back to article WTF is... UltraViolet

Reg Hardware Gizmo Week logo small We're all used to buying movies and TV series on disc. Many of us are accustomed to downloading films and shows from the likes of Apple's iTunes. A fair few of us stream video content from Netflix or Lovefilm. Wouldn't it better to combine all three into a single system? Such a combo is what …

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Stop

Re: DivX, Part Deux

Problem is...

Consumers are idiots, they can't see beyond initial purchase price, they don't give two hoots about what they might be paying next year, or how they are locked into a single manufacturer for content and hardware forever.

iTunes and Kindle are prime examples of how stupid consumers are.

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FAIL

The End Of Owning

This UV is the mother of all DRM. It's it's meant to be the end of piracy for once and for all. You will have no more freedom. Want to watch a movie? Want to listen to music? Want to watch a tv show? Come to the content companies who thought of this and be their slave. You will never own any content again. You will rent rent rent, even though they make it sound otherwise. This is bad and must be stopped.

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Coffee/keyboard

Who ya gonna trust?

If you choose to ignore the many other excellent points raised in oppostion to this scheme, ask yourself: "What happens to my investment in "media rights" if the company concerned goes out of business, makes a "business decision" to shut down their authorization or content servers (as happened with the Microsoft MSN Music Store), or simply makes a unilateral change in the T&Cs of the quote-contract-unquote?"

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I prefer Fairplay's DRM for now

DRM is a fact of life. It is on every Movie you purchase today, the only question is who's DRM is most consumer friendly. FairPlay's, 5 Registered computers and an unlimited number of iOS devices that connect to those computers and 10 direct download devices (a max of 5 of which can be computers) is still the most open system (albeit, a bit more confusing today than it once was).

I don't see Apple joining with UV but I could see the threat of UV causing Apple to license FairPlay to some TV manufactures, which would be nice (although at $99 the AppleTV is an inexpensive way to extend your iTunes world.

The sooner physical media goes away the better as far as I'm concerned.

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Pirate

As i write this..

My usenet account is downloading (ripped) blu-ray / hd copies of every dvd i own (some 300+).

Is that wrong?? Not in my book. I bought it on vhs, then dvd, i'll be fucked i they think i'm paying again for the "hi-def" version.

Does that make me a pirate? Probably. Do i care??

Is it a bird? Is it a plane, no its the flying fuck i dont give!

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Re: As i write this..

Personal view ahoy. I buy what I watch (as in I dont download DVD->HD) but I do borrow friends DVD/BR. They also borrow mine. Sometimes I purchase the "borrowed" stuff sometimes I dont. Technically I guess this is also stealing. I wouldnt be able to do this with UV so for me this is bad (and probably against the legality anyway).

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Silver badge

In a nutshell....

It's digital "book burning", but instead of books you burn the keys to access encrypted files.

Can't they just release the content DRM free? It's going to be on Piratebay anyhow, you can't prevent that from happening, particularly not by enforcing DRM.

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Unhappy

Re: In a nutshell....

It can be argued that the DRM increases the incidence of piracy as otherwise-IP-respectful citizens are forced to choose between 'unofficial' DRM-free content and no content at all.

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To Sum Up

Digital distribution platforms need to pay more attention to pleasing prospective customers and much less on making retailers and rights holders happy. What a piece of shit.

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Stop

"The notion is that all your content - not just what you will buy but also what you've already bought - will be permanently available to you on the internet."

No, damn it, NO. That's simply NOT TRUE.

As it was already explained several times in forum threads here regarding UV, Internet stream rights are only ensured for a LIMITED TIME after purchase, after which you'll likely have to pay for it again.

Please, El Reg, you guys know better than this. Look up the facts, don't fall to PR statements.

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Meh

Rentiers

I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire.

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Why on Earth would I want to waste my internet bandwidth to watch a movie?

