back to article BBC unveils UltraViolet DVDs, BDs

The BBC has announced a set of Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases that will support the UltraViolet online video locker service. Upcoming Doctor Who, Top Gear and David Attenborough releases will support UV to allow owners signed up to the service to stream and download versions of the discs’ content to mobile devices, computers and …

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Silver badge

No such thing as UV DVD

That cr*p is just not in the DVD specs.

Now, about "Upcoming Doctor Who, Top Gear and David Attenborough releases will support UV to allow owners signed up to the service to stream and download versions of the discs’ content to mobile devices, computers and …"

If I get a DVD I already can rip and format it for any mobile device, computer and ..., without signing up to anything and without letting some control-freak lawyer to tell me what and when I can or cannot watch.

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Re: No such thing as UV DVD

I've been doing this for a while now with both DVD and Bluray. Buy film, copy onto media centre pc (or re-encode to save space).

Why bother with the hassle of creating accounts and drm when I can easily rip the film onto my media centre pc or just download it from a less than reputable place if I'm feeling extra lazy. Then I've got a easy to use front-end to all my media without having to dig through a bunch of dvd/bluray boxes.

The front end to which I refer is XBMC of course.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: No such thing as UV DVD

Because with UV someone else is handling the online hosting and streaming for you. If you want to rip your DVD so you can live-stream it to any device that's significantly more work than just ripping it onto your media PC for home use... I'm also not aware (but probably wrong) that you can torrent-download directly onto your phone/tablet, or live-stream from a torrent.

It seems genuinely useful to me, that buying a physical copy makes the same content available through a Netflix-esque service.

Of course those who don't like paying for content in the first place are hardly going to agree, and will just continue ripping the stuff off from somewhere.

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Silver badge

Re: No such thing as UV DVD

Because for millions of people, it's a hassle to have to rip a DVD (let along a Blu-ray) and then set up their own media server which they must make accessible to the world (and still keep it secure) and set up the streaming / DNLA / Whatever software on that server and on the client so that they can watch the movies. Instead of simply logging into their UV account through a number of different providers, and hitting play.

I bought 21 Jump Street on Blu-Ray recently (good film) and it came with a UV "copy". Entered the code online and now I can watch it anywhere whenever I want on any device. All that from just tapping in the code on my account. Compare the hassle of entering that data online with all the set up of the former and you'll see why UV is a great service for many people. Even those like me who are capable of ripping a Blu-ray and setting up all the media streaming if we want to.

And then there's the instant availability when you buy it, too. For years, piracy advocates were arguing that they pirated because product wasn't available digitally, instantly, in the way they wanted to buy it. And that they wanted to be able to play it on any device they owned or at a friend's place. Well now all of those criteria are met. If it follows music with MP3 purchases, then we'll see that a number of the pirates were telling the truth and they will shift to buying their content, and that a large number will simply come up with even more contrived justifications for piracy.

I've used the UV service. And it works very well.

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Re: No such thing as UV DVD

I did this. Started putting all of my DVDs on it.

Then the fscking hard drive decided to fail.

The only backup strategy I had were the DVDs in boxes. (Some might choose a quasi-legal geographically distributed backup system with their friends machines)

I didn't fancy streaming a 2TB HDD onto a tape each night :(

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Re: No such thing as UV DVD

Though people would (rightly) shout me down here if I suggested doing it for professional purposes:

Why only one drive?

RAID it, or at the very least mirror it, because the expense and hassle of your time to do all that wasn't worth getting a any sort of backup or fail-over apparently.

I'm not suggesting you'd do tape for data that you already have, or for home use (too stupidly expensive and slow), or even off-site backups. But if it took you a month to get all your DVD archive over, it would have taken only a day to slap in another hard drive and mirror it or, more sensibly, two to make a proper RAID.

Not a backup solution for critical data (can't stress that enough) but more than adequate to protect against drive loss when it's the FORMAT of the data that you spent so long getting right, rather than the actual ability to store that data.

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Bod

Re: No such thing as UV DVD

"Why bother with the hassle of creating accounts and drm when I can easily rip the film onto my media centre pc or just download it from a less than reputable place if I'm feeling extra lazy. Then I've got a easy to use front-end to all my media without having to dig through a bunch of dvd/bluray boxes."

Because this is the step towards not shipping physical optical discs at all so you'll have nothing to rip, and the less reputable sources are being steadily killed off or at least there are more means to finding you and sending you a bill for using them.

I'm all for ripping my own content and storing on my NAS as I often do rather than download, but there will come a time when it's all download, and it's sooner rather than later. Even sadly at the cost of quality. We've seen it with music. Broadband speeds are on average high enough, even in rural zones, to download a movie at least overnight quicker than the speed of an Amazon delivery, and in many cases far quicker.

So by providing the option with the shiny disc you buy more will accept the innevitable.

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Re: No such thing as UV DVD

I agree - very useful. I wish they'd do something similar with books. I like having paper copies of some training books, just because it's easier to have on the table next to you and scribble on etc., but there are times when having an electronic copy to refer to when out and about would be a godsend. Music books are another one similar, but I refuse to pay fifteen quid for a music book and then the same again for an electronic copy.

