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back to article UltraViolet passes million download mark

More than 800,000 US homes have signed up for Ultraviolet, the Hollywood-backed movies-in-the-cloud platform. And they've used it to download more than 1m copies of films. Not bad numbers for a service that only went live four months ago. That said, that total was dwarfed by the 19m digital movies that market watcher IHS, which …

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Finally!

It seems like Hollywood is finally catching up with the times. This sounds like "Steam for films", which I would use in principal if it's available in the UK, reasonably priced, and gives me some kind of guarantee of ownership of my purchases if it ceases operation in the future.

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Joke

Is this the underrated film starring Milla Jovovich or the Channel 4 series about vampires in London?

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Yeah, but....

Until enough folk in the UK can get a reliable and fast broadband connection, none of these streaming services are going to be viable. I'd quite happily sign up but have never got more than 2.5Mbs.

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Re: Yeah, but....

The system is primarily aimed at downloading, not streaming. It uses a common file format (based on ISO standards), so should be able to be played by any UltraViolet compatible device, be that a PC app, Tablet app, DVD/BlueRay player etc. media streamer etc. etc. If your connection isn't fast enough, then just queue it up, download, and watch later (basically just like Sky's Anytime+, except you can transfer the files to any UltraViolet device).

i.e. You could download on your PC, stick in on a pen drive, plug the pen drive into your UltraViolet compatible TV, Tablet, another PC etc. and watch there.

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Amazing!!!

Finally - a service that isn't obsessed with streaming and will let me view a purchase when not connected to the internet!

For years I've wanted a way of just paying a few quid for a DRM-free download that I can use offline. Preferable in x264 format. I'm not interested in a monthly subscription. Just let me buy a download in the same way I can buy a DVD.

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Re: Not so amazing (!)

AFAIK, Ultraviolet does not let you do what you describe. Not to mention the codes on the discs expire and afaik you cannot just download the file without buying a disc - and I have tried. Also no native playback support due to drm, meaning you _need_ third party software.

So, sorry, but no, ultraviolet is not the answer.

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Re: Re: Not so amazing (!)

You may be confusing UV with "Free Digital Copy" or some other sheme. In UV, codes don't expire, you can buy content without buying optical media, and UV isn't a DRM scheme (it's a broker, allowing different DRM schemes to interoperate).

Have a read of this:

http://www.uvdemystified.com/uvfaq.html

I believe "DRM" is a non-issue. I've no problem with paying for entertainment, but I don't want a rights management scheme that prevents me using what I've bought. UV is not like this - it's the opposite: a way of ENSURING that I can use what I've bought.

If, on the other hand, someone is starting from the premise that one shouldn't have to pay for entertainment at all, then nothing will satisfy both them and the content producers, and so this will be mentally filed in the same bucket as "Evil Sony Rootkit DRM".

For those outside Tech-Utopian-Unicorn-land, UV is a great step forward- it's just a shame it has taken so long.

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Re: Amazing!!!

Um, I think it's mostly the opposite of all the things you said there.

It's full DRM, but various studios will allow you to watch each others stuff in their special Windows and IOS apps. No linux, no Roku, no Boxee, no XBMC , so basically nothing open-source, maybe Android, maybe multiple hardware streamers or maybe just one gets to be "Authorized". Nothing but Windows and Apple computers can be used right now. I would bet that only the Windows versions that are HDPC-compliant and have HDPC-compliant hardware will work (no XP).

"The titles added to the account do not expire and will remain in the digital library unless the account is terminated." So they are yours, until they decide they are not, then poof, they're gone.

Streams can be watched until they decide they can't. Some things can be downloaded, some can't. Some things can be put on DVDs, maybe, but just not now, but maybe, perhaps.

Basically it's a step in the right direction, except for the lack of allowing us to keep things we buy forever, the lack of letting us sell things, the inability to play it on any hardware we already own, the lack of Linux support, the viewing fees on the things we have "purchased" being changed at anytime, the fact that not all studios are available, the fact that UV viewing rights are different from each vendor and different per film, and there are still region idiosyncrasies (some things can be streamed, some can't, some can be d/l, some can't, some can be only rented, others only bought, all at different prices, and with extra viewing fees after a year, some things "purchased" one way can have the viewing restrictions changed at anytime).

Other than all that, it's great. /sarcasm

Looks like I will still have to buy the DVD and rip it to a file, just like last year and the years before.

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Re: Re: Amazing!!!

I retract my original "Amazing"!

Turns out it sucks just as much as all the other legal movie services :(

Cheers for the clarification

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Sounds great but ...

Until they sort out their signup processes to have secret questions that can be used by everyone then I'm not registering. Tried pointing out to them that favourite song / favourite colour / street you grew up on questions don't apply universally but haven't seen any change.

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It's a crap service

You try to download the digital version and you can't download it direct to a tablet or phone - you need to download to Mac/PC first and then transfer over. After that, you need to use a specific app to watch it in - it won't play in anything.

And the Customer Service is far from helpful. We bought one title, thinking it was the way to go but won't be buying another.

So close, but so far...

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All I want

Is to be able to buy, at a reasonable price, a little plastic card. Say, the size of a credit card. It isn't required to watch the content. But it proves I have paid for the right to view the content privately. I can download the content itself easily enough from plenty of sources anyway. Then I put my card in an business-card box with all the others and can easily pull them out and show to anyone that comes knocking that I have paid for the content I have on my system.

I would LIKE to pay (a reasonable price) for all my entertainment - producers can then use that money to make more of it, after all. But I insist on being able to consume it where and when and on what playback device I choose.

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Another nail in the coffin

Should this get popular, there will be a huge backlash against DRM in a few years, as for whatever reason, millions of people will not be able to play the things they have *bought* anymore for whatever reason.

Maybe this is like iTunes. They started with DRM and were, for that time, hugely popular because of unrelated issues, however once DRM was dropped, the market exploded.

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Re: Another nail in the coffin

That's only for music. Video is still DRMed and locked to your iTunes account (and any iThings linked to it). Stuff still gets posted online with the DRM stripped 30 seconds after it is released so only the people who pay are affected as usual.

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FAIL

So 800 thousand have signed up and downloaded a total of 1 millions films?

Just over 1 film per signup does not seem very good to me.

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Agreed

Sounds like, at the very least, they signed up, tried it, then gave up.

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