VUDU has launched a new video format that rivals Blu-ray.

Called HDX, it delivers full 1080p at 24 fps to screens 40 inches and up via web distribution using VUDU’s TruFilm compression technology.

Just to put the icing on the cake, the company says it won’t be charging extra for HDX titles.

While VUDU made no reference to Blu-ray in making its announcement, comments from Mark Jung, CEO of VUDU, can be taken as a challenge to the HD disc format.

He said HDX raised the bar on picture quality for HD movies delivered on-demand, over the air, satellite or Internet and across the entire video landscape.

“Accelerating consumer adoption of large screen HDTVs has fueled strong demand for the kind of viewing experience and picture quality only HDX can deliver,” he said.

In August, the BDA reacted swiftly to the DISH Network’s claims that its “full” HDTV 1080p/25Hz image matched Blu-ray quality.

But David Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics, suggested satellite providers are competing primarily with cable and IPTV companies, and not with the Blu-ray Disc format itself.

Delivery times are the big snag to HDX with most broadband connections taking 3-4 hours per title.

But as there are currently only 65 movies available in the HDX format, it’s maybe just as well.

While the HDX films are only for rental it is hoped that a purchase option will be offered in the future.

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