The next Chromecast competitor is being made by…Walmart?



Media sticks are all the rage these days. Google had so much success with the ultra-affordable Chromecast that everyone else decided it was a good idea too. Now you can get a Roku and Amazon Fire TV in the stick form factor. The next company to hop on the bandwagon may surprise you. I’ll give you a hint: they have everyday low prices. That’s right, it’s Walmart.

I don’t want to judge a device before it’s even released, but this thing has #FAIL written all over. It’s called “Vudu Spark,” and it does exactly one thing: run Vudu. You don’t get YouTube, or Netflix, or Hulu, or anything else. It’s just Vudu. If you’re not familiar with Vudu it’s a service that allows you to rent movies and TV shows. You can also use it to redeem UltraViolet movies.

Here’s the thing: Vudu is already available on PlayStation, Xbox, Android, iPad, Roku, Blu-ray players, and even Chromecast. All of those devices give you the option to use other apps as well. So why would anyone limit themselves to just Vudu? Expect to see this one-trick pony stacked high at your local Walmart this holiday season.

Oh, and it has a remote. Yippee.

vudu spark remote

[via GigaOM]

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. Typical Wallmart

  2. Haha, I had a feeling that you wrote this, Joe. “Yippee”. That made me laugh a bit.

  3. Competition everywhere! But yeah, it creates better products and better companies.

    1. Yes but that only works if they put out a worthy product.

  4. This is the gag gift that you get for your friends/family that are tech enthusiasts.

    1. No you get them an iPhone.

      1. That’s one expensive gag gift…

        1. Si vis trollem – trolling is beyond all price.

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if these things were very popular with the trashy nontechy typical Walmart shoppers. “look hunny! I got you that video Internet stick we heard about and it was only $10!” **plugs in and disappointed instantly**

    1. totally read that in a hill billy voice :)

    2. They probably won’t be disappointed because they won’t have any idea how it stacks up against the competition, what the competition is, or even that there is competition. It’s THE video stick thing – there’s only one, right?

      1. Idk, part of the joke was assuming they have seen other media dongles in commercials.

  6. What if they offer 50% discount if you make your purchases from one of these things?
    Walmart has enough money to do these sort of promos.
    When Vudu launched they were practically giving away free credits.

  7. Don’t plan on getting this but going to play devils advocate . remember what the one and only thing the roku box did when it first came on the seen. It played Netflix and that was it and look at what it is today. Walmart has deep pockets. Just saying:)

  8. Cost will be the determining factor

    1. Chromecast and Fire TV Stick not cheap enough for you?

      1. They are to me, but I can’t speak for others. If they put this out at the register for 5 bucks like a candy bar it’ll be a pure impulse buy, even if the people don’t know what they’re buying.

  9. Should walk into Wal-Mart with a chicken and ask where the Voodoo is, mon.

  10. With luck, Walmart/Vudu will subsidize these to the tune of $9.99. …Then somebody will hack it to run Plex or something.

  11. looks crusty

  12. I can’t buy it via NFC, won’t shop there.

  13. it makes sense in that since walmart offers vudu conversion, this makes it easy for the non-technical to access those movies directly without the need of a 2nd or 3rd device.

  14. My Roku 2 has Vudu and I never watch it so meh. Just got done watching Big with the kids earlier tonight via Google Play Movies. Streamed flawlessly as always. :)

  15. I have a bunch of UltraViolet titles, and I usually redeem them with Vudu because of how available it is on different platforms, which is why a Vudu-only stick really makes no sense, even if it’s owned by Wal-mart. The only way this could work is if they throw one is when you buy a TV, and even then if it’s a smart TV, chances are there’s already a Vudu app on it.

  16. Vudu Spark? Sprint Spark is spotty enough already.

  17. Their streaming service has been really flaky lately.

  18. Hopefully this doesn’t lead to every streaming service offering their own “dongles” and pulling their apps from TVs, gaming systems, and Blu-ray players. It will be interesting to see what they charge. That being said:

    I think Vudu is the best nonsubscription based streaming service out there. I just converted 20 Blu-rays to digital for just $10 and I like I can have my entire UltraViolet collection in one spot with all of my digital purchases. The Vudu app seems to always work on my devices that have terrible Wi-Fi chips (even on one of the most infamously bad Samsung Blu-ray players from four years ago). I’ve had zero issues with Vudu.

  19. Chromecast has become too legit. I have become even more fat and lazy using my Chromecast. LoL!!

    I be like, “I don’t want to log back into my laptop and watch Netflix on my TV. Oh wait, I have Chromecast.” LoL!! Chromecast owns that market, I’m sorry.

  20. What if they give away the Vudu stick for free and get a kickback from Vudu when you watch movies on it?

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