I got the VUDU wireless kit a few weeks ago, set it up, and promptly forgot it was there — a sign of a good wireless networking product. The VUDU service (see our initial review here) requires a broadband Internet connection in order operate and, up until now, your options were to either connect the box to your router with an ethernet cable or use a wireless bridge.
When I first opened up the box containing the wireless kit, I was expecting to see a single adapter that would elegantly snap onto the back of the VUDU box. What I found, instead, were two adapters; one that plugs into a router (shown above) and another that plugs into the back of the VUDU box (shown below).
I was a little baffled at first as to why VUDU would design the wireless kit this way, but then it dawned on me that the service isn’t necessarily marketed towards tech savvy do-it-yourselfers as much as it’s marketed toward a more upscale, affluent crowd who may not necessarily find trying to configure their wireless networks to connect to their VUDU boxes a fun way to spend an evening.
Setup is dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead simple. I plugged the first box into an open port on my router, powering it with the provided AC adapter, and plugged the second box into the ethernet port on the back of the VUDU box, powering it with the included USB cable. I then fired up the VUDU box and everything just worked. Can you believe that? It just worked! I didn’t have to swear, sweat, or cry.
The quality, too, is right on par with how the VUDU box performed when connected via ethernet. There’s no lag or stuttering, and movies start playing right away. I’ve seen no noticeable difference between wired and wireless setups.
There’s the potential to add a bit of girth to the cord monster you might already have behind your TV and to the other cord monster that lives around your router. I kept as many cables as I could wrapped up with their respective twist-ties to keep things under control. A simpler solution made up of just a single adapter that plugs into the back of the VUDU box, similar to the wireless kit for the Xbox 360’s wireless kit, would have been a lot simpler. However, it wouldn’t have been nearly as easy to set up.
The argument could also be made that at $80, the price is a little bit on the high side. Thankfully, VUDU’s now selling a package for $350 that includes the VUDU box and the wireless kit, which will save you $30. The $80 price tag was a nice surprise for me, though, as I initially thought it’d be priced at $100 or so.
If you’re a VUDU user and you want to go wireless, do it. You won’t be disappointed. There aren’t any trade-offs here as far as performance goes. Movies started playing right away with no lag or stuttering just as they would when my VUDU box was plugged into the ethernet connection.
Product Page [VUDU.com]