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Net-Device Startup Vudu Signs Seven Movie Studios

Vudu, a startup developing an Internet-connected set-top box to store and play back movies, closed deals with seven major motion-picture studios: Walt Disney Studios, Lions Gate Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company would not say when it expects to launch its service, nor what the price of its box or services will be. Vudu claimed that its proprietary system will offer “instant access” to more than 5,000 movie titles through the device by caching the first few minutes of each title in its library.

The seven studios Vudu signed will provide new releases and “select titles” from their libraries. Vudu also signed licensing deals with 15 independent and international film distributors.

The 41-employee company, founded in 2004, received $21 million funding from venture-capital firms Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital.