Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/185274/the-digital-locker-hollywood-wants-you-to-use-ultraviolet-explained/
UltraViolet is a “digital locker” for your movies designed by the big movie studios. It’s a response to iTunes — studios don’t want all their customers using iTunes with Apple being the single company in control.
A bit of friendly feedback. I can always tell the author of an article is Chris when there are a lot of opinions in an article without much evidence. "This sucks or this is better than that" type of opinions without much to back them up.
So onto this article, Ultraviolet sucks because Veronica Mars fans have trouble? The Apps are buggy yet that's the end of the statement with no actual evidence to back up the assertion? You even go so far as to recommend Apple or Amazon as alternatives yet those are also DRM laden and lock you into a single service - how is that better?
I signed up for Vudu on my Roku 3, I have ten free movies to try out UV. I then signed up for Flixster and got a free movie. Right there in each account, Vudu on my Roku (and hence big screen) are all 11 movies. I can sign into my Android device and see them all (although actually PLAYING them on Android is limited to unrooted devices, which mine is not.), I can see them on Flixster. I imagine I could see them in Target app if I so chose and CinemaNow as well or any other UV clients that come along each trying to get me to buy or rent movies through their own service.
I do have an awful Amazon app on the Roku but that's the only place you can watch the movies you buy there (I don't count the web browser and downloading their software on the PC as I want big screen here.) iTunes has NO such big screen equivalent unless you own an AppleTV.
I even redeemed a digital copy of one of my kids DVD's, "Planes" but I chose to have that go to Google Play instead of Vudu or the other choices. That movie does NOT show up in the UV catalog so I think there are still options to get non-UV digital copies - at least from Disney. I could use the Chromecast anywhere to play that for the kids - but still locked into one service and way of playing the copy on the big screen.
So, from my actual experience, Ultraviolet seems to work just fine. However, none of the digital movie services are perfect. I still prefer to rip all my own media (music and movies) so I can watch or listen to them where I want, whatever quality I want on whatever device I want. Nothing can beat the DIY experience yet.
I don't understand the technical blogosphere's (and vlogosphere) hate for UltraViolet. It's certainly not perfect and I hope that they continue to make improvements (especially acquiring content/studios like Disney and TV seasons). I love Ultraviolet. I don't own any Apple products (well, I have some old iPods that I never use). I own a Windows computer, Android tablets and smart phones and a couple Rokus. If I bought a movie on iTunes -- I could only watch it on my PC. I can't watch it on my Roku. I can't watch in on my Kindle Fire. I can't watch it on my phone. Likewise, if I buy a movie on Amazon, I can't watch it on my phone -- because Amazon doesn't offer an Android app for their movies.
However, with Ultraviolet, I can watch my movies via my PC, my Roku, my Kindle Fire, and my phone. And it's not tied to just one service. If Walmart goes out of the movie business tomorrow -- I don't lose all my Vudu (UV) titles. They are still on my digital locker. I can then watch them via Target Ticket or CinemaNow or Flixster.
And it's dead simple to use. I don't find it buggy or confusing at all. Perhaps the initial set up isn't that intuitive -- but I can't remember because I've done it so long ago. But one you have your UV account and you have it linked to your preferred services -- redeeming UV codes and purchasing new UV titles is easy.
I've recently got UV copies of nearly all my (non Disney) Blu Rays and a large number of DVDs through Vudu's Disc to Digital program.IT cost me $1/piece for the Blu Rays. Now my son can easily access our BD collection without worrying about scratching or smudging a disc... and I have parental controls set on the Roku Vudu channel so he needs a PIN to watch anything above PG. I have 177 titles in my UV locker. I've packed up most of my DVDs and Blu Rays and put them in the garage.
I'm sad that UV hasn't caught on -- but I fault most of it on the unwarranted bad press it gets from blogs like this.
If Hollywood movie studios designed and endorse it,that sets off a bunch of red flags for me.Anything the MPAA likes can't be good for the consumer.The Trust just ain't there.I would not trust that setup as far as I could throw a loaded coal truck.
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