Vudu Finally Gets Wireless Kit (Works Fine, Expensive by Competitive Measures)

So many products, including the US$100 Roku Netflix box, come with wireless, so it was surprising that the US$300 Vudu broadband video-on-demand box requires a hard Ethernet connection. Today Vudu announces a US$80 Vudu-branded Ethernet-to-802.11g bridge kit built by Asus. I tried it over the weekend, and it worked great.

The dongle near the box powers itself directly from the Vudu's USB jack , meaning no extra power brick. The other end, near your router, does need to plug in, but that's less of a hassle. Best of all, it requires no on-screen configuration and works without any visible degradation when delivering high-bandwidth video. (I can't say the same for the Roku Netflix box, which choked a bit when I tested its built-in Wi-Fi.) Vudu will sell the kit with the video box itself for US$350—I think it's a wise addition, though this kit costs as much as the Netflix box in its entirety, and half of the price of an Apple TV. Clearly, a bridge is the most expensive way they could go, and you also have two more things to plug in. [Vudu]

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