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Re: No such thing as UV DVD

Unfortunately content isn't available immediately consistently across the world due to staggered release times. Combined with region locking, the distributors seem determined to milk local markets as best they can. No wonder piracy is rife, when a film is released on DVD in the US before it's even reached our cinema screens then there will always be those who can't wait. I wonder if a simultaneous release worldwide for a film, followed by the same for the DVD/Blu-Ray would reduce this. If it's there for everyone at the same time, there's no incentive to pirate it from another region.

As for UV, this is meaningless to me having only a 2Mb (at best) connection. Streaming anything beyond a small window in Youtube is impossible. I'm doubtful that broadband provision in this country is up to the job yet, even in built-up areas. I'm happy with hard media while it's still available. I'm only ever going to watch it on a TV or laptop anyway which already have suitable drives. I can't imagine why anyone would stream a film to a phone or tablet. Aside from the screen size, if you're using your contract data allowance I can see it disappearing pretty quick.

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Re: No such thing as UV DVD

Bigfinish.com are the only company I can think of which offers both formats for one price. Each CD sale includes an MP3 download which is accessed from your account. If you only want the download, the price is cheaper.

However there's nothing to stop you then selling the CD on again on eBay and keeping the download for yourself but I guess BF have learned to live with this and are happy to give their customers the flexibility. Can't imagine any of the big record companies or publishers doing this.

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Linux

Re: No such thing as UV DVD

What bother? Just download a copy of Plex and install it. Point it to your media horde and you're done. It will even re-encode things on the fly for all of those mobile devices that can't decode squat.

Now if I want to access something on the go, I can just put it on my device. I don't need to "stream" anything.

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Linux

Re: No such thing as UV DVD

> Because for millions of people, it's a hassle to have to rip a DVD

If that is the case, then it is only the case because publishers make it so.

It is not an inherently difficult thing. It's active sabotage by the same people that want to push more DRM and services that depend on networks you really can't depend on.

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Linux

Re: No such thing as UV DVD

Your post is mindless nonsense.

The obvious way to backup a 2TB hard drive is with another 2TB hard drive. Even corporations do this because random access disk is far more convenient to deal with than tape.

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Happy

UV

Whoaa... For a sec, I thought I saw "UltraVioleNt"....

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Happy

Re: UV

you're thinking of the Hinchcliffe era.....

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Re: UV

I thought it was going to be about the excellent series about v*mpires.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: UV

UV is also a pacifier to those who don't like digital media because "I want a physical copy they can't delete". So you can buy your DVD and keep it in a cupboard and then enjoy the online version safe in the knowledge you have a copy (until they start making discs refuse to play without checking online).

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Until we've got any measure of confidence that UV will be a reliable and dependable service, I don't see it as being particularly useful compared to my current setup (media centre with several drives, contents regularly synced to a tower elsewhere in the house to mitigate against disc failure, future plans to make backup copies onto offsite-stored backup-only drives as well). Why would I want to stream a film to my phone or netbook if I can encode a suitable copy from the media myself and circumvent the hassle and data charges?

I'd like it to evolve into something useful, but I fail to see how being able to stream the film I've just bought on physical media is of use to me, especially when there's no guarantee that the UV licences will be perpetual. Look at what book publishers are trying to do with libraries buying ebook lending licences (forced licence expiration periods based on what would happen, on average, if the ebook in question was a paper book!).

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JDX
Gold badge

So you have to plan which things you might want to watch when you go away for a week, and mess about making sure you can fit them on to the phone or a collection of SD cards?

Alternatively, someone else hosts every single thing you own for you to stream effortlessly without any prior planning.

I know which I'd prefer.

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Anonymous Coward

I've never understood why we can't download all the BBC content for free, after all, it is paid for by the licence fee.

In fact it was announced that they would do that at one stage, but it never happened. It might at least stop the BBC losing old programmes.

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Anonymous Coward

Why can't I......?

The licence fee entitles you to watch live broadcasts.

Do you think you should be able to download movies because you paid to see them at the cinema? Or keep library books because you 'paid' for them with your council tax? Or walk off with pens from the Post Office because you've just bought a stamp?

Of course you do! I bet you want the donkey you thought you'd bought from the donkey sanctuary.

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Linux

Re: Why can't I......?

> Do you think you should be able to download movies because you paid to see them at the cinema?

If you are a Brit, you didn't merely pay for a single showing. You paid for the production. Your taxes paid for the whole ball of wax. You should stop being so spineless. You paid for this stuff. You should expect to own it.

You're not just some member of the audience, you're part owner of the production studio.

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Re: Why can't I......?

"You paid for this stuff. You should expect to own it."

