Streaming sticks traditionally cost about $35 to $40, making them nice, inexpensive gadgets that allow you to use a number of services such as YouTube and Netflix while streaming your favorite TV programs or movies. But Walmart’s version of the HDMI streaming stick, the Vudu Spark, will cost you considerably less – the device was released over the weekend, and it’ll only cost you $25, or $10 less than what you’d have to fork over for a Google Chromecast.
Currently, the Vudu Spark is only available at physical or brick-and-mortar Walmart outlets as well as on the retailer’s website – as of a recent report, the device wasn’t on Walmart.com just yet, it should be making its way there very soon. And while it does appear that the Vudu Spark was released just a couple days back, Gigaom cited a Walmart representative who said that the streaming stick has actually been available at some stores as of December 2014.
Using the Walmart Vudu Spark is no different from using your Chromecast. It’s as simple as plugging it into your TV set’s HDMI port, using a USB connection to power it up (or an adapter or USB cable if your TV doesn’t have one), and using a remote control to enter settings to configure the device.
However, there are several catches to keep in mind about the $25 Vudu Spark. Yes, it is very affordable, but it will only work on Walmart’s Vudu service. It won’t support Netflix, YouTube, and other similar apps either, which makes things very limited. However, you’ll be getting $25 worth of free content if you purchase the Vudu Spark early, which offsets the cost; keep in mind that Walmart charges $1 to $6 for movie rentals, or about $15 for individual movies or $25 for a complete TV season.