The company tried again a year later, this time in partnership with major Hollywood studios and powered by Hewlett Packard. This again failed because of vendors pulling out, CNN reported.

Now, Walmart has teamed up with the cloud-based video movie service Vudu, which the corporation purchased last year. Vudu had already been offering movie streaming  to TVs, Blu-Ray players, Sony Playstations and certain HDTVs for three years. Consumers can access the entire Vudu library, which has more than 20,000 titles, from any of these devices, walmart.com or vudu.com.

The service will also have many videos available the day they are released. Plus, there will be a “movie of the day” offered for $.99. Friday’s movie will be determined by the customers, who will vote for which new release they would prefer on Walmart’s Facebook page.

The only changes to Vudu’s current catalogue will be the selection of porn, which a representative from Walmart said will be taken down “immediately.”

So far the service is only available in the U.S.

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