Seems every day, more and more new TV, movie, streaming and video options are available to you on your mobile gadgets. The idea is that you take them with you and can watch them any time, anywhere. This news from Walmart is just one more step away from the traditional TV in the family room, tethered down with a costly cable subscription.
Most DVDs and Blu-rays you buy at the store come with a digital disk, so you can watch the films on your computer. But, most people don't use them. Walmart is trying to change that. The superstore has just debuted a new service that'll let you stream any movie you buy right to your computer or gadget.
The service is still in its beta stage, so you might notice some glitches if you try it out now. As more people use the product, Walmart will be able to figure out problems and find fixes. The beta version also doesn't cover every movie you can buy at Walmart, yet.
Compatible with the service are about 800 movies available in stores -- including new releases "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" -- and 1,100 on Walmart.com. More titles will be added, says Gibu Thomas, senior vice president of mobile and digital at Walmart's global eCommerce division.
That might seem like overkill since you've already bought the physical copy of the movie, but this service could actually be very useful. It'll allow you to watch your new films right from your laptop or gadget when you're on vacation or otherwise out of the house without having to carry around all of your disks.
The InstaWatch service works through Vudu, the video streaming platform owned by Walmart. To start streaming your movies, you need to have the Walmart app on your smartphone or tablet. Then, you can go to the Savings Catcher feature and scan in your receipt. If you buy an InstaWatch-compatible movie from Walmart's website, it'll automatically be added to your Vudu account.
In stores, movie discs that are compatible will be marked with orange dots. "We think customers are going to love the convenience," Thomas said.
Then, you need to connect your Walmart account to a Vudu account. You can do this simply by signing up for Vudu with the same email address your use with Walmart. If you already have two separate accounts, you can connect them from your Walmart account.
You can stream the movies by use the Vudu app for Apple and Android gadgets or visiting the Vudu website on your computer.