I Really Hate UltraViolet: Is It Just Me?

Electronics Geek Culture Movies Videos
Flixster/UltraViolet combo
Screen capture of Flixster during Pacific Rim install

I’m beginning to lose patience with the whole digital movies thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of having a digital copy of a movie and being able to watch it on all our devices is great. In fact, I’m fully on board with that. We have Apple TVs throughout the house and an iTunes library large enough that the computer hosting it has a 6 TB external hard drive exclusively for that purpose. And I actually buy those movies. But the studios seem determined to mess up a good thing through competing standards for digital downloads. In particular, the insistence on pushing UltraViolet exclusively seems thickheaded.

When I pick up a movie that’s okay, or one that’s good but doesn’t really showcase special effects, I tend to simply buy it on iTunes. It’s pretty good quality (especially the HD titles), iTunes pricing is comparable to buying a disc off the shelf (plus iTunes cards are constantly on sale which can be leveraged for discounted pricing), having the movie ready on demand instead of driving to a store is useful and Apple has been on a tear lately with early release versions of movies — Monsters University, for example, was available a full month before its retail release date.

When there’s a movie that simply must be in the highest commercially available quality, I buy it on Blu-ray. Actually, I frequently buy the Blu-ray + digital copy option. I don’t mind paying the extra to have the Blu-ray version for my library and a lower quality (but still pretty good) digital version for iTunes to load up the iPads or if one of the kids wants to watch the movie on their computer or an AppleTV-equipped TV. The digital copy is convenient and it helps to save wear and tear on the disc when it comes to casual viewing.

I’ve had some issues in the past. Mostly lost digital download codes. I bought a movie a few years ago that came with an UltraViolet digital download, but an e-mail to customer service yielded an iTunes code instead.

However, I just bought Pacific Rim. It was available as an early release on iTunes weeks ago, but as badly as I wanted to buy it, I held off until it was available on store shelves. Definitely something you want to see in all its high definition glory. This weekend, I picked up the Blu-ray package with digital download. That digital download was UltraViolet, the cloud-based, DRM-laden digital movie standard being pushed by film studios. And while UltraViolet movies can be downloaded and played on Macs and iOS devices (after a Flickster app is installed), the format is incompatible with iTunes and AppleTV.

And now it looks as though UltraViolet is pushing back and no longer exchanging iTunes download codes. I contacted customer support at Flixster (the client for downloading and playing UltraViolet movies), UltraViolet and Warner Brothers (the studio that released Pacific Rim). Besides pointing out the obvious — that the code was an UltraViolet one — the various customer support teams basically went in circles, pointing out the myriad devices that do support UltraViolet and pointing the finger at Apple for not supporting the standard. An example snippet:

“— iTunes does not currently support streaming or downloading of UltraViolet movies and TV shows. If you have any further questions or concerns about an iTunes copy of your movies, please contact the support team at Flixster Customer Care for UltraViolet.”

A quick scan of support forums shows the UltraViolet folks have started cracking down and stopped offering up iTunes codes as a replacement for AppleTV owners.

So if I want Pacific Rim in digital form, I either have to buy it a second time on iTunes, watch the movie on a Flixster/UltraViolet compatible device or illegally rip a copy from the disc I purchased.

Yes, I was fairly warned on the packaging that this was an UltraViolet digital download, not an iTunes version.

That’s not really the point, though. My point is the ridiculous hoops consumers are being made to jump through. If you are a movie studio, why wouldn’t you make that digital download available in a choice of formats? You don’t have to supply multiple codes, just one to a website where the customer picks the format/source of choice and gets one download code. It’s one extra step but, hey, we’re already jumping through a few hoops here and having it end with something we want is worth it. It’s certainly easier than having to register both UltraViolet and Flickster accounts, install the Flickster app on any device I want to watch the movie on and fume about the devices I can’t watch it on.

In reality, I suppose it isn’t UltraViolet itself that I hate (if you like jumping through those hoops, more power to you), it’s the insistence on UltraViolet being the only option.

Honestly, I don’t care how they sort this out in the end, but the standards battle has got to stop. They do this kind of stuff, then wonder why so many people simply bypass buying their products altogether to grab a copy off BitTorrent instead.