In order to enjoy streaming movies I'd have to spend considerably more money for a faster internet connection and I'm too cheap to do that. A 256K internet connection is also good for preventing teenagers from watching porn - they don't have the patience to wait for it to finish downloading.

Where's the grumpy old man icon?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why on Earth would I want to waste my internet bandwidth to watch a movie?

BS. Porn worked fine on 33.6k modems, it works fine on 256k DSL also.

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Re: Porn worked fine on 33.6k modems

Of course it works, but kids don't have the patience to wait for it.

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Bronze badge

"the report of my death was an exaggeration'

So this is bad how?

BitTorrent is one example of a simple but effective data sharing application.

UltraViolet is another example and by the sounds of it has a bloody good SD to HD ripping service built-in at your local convenience store.

Think about that for a moment. For, well forever, we've had to buy the latest format WITH another license to consume that product. From 8-track, to vinyl, through cassette to CD and finally MP3, and every time, we've paid again for the license. This time though, you can upgrade your movie to a higher definition format for something like close to what it actually costs! (although £3.15 is still a bit too much IMO)

Besides, you think for one moment, that those who wish (hard enough) to get content for free from UltraViolet will be unable to do so? At the very least a screen scraper will do the trick. If it can go into your eyeballs, it can go into a camcorder.

I've got news for you buddy.

Sure they will try to rip people off with 'upgrades' and 'value-added promotions', it's in a businesses best interests to do so

And it's human nature to get something for nothing when the chance comes along.

'want DVD? fi poun dvd'

Hopefully this is the entertainment industry finally hauling its lazy backside up and giving people what they want. Irrespective of the fact that it's human nature to get things cheap/for free whenever and wherever possible. It's been going on for years and it ain't ever gonna stop my friend and there's fuck all you or they or anyone else can do about it.

However, if you give people what they want and make it convenient for them to get it, there's a good chance more of them will do it and more often. It's not exactly rocket surgery now is it?

@cornz1 On the whole I agree, but I think it would be fair to pay a token fee for upgrading to a new format physically. The point is, that's never been an option.

Even upgrading virtually, Walmart or whoever have to maintain equipment for doing so, training staff and dealing with uploads, failed rips etc, so a token payment there too is reasonable.

On the whole, I think it's a win and thus expect to get the thorough down-voting I deserve because of my opinion :D

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Re: "the report of my death was an exaggeration'

"Hopefully this is the entertainment industry finally hauling its lazy backside up and giving people what they want."

This is definitely not.

"Think about that for a moment. For, well forever, we've had to buy the latest format WITH another license to consume that product. From 8-track, to vinyl, through cassette to CD and finally MP3, and every time, we've paid again for the license. This time though, you can upgrade your movie to a higher definition format for something like close to what it actually costs! (although £3.15 is still a bit too much IMO)"

Sounds great! Just dump the fracking DRM and I will be all over it. Otherwise, don't waste my time and bandwidth.

"Besides, you think for one moment, that those who wish (hard enough) to get content for free from UltraViolet will be unable to do so?"

I don't have time for that. You want my money? - give me that product with no strings attached. If you expect me to jump through hoops to de-DRM it myself - pay me, instead of the other way round.

"there's a good chance more of them will do it and more often."

In this you are right because most punters are stupid - otherwise 419-ers, thimbleriggers and DRM developers would have been out of business by now.

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Anonymous Coward

not gonna happen

simply put, this is bought and paid for content.

the dude can bequeath it to whomever he chooses.

that typically doesn't involve walmart.

if they made the mistake of providing it in a transferable format, that really is their look out and no-one elses.

http://nch01.fortunecity.com/images/6313_cd_collection_mod_sm_20.3.10.jpg

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No love for the rest of the world

Out of curiuosity I decided to try create an UV account yesterday. Funny, for a site that claims that they try to make their material available in as many countries in the world as possible, they'd only let United Kingdom or United States residents sign up.

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Re: No love for the rest of the world

That's already _two_ companies. Probably more than most business managers would know from the top of their head.

