Vudu BX100 Online Receiver Setup
Installation is easy and virtually the same as installing a Blu-ray player and/or an Apple TV. In my case, I had to deal with only two connections (other than power)—HDMI and Ethernet. If needed, you can still display high def with the component-video output, but that means you also need to run a separate audio line; the Vudu provides digital and analog audio outputs. Unlike Apple TV, the BX100 provides composite and S-video outputs for older analog TVs. The Ethernet port provides network connectivity to your home network. If you don't have or want a wired network, a separate 802.11g wireless kit is available for an additional $79.
Before you can use Vudu, you must set up an account at the Vudu website. There are no monthly fees or subscriptions, but you need to designate a certain amount of credit in your account for rentals and purchases. Instead of ongoing deductions, you put a deposit of $20, $50, or $100 in your account using a credit card; when your credit runs out, your card is automatically charged the originally specified amount to reload your credit. You manage the account via the website, something that should be accessible directly from the player.
If you want to see what's in your wish list or add items to it, you can do so from the player or the website. Choosing movies from the website is useful for HDX films since they take a couple of hours or more to download. If you are away from home, you can pick a film from any online computer and know it will be ready to watch when you get home. In addition, Vudu has an iPhone app that lets you purchase and download movies to your Vudu box.
When renting movies, you have up to 30 days to watch them, but once you start watching the movie, you only have 24 hours to finish it. That's not an issue for me—if I'm about to watch a movie, I don't intend to put it on pause and complete it at another time. Of course, something can happen to interrupt the movie, and you'll have to get back to it within a day or else re-rent it. Fortunately, the rental fee is slightly lower if you re-rent within seven days of the film's expiration.
The initial setup is about as simple as it gets. The onscreen walk-through ensures your audio, video, and Internet connections are functioning properly, after which it determines the download speed of your Internet connection. Since I have a 5Mbps connection, HD streams started instantly, while HDX streams took about two hours before they were ready for viewing. The delay in start time is based on your broadband speed to insure that once the movie starts, it won't be interrupted. I found playback to be flawless, which is why I have the fastest speed available on my standard DSL line. If downloads are interrupted for any reason, you can manually lower the download speed in the Network Settings menu.
There are some advanced video, audio, and network settings. For instance, you can specify stereo or surround as your priority via HDMI, select the most appropriate resolution and aspect ratio for your display, and set the amount of overscan.