It’s almost as bad as competing e-book file formats. As someone who owns Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Sony e-readers (along with the iPad and iBooks combo), don’t even get me started on that one…

Note: I am fully aware that the specifics of this scenario leave me wide open to the “duh, don’t use iTunes or AppleTV” solution. Thanks, but it works well for our purposes (present example excluded), we’re heavily invested in it now and, circling back to point one, it works.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!

184 thoughts on “I Really Hate UltraViolet: Is It Just Me?

  1. My ultraviolet experience leads me to believe it’s garbage. I’ll skip problems signing up to begin with. So last time (a few weeks ago) I was able to set up everything and view my movie. Not good quality picture but watchable.

    Tonight I signed on and got to my library. My one UV movie was listed. I clicked “watch”. This took me to the redemption screen where I was asked to enter my redemption code (the code I entered a few weeks ago, which it presumably remembers, as it already listed my movie in its library on the previous screen).

    I entered the code and pressed enter. I got a message that it’s validating my code and it gave me the idea I’d be waiting a very long time. So I tried it twice more from scratch. Same result: minutes of waiting for validation, no movie.

    It was after 9pm (call center shuts down pretty early) so I filled out a problem report on their help page and clicked the submit button. “You message cannot be sent” it replied. “Resubmit”. Then it helpfully erased the screen, along with my name, code, my message, the boxes I’d checked.

    So I may call in the morning. Or maybe I’ll just never buy another Sony movie again, and never buy anything relying on Ultraviolet again.

  2. For those of you on this page who all seem to be complete noobs, most ultraviolet codes can also be redeemed in iTunes. The major exception to that, would be Sony movies. So even though your movie might advertise as “Ultraviolet Digital Copy”, most of the time that same code will redeem right in iTunes.

    1. My movie is Sony so I can’t switch to iTunes. Sony is losing a lot of money in technology and getting out of a lot of electronics businesses. I remember when they put rootware out for DRM on their media 5-10 years ago. This made their customers vulnerable to being hacked and caused a huge backlash. Too bad for the company that invented a lot of consumer electronics, but poor management and horrible karma will do that to you.

  3. I got the extended edition of The Hobbit last night and I already don’t like UV. Why? It’s not because of the redeem, that really was no harder than a digital copy on iTunes (once I had the account). Simply because when I thought I’ll plug the hdmi cable in to my TV and watch the movie on a larger screen while doing some work around the house I got a nice little error telling me that wasn’t allowed due to the copy protection. I know that won’t matter once I actually own a blu-ray player again (last one was off and still got fried in a huge lightning storm we had) but it’s still annoying that I “own” something and can’t do with it as I wish despite not breaking any copyright or other laws in doing so.

  4. I know I’m late to the party, but can I share my Flixster hate, too? The only reason I selected Flixster as my Ultraviolet digital copy provider is because I happened to see that I had a Flixster app available on my X-Box 360. I recently bought the Blu-Ray boxset of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. It came with digital copy codes for all three movies. All three were added to my Flixster account and all three were available to watch through my X-Box 360 app. But today I go this for Shaun of the Dead… pic.twitter.com/n1BPPTXElO

    What the hell good is this service if they can’t provide it on the very apps they supposedly support?

  5. Also late to the party, but add me to the UV love fest. I think it kind of boils down to a lot of debates in the tech world, those of PC vs Mac. UV is like the PC, its more open, allows you to use it on all kinds of devices, but takes a little bit of learning up front. Mac … well of course iTunes is part of the Apple ecosystem, and if you like spending the premium for the Apple name everything is just dandy for you.

    The only Apple product I own is an older generation ipod touch I have in my car strictly for podcasts. Everything else are smart TV’s, Rokus, PS3, PS4, Xbox 1, Note 3, Galaxy Tab 3, etc. etc. All of those devices have a Vudu app, along with other UV apps like Flixter. NONE of those devices have an iTunes app, not a single one.