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One edge of this sword is significantly sharper than the other--the edge pointed at the consumer

"Crucially, though, UV makes it possible to add higher resolutions or simply better copies - there's an audio drop-out in the current version, say - of existing files, easily and without troubling the customer."

...which also means they can seamlessly edit the movie and not notify the consumer. Unlikely to happen to anything but soundtrack replacements (music licenses, for example), but still, ultimately pretty not-nice.

I liked the idea of UV at the start, because I thought there would be a permanent repository of digital movies online. Now that I'm hearing more about things like "available online for a limited time," it's sounding less shiny. I could get paying minor increments to upgrade to a higher-resolution version of the video, but beyond that, Ultraviolet needs to work like a cloud-based locker to be something worth investing in, not a year-long rental service.

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I don't mind DRM-enforced limits on when and how I can view content. I don't think that's intrinsically evil. The only problem is fair pricing. They're free to offer me a badly limited access to content, but I'll only be willing to pay a badly limited amount of money for it.

If they want the same amount of money I'd give for a DVD, then they'd better give me the same value I get from a DVD - including offline viewing, permanency, widespread compatibility, and the ability to lend and resell. If they require internet access, and/or the license expires after 10 years, and/or it won't work on Linux or old computers, and/or I can't lend it to friends, and/or I can't resell it - then I might still buy it, but only if the price is reduced accordingly. And I also expect pricing of digital copies to reflect that fact that it doesn't have to cover manufacture and shipping of the physical media and the costs of a physical shop.

If they want to charge 16.99€ for the right to stream a movie to UV-enabled devices for the next 5 years - screw them, I'm not buying.

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Robdogs - the lot of them

Does anyone trust a word they say? Cos I don't. If they had half a chance they would make you pay again if you paused a movie half way though.

Media Execs (including music as well) are about as truthful and honest as MPs, and will do anything to squeeze more cash out of you.

If I bought a movie on VHS years ago, then I dont see why I shouldn't be able to obtain a digital copy at the highest res available for a nominal admin charge (should be £0 though)- remasters and dodgy re-jigging to 3D aside. If for example, I bought the Startrek TNG seasons (didnt but close), then I should be able to access the originals and the remastered for blurays, should be an upgrade. That' s fair enough. But the digital version should have the same rights and abilities as a physical disk.

Also I want a proper player on linux and not use a bloody browser. Doesn't need to be opensource, or even free.

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Anonymous Coward

The problem for me and I assume lots of others who don't live in a large town/city is the whole streaming part.

My internet is crap from about 16:30 to 23:30 Monday to Friday.

Unless I want to only watch these services in the small hours of the morning, which is not conducive to working the next day, all of these services are utterly useless.

Unless there's a pre-download service and the ability to defer watching or ability to watch again a few weeks later, I'll stick with the other alternatives (like my DVD+HD recorder).

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Pirate

About time too... and now I will stop whinging

For years I have moaned, complained, bitched, whinged about the movie and music industries trying to criminalise their customers and complain that people that download content are costing them $bns. I have trotted out the well worn arguments that they have:

a) devalued their product (e.g. album content is sh1t now - you rarely even get the lyrics, let alone the detailed information that record sleeves - remember them - used to have)

b) failed to make their products portable between devices and easy to use

c) failed to understand the legal and moral difference between breach of copywrite and theft

d) don't appear to understand that just because someone downloads content doesn't mean they would have bought it and that consumers have fixed disposable income

e) repeatedly want to sell the same content over and over (record, cassette, CD, WMA / VHS, SVHS, LaserDisc, DVD, BluRay)

f) have wasted efforts focusing on "piracy" and catching 14 yr old teenagers downloading Katy Perry or some aweful vampire flick rather that fixing problems a+b

This scheme may not be perfect but at least it appears a genuine attempt by the industry to offer a simple, easy, convienent, alternative to bitorrent and other download technologies.

All they have to do now is deliver... and I actually will stop whinging (about that)!

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