Vudu Video Hits Web

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Video in a Web browser — hey, what a great idea!

Vudu, the over-the-top video service owned by Wal-Mart, is finally going to let users watch videos on their computers in Adobe Flash format.

That’s a lot better than the workaround Vudu previously recommended for PC viewing: It instructed users to install the Boxee software, then download the Vudu app.

The company says its streaming service, with more than 20,000 titles, is now available on more than 300 consumer-electronics devices, including HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players and Sony’s PlayStation 3. The Web video capability is “part of our overall commitment to provide the Vudu service through as many points of access as possible,” according to general manager Edward Lichty.

But there are still gaps in Vudu’s “video everywhere” play. Most notably, the service isn’t available on Apple iPads, iPhones or iPod touch devices. A spokeswoman says “although the service is not compatible on iOS devices yet, it is an objective for Vudu.”

It’s not clear how much traction Vudu has gotten under Wal-Mart’s wing.

Recall that the world’s largest retailer — after folding its own online-streaming service, Wal-Mart Video Downloads, in 2007 — bought Vudu in February 2010 for somewhere around $100 million (see Wal-Mart Punches Movie Ticket, Wal-Mart Yanks Vudu’s Porn Channel, Wal-Mart Takes Vudu to PS3 and Vudu Takes High-Def Movies Higher).

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