Most of the old stuff, our parents and gradnparents did not expect to be given free DVDs and recordings for their licence fees, nor that programmes would be re-broadcast on their request. They paid it for the service at the time with no expectation of more. Of the stuff that's broadcast today, again, no-one expects that they should be given free DVDs on request of that the BBC will re-broadcast over the Internet at their request and and all of the programmes. Again, they pay their licence fee knowing full-well those are not the terms. If that changed in the way you ask, then licence fees would rise drastically for the sake of minorities, inefficiently. I have no interest in watching the latest medical drama or comedy series. But the BBC makes money from selling those DVDs to people who do. If the BBC can't make that money from those sales, then that translates into higher costs for me for no gain. Basically, the licence fee is the flat fee for broadcasts, those who want enhanced service (watching old shows whenever they want), pay for it by buying the DVDs without my having to subsidise them getting an enhanced service that I don't want. The BBC is not Sky. If they make more money out of something that doesn't translate into higher dividends for the shareholders because it's a public institution. It translates into increased internal investment in the BBC - more shows, better special effects for Doctor Who, etc. Sure, we the licence payers paid for the production of the material, but it's a two tier system - the amount we pay is offset by how the BBC is able to sell programs on DVD later on, or resell to the USA or Australia, etc. When you argue for perpetual on-demand online re-broadcast of programmes for all British citizens who ever paid a licence fee, you're demanding both increased costs for the BBC and you're arguing that the full cost of production of these programmes be paid up front with increased licence fees rather than subsidised by those who want more than everyone else specifically paying for the DVDs and their extras, later on.

You sound like you work for Newscorp, who delivered the Conservatives constant good press during their election in return for their future war on BBC funding. Rupert Murdoch, is that you?

(As a side note, how do you break down what someone gets or doesn't get depending on when they paid their fee and for how long they paid it. Someone pays their licence fees for years and then gets nothing when they stop? Another person pays licence fees for a year and during that time has everything whilst the person who paid for the last two decades and then stopped has nothing? We track who had a licence fee when and what was in production at the time?)

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Re: Why can't I......?

You can't arrest me for speeding!

I pay my road tax and income tax.

I pay your bloody wages.

I'm taking this police car.

What, there's no charge for a spell at Her Majesty's pleasure?

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Anonymous Coward

not the target audience

The technically astute with their home storage set up is not the market for the UV facility.

Those who bought an tablet or netbook of some sort are.

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Silver badge
Linux

Re: not the target audience

Will this thing last as long as any of my spinny media has?

Will it's successor resume where this one leaves off after it's inevitable demise or fall from grace.

Since we already have a previous iteration of the "digital copy", this is by no means an academic question.

So I already have video rips that have survived longer that the previous flavor of the month here.

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Anonymous Coward

How does resale work?

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Silver badge

"How does resale work?"

Well it's not a storage system, it's a rights system. So in theory, there should be no technical barrier to transferring your right to someone else's account. But I'm not aware of any way to do this on the site that I have my Ultraviolet content associated with. They'll probably postpone a system of reselling for as long as possible.

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Anonymous Coward

i think i shall stick to my currant set up......

yarr!!

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Headmaster

Re: i think i shall stick to my currant set up......

Well, I'm sure you have your raisins.

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Coat

Re: i think i shall stick to my currant set up......

The Sultana Brunei is on the forum again!

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Silver badge
Linux

Total waste of time.

If the BEEB wants to empower their customers, then all they need to do is ditch the DRM and allow users to manage on their own with any tools they choose.

It seems so senseless. They are a vertically integrated setup. They are a quasi-government organization. They can just ditch the corporate nonsense and forget about making physical media as difficult to deal with as possible.

Just ditch the DRM.

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JDX
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Re: Total waste of time.

Apart from that they make £billions selling the content abroad, you mean?

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Linux

Re: Total waste of time.

> Apart from that they make £billions selling the content abroad, you mean?

That is pretty irrelevant.

The lack of DRM doesn't prevent you from making money on spinny media.

The existence of DRM doesn't stop people from pirating spinny media.

All DRM does is make things harder, less reliable, and less useful for paying customer.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Total waste of time.

That wasn't your argument. You said they should drop DRM because they aren't a proper corporate entity, not because DRM is inherently flawed.

That's a perfectly reasonable view, there's no need to make up other arguments against it really.

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Anonymous Coward

UltraViolet, classic bait and switch

Ultraviolet according to an industry puppet -

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/08/ultraviolet_uk_launch_for_boxing_day_we_kick_the_tyres/

"...through UltraViolet, punters will buy a universal, lifetime right to watch a movie in any format they want; it may be streamed to any device from the cloud, or downloaded to any device..."

The reality -

https://www.networkworld.com/community/node/81514/

...Alas, my hopes were dashed when I finally looked at UltraViolet's fine print. Instead of "owning" an Internet-capable copy of my movie or TV series, all I really get is a license which includes, "streaming from the selling UltraViolet Retailer, at no extra charge above the original content purchase price, for at least one year after purchase. This no-extra-charge streaming will be offered to specific apps/devices, and via streaming means, to be determined by the selling UltraViolet Retailer. Streaming of a given title from the selling UltraViolet Retailer more than a year after its purchase, or at any time via Streaming Services other than the selling UltraViolet Retailer, may incur fees and if so any such fees would be presented to the consumer in advance of streaming titles, with the consumer having the option to accept the fees or not use that Streaming Service..."

...and it goes on with more of the same.

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