Imagine a streaming stick that costs almost as much as its more-capable rivals but only works with one service. Does that sound pretty great?
No? It doesn’t? Well, Walmart thinks it does.
The retail giant is now offering its own streaming solution: the Vudu Spark. The name, to its credit, tells you exactly what you’re getting when you buy it — a stick that plugs into your TV and gives you access to Vudu.
The problem is, you may not even know what Vudu is. I suppose a lot of people don’t. So if you’re one of those unsuspecting consumers, you may see the stick and assume it works just like a Chromecast or a Roku stick, unlocking a world full of entertainment through services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and more.
Nope. Just Walmart’s own Vudu service with this particular product.
It’s not that Vudu is bad. It’s a decent option for buying and renting content. But that’s all it does, and not everyone consumes content in that manner. Some subscribe to unlimited streaming services and graze on their vast libraries. For those folks, the Chromecast or the Roku Stick are much better options.
If you’re really dead set on using Vudu and nothing else, though, the Spark will meet your needs.
The Vudu Spark is already selling at 2,500 Walmart locations for a quite-affordable $25. That’s $10 less than the Chromecast and half off — $25 — the price of Roku’s solution. If it’s worth it to you to save $10 for a product that can’t do nearly as much as its rivals, then by all means, pick up a Vudu Spark and rent/buy movies and TV shows to your heart’s content.
But if you’re looking to catch up on House of Cards, or Transparent, or network TV through Hulu, you’re much better off spending the extra dough. Trust me.