Vudu takes a shot at the home theater crowd

Vudu XL2On-demand video service Vudu has released its second generation player, and this time it's not targeting the average set-top box consumer, it's targeting the high-end media consumer with its rackmount XL2 HD streamer.

Vudu debuted last year with a $399 set top box that allows its users to stream movies on demand for between 99¢ and $2.99 each, or to download them to the unit's hard drive for between $4.99 and $14.99. In competition mostly with AppleTV in the subscriptionless, on-demand streaming market, Vudu differentiated itself by focusing on HD content, and by being the only mainstream connected set-top-box to offer adult content.

Recently, the company expanded its HD catalog to 1,100 titles, claiming the "world's largest streaming HD library." Now firmly marketing itself as a high definition, high-end service, Vudu has unveiled its associated $1,299 player, the XL2.

The aluminum rack-mountable unit is designed for integration into home theater setups, has a 1 TB on-board HDD, offers IP and IR remote control input, can route and switch incoming HD signals and output them in 1080i high-definition, and output its own HDX and TruFilm streams in 24 fps 1080p with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

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