    Once you get UV setup, the redemption process as numerous others have pointed out is as easy as going to vudu.com –> redeem UV copy –> enter code. The movie is now tied to your vudu account and its in your UV locker so any other UV locker app can play it. Not to mention the disc to digital is the best thing since sliced bread. I converted a very large DVD and Blu-ray collection and have over 500 movies on my vudu account now.

    I have chapter stops, start, stop and resume on other devices, numerous filtering so I can sort my movies by genre, purchase time, alphabetical, tomatometer, and a few others. I’m sure iTunes has a lot of that same stuff, but again as a PC user my whole life, and someone that has just never bought into the Apple echo system (save for that one ipod touch I got in trade for a spare PSP I had) iTunes is just not user friendly for me.

    To each their own, but I love my vudu / UV collection.

  6. Honestly, just buy Blu-Ray, get a Blu-Ray burner drive for your desktop PC, and use the program Handbrake, a full-resolution (assuming you know how to use the program) version of the film, and it has preset ripping standards compatible with any device, including, and specifically, Apple TV.

  7. I also bought a copy of Pacific rim with the ultraviolet digital download and I tried to download it the day I bought it and I emailed their supposed help desk and they said if I sent them a picture of both of the dvds (I got the two disk pack), the cardboard shell it came in, the receipt and the plastic I sent it in they would maybe help me download it. And I didn’t have the plastic anymore. Last I checked when you paid for something you got what you paid for obviously uv thinks after you’ve paid you have to jump through hoops and then screw your customers over…

  8. I tried Ultraviolet, but every movie I download then stream always skips are get’s messed up and I have to restart it, not to mention I have an imac and iphone and if I had the itunes version I could watch it on any device I have. Instead half of my digital downloads are on a system I will never ever use, and I can’t just play it, like they suggest, I have to go to their website, log-in and then choose my movie, then have it glitch till I give up then I just don’t watch it. The only reason I like digital downloads is so I can take them with me on my iphone, which does not support ultraviolet viewing. There have been a few movies that have allowed either, that is what should be given to the consumer a choice! Now I have Amazing Spider-man, x-men first class, anchorman 2 among others I can’t watch because A, ultraviolet always messes up while I’m watching and B, because I can’t put these movies I BOUGHT, onto one of my devices, because the studio decided I shouldn’t have a choice.

  9. Another bad experience with UV. Purchased a BR copy of Monty Python’s Holy Grail. You know, from like 1974. I don’t have a BR player and took the chance that UV would work. Created accounts, entered the code and it showed up. Later that day when I tried to play it – the icon was there in the library- it said that the content had been removed. Why? No explanation. Maybe it works for you. It doesn’t for everyone.

    Bottom line is that a digital copy is not yours. Your 120 disk library or whatever is not yours and could go away at their whim. If you want to ditch UV and the rest, buy the DVDs, look into a Plex server and do it yourself.

    Of course the studios don’t want you to do that, though I’m certain their unrelenting greed will drive others to do same.

  10. I prefer UV over iTunes any day. The fact that you can’t watch UV movies with AppleTV is Apple’s fault, not UV’s. UV was created so that you could watch your digital content regardless of your hardware or operating system.

    Playback issues with UV movies usually stem from internet connection or network (modem/router) problems, not inherent flaws in the UV format.

    One other thing about UV that most people don’t know: Owning the UV license to a movie entitles you to a hard copy of that movie. This copy is usually provided when you purchase a disc/code combo, but if you buy a UV movie as an online digital purchase, you can request that you be provided with a physical copy. Some studios make this request easier to submit than others but it is still a major upside that I don’t think they present as well as they should. I don’t see iTunes mailing out any discs, do you?

  11. Flixster now works with Airplay to AppleTV.
    I may start collecting Sony and Warner movies that way.
    Annoying to have 2 libraries though.

    iOS8/Yosemite will allow sharing of 6 iTunes accounts, so that solves the multi-account libraries.

  12. I’m with the OP. The first time I tried to redeem a title, I followed the instructions on the redemption sheet (my first mistake) and went to the movie’s redemption page. I had to create a CinemaNow login I think, then I redeemed the code, then had to associate it to a Flixster account which I had to create. I now have CinemaNow, Flixter and Vudu accounts – none of the collections are in sync even though they are all Ultraviolet. Much of the artwork is different. Much of the genre classification is different. Then recently, I logged into uvvu.com and found that half my library is missing. There’s a friendly message that alerts me “This is your first visit since we redesigned the site. We know some of your titles are missing and we’re working on it, but trust us your stuff is all here.” (I’m paraphrasing obviously). It’s been over a week, still the same deal.

    The hand-offs between Ultraviolet and the retails are not clean and do not work well. Those of you with a single vudu.com, congratulations – it probably is fine for you. But for those of us who didn’t realize what we were getting into when wading into the digital copy “ecosystem”, it’s a confusing morass of multiple vendors/retailers, occasional redemption code snafus and an unreliable UV data platform. At one point I had 4 different versions of The Big Lebowski after redeeming it on Flixster. 3 had different artwork in uvvu.com, but Flixster had one copy that looked right. When I contacted support, I got an acknowledgement of the issue (after 3 days) and no promise or intent to fix it.

    Service is bad. Implementation is bad. It shouldn’t be this hard to simply redeem and access digital copies of movies I’ve already purchased.

    And should we even start on the morass of quasi-HD formats (not really) that comprise the digital copies you now have access to? Or that several titles are only SD even though you purchased a Blu-Ray? This system IS crap.

  13. Hmmm, my foray into UV again ended in disaster.
    Flixster does not play ROBOCOP, nor HD for that matter. Even the SD file looks horrible via Airplay.
    VUDU only works on Mac, and is an oversized file which stutters.
    No thank you.

  14. As a longtime lover supporter of all things digital my expert opinion is that UV is the best option for everybody unless you like ripping your discs or downloading torrents. ITunes is restrictive to Apple only and computers which alienates a lot of people and devices. I’ve recently begun ripping my collection thanks to PLEX which is literally one the best ways to enjoy movies via streaming I have ever come across. It is more time consuming that both ITunes & UV initially because it’s like building your own version of Vudu or Netflix from the ground up. The copious amount of options and almost universal compatibility make all the initial setups and time spent ripping your discs almost enjoyable. Once you are familiar with PLEX the ease of use and ability to share libraries will impress and compel. I rank these digital services as follows:

    1. NETFLIX – The buffet of streaming services that just keeps getting better and better.

    2: VUDU – Second to none in the UV world, 99.9% of all released films and TV shows are available here and are redeemable without headaches. http://www.vudu.com

    3. PLEX – This media server app for just about every platform on earth allows you to stream your ripped or downloaded content anywhere and everywhere. You can literally share the content with anybody you wish. It’s not just for movies and TV shows, but also home movies, pictures, music, audiobooks etc. Also, there are tons of channels available and constantly being developed that make this media server similar to Roku or Amazon FireTV cosmetically. Not to mention the fact that PLEX is also fully supported on the above mentioned devices and streams content flawlessly. I would recommend a cloud storage service to sync your media so that you do not need to have your PC’s constantly running to access all your content. I currently use Bitcasa as my storage server and it’s brilliant. The fact that a PC has to be running in-order for the content to be available is not really a negative if your normally have your PC running most of the time. It can be a bit taxing on your computer if you are doing a lot of multitasking, but if you have a good computer with powerful processors you shouldn’t have many issues. http://www.plex.tv

    4. AMAZON INSTANT VIDEO – This is a great service because Amazon is not going anywhere and you know you will always (well most of the time) have access to your stuff. I only had one negative experience with Amazon back in 2007 when I purchased the TV Show Journeyman from them and then Amazon lost the digital rights to the show because NBC discontinued it and I could no longer access it. I don’t fault Amazon though as they were sympathetic and did give me a digital credit for my loss. They are a similar ecosystem to ITUNES but in my opinion are more reliable and compatible with browsers and devices. I’ve yet to find a device that didn’t give me some way to access my Amazon instant video content.

    5. ITUNES – Truly a love hate relationship here, I’ve purchased a lot of content from them over the years and I can honestly say that their lack of platform compatibility with anything outside of the Apple ecosystem puts them at a disadvantage to just about every other service offering similar content. I’ve owned Ipod’s before, but never an Ipad or AppleTV. I’ve had an Iphone before but wouldn’t use a phone to watch a movie ever. So that kind of limits me to using the Itunes & Quicktime software on my PC and with so many other better more compatible options available unless you have a massive library of content I’d recommend switching over to any of the above options.

  15. So what it seems to come down to is this: People don’t like Ultraviolet (or iTunes) because it doesn’t really give you a choice. It locks you somehow into an ecosystem. It’s just that the Ultraviolet ecosystem is bigger and more cumbersome (if you are an Apple user.)

  16. To each his own, I am not a fan of UV, I am entrenched in Apple gear and have a huge iTunes library. I am not here to promote one over the other. I simply want to find movies that work on the format that I choose for myself. If that isn’t what you do, that’s ok too. Keep doing what you are doing, I won’t try to change your mind.

    What is confusing is that somehow a few years back when I first signed up for Vudu/UV/Flixster and redeemed a code there, it would also show up in my iTunes library. That stopped a while back, but it did happen, I did not have duplicate codes for each service, but I have copies of several movies in both libraries.

    Either way, I think we as the consumer should have a choice as to which format we want to use and if that means not buying Blu-Rays from a particular retailer because they don’t sell the digital version I want, then fine. The problem that I find is that most of the big retailers around my area north of Dallas where we regularly shop stopped selling anything that has iTunes codes.

    Ok great, so where do I go to my hands on a physical copy of a movie that does have iTunes codes? My wife works for the Disney Store and all the movies she gets from there have iTunes codes, but I cannot find any place else that has anything other than discs with UV codes anymore and I would like to watch movies from other studios as well.

    Anyone have any experience with places that do sell them with iTunes codes? I would rather let my money do the talking and buy from them.

    1. It’s not the retailers that aren’t offering iTunes, it’s the manufacturers/studios that are deciding Uv, iTunes, or both like Disney…

  17. Here is the problem with UV. This is not an iTunes thing, or an Apple-being-all-controlling thing. The studios are not providing a file with which the end user can do with as they please. This is not a digital copy. It’s access to your movie via a closed system. A few years ago the digital copy keys used to give you an option of how you wanted your file delivered. I always opted for an iTunes compatible file.

    As it stands now I am ripping the DVD that came with my LEGO Movie and will import the MPEG4 file in to my library. If there is a movie I want both on disc and digitally I will purchase a bluray/DVD combo and will rip the DVD copy. Simple as that.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t iTunes movies also drm’d and for added bonus they just give you a single option for playback, iTunes.

      UV movies, while drm’d, give you several playback options so you can pick and choose which one works best on which platform (also not really an option with iTunes since iTunes isn’t available on most platforms) or just stick with the one if you don’t want to deal with choices.

  18. It is not illegal to rip a movie that you own and not sell copies. It’s when you sell the copies that it becomes illegal. Use MakeMKV to rip the blu ray then compress it to a manageable <10GB using handbrakes constant quality function set from 18-20. This is a million times better than UltraGarbage and you can use Plex or iTunes to stream your movies depending on if you use handbrake to convert to mp4 while compressing or not. UltraViolet is just another way for these companies to make money off of people like you.

  19. As far as the Ultraviolet folks are concerned, I don’t exist. This is because I live in the Isle of Man.

    Ultraviolet does not allow downloads here, but they are still happy to sell DVDs in all the shops plastered in Ultraviolet marketing. Great.

    iTunes is overpriced (selling stuff you normally find for £3 in the bargain bin for full price etc), and personally I think their HD quality is subpar… but at least it works.

    Mind you, Google Play forgot we existed for quite a while too, resulting in it being impossible to download paid Android apps on the Play store.

    Ultraviolet would do well to wake up and stop treating their potential customers as second class citizens.

  20. I was totally in your position about a year ago had Apple TVs all around the house and was using codes on my discs in iTunes, but it seemed to be getting rarer to get an iTunes option so I just had to adapt and try out uv. Which is no easy option when you live in the uk and we don’t get vudu and so on. Anyway been using it for a year now and I love it. It took me a while as I had to make an American iTunes account to get the vudu app and pay for an unblock to allow me to access it on my ps3, but I’ve had no problems at all I redeem my codes through vudu unless it doesn’t have that promotion but all I do is redeem it through sony pictures or cinemanow. The quality in vudu is amazing with ultra hd. And as for someone saying you can’t watch offline I do it all the time! The vudu iPad app lets you download your movies and the mac app does. Yes I wish I could just use my Apple TV but I have to be realistic that is never going to happen so if I was you I would just bite the bullet and get on with it because I can’t see it changing anytime soon uv is fast becoming the only way to redeem a digital movie.

    1. I also forgot to mention vudu does a disc to digital service that I have used many times order more than 10 and they are only $1 each for the ultra hd option I think that is a bargain as most if my DVDs aren’t hd. I have a friend in America that offers a disc to digital service he has hundreds of blu ray films he will put into vudu for me and charges $0.75 for every film he puts in. So all in all it’s $1.75 per film. After charges it works out at £1 per film. I think that is really cheap I’m converting all my DVDs to uv and selling my DVDs that’s how much I like uv.

  21. I’ve never had a single problem with watching ripped or purchased movies on my Apple TV or iPad but this week, we decided to take all these purple Blu-ray inserts and set up an Ultraviolet library.

    Half of them didn’t work because we’re in Canada (watch anywhere!!!) and the other half were maddeningly tedious to set up through Flixster and multiple accounts.

    Tonight, I logged to uvvu.com tonight and it says there are 0 items in My Library. I’ve sent an email but am beyond frustrated at how much time I’ve spent on this. An iTunes digital copy takes two clicks and a few minutes. Needless to say, I am DONE with Ultraviolet.

  22. Agreed the multiple format thing is a pain in the ass! But for me, the worst part about UV is the fact that it just doesn’t work! I can add UV movies to my UV account, but I can’t stream them to watch them – it either doesn’t work, or if it does it stops and starts, or the audio gets out of sync. It semi-works if you spend the time downloading the whole movie to the device, but that’s less than ideal! But you still get playback problems, and it doesn’t remember where you are up to if you stop the movie. In short UV is a total pain in the ass! I really don’t understand why they are driving a competing format, when it offers no advantages, certainly doesn’t outperform Apple’s format, and is seen as a F-U to the customer! I’d much rather have an ITunes code any day. I’ve actively gone out of my way to avoid purchasing UV titles now – it’s not like they won’t do another rerelease down the track anyway, with more features etc.

  23. I despise ultraviolet for that same reason! Let the consumer choose the format – don’t shove it down our throats.

  24. I never really did much with the digital copy and thought UV was just a fancy name for digital copy. I have a 2 year old, and we have finally started traveling with her, so I bought a 1st generation ipad for her with a lot of memory so I could load it up with movies. iTunes no problem and the first 4 movies I purchase had an iTunes code, then I ordered the Lego movie and dispicable me 2 with an UltraViolet copy, or should I call it UltraViolent copy. After jumping through all the hoops loading programs, signing up, activating codes, I attempted to download it onto my daughter’s old ipad…that is where the wheels fell off and I lost my sh*t. I still have found no way to make it work, and have become so enraged, I want to throttle these people for making these children’s movies so difficult to manage! I will never bother with another UV copy again! And they have made one really pissed off mom!

  25. I’ve read many of these comments and my issue is with my downloaded movies on Flixster. All my UV movies are there, but all the ones I have downloaded to my computer to view off line no longer work. I’ve spent several hours trying to resolve the issue with no luck. Watching my movies on-line isn’t an option. I have to rely on cellular data and streaming eats that up.

    I travel a lot for work and as anyone knows, trying to download movie files eats up data. I purposely buy movies that come with digital copies so I can watch them anytime. Hard to do with UV and little to no wifi service, when your downloaded copies fail to work.

    I like iTunes for this reason, your digital copies are downloads, you can view them with no internet connection.

    For those that feel like there is no way to play iTunes movies on their TV without an apple TV are wrong. If you use a newer laptop it should have HDMI, enough said. If you have a desktop computer, a little harder, but there are still ways to do it.

    I don’t think that there is one that is better than the other. It depends on the user! I feel both sides could come together to make the digital movie market more enjoyable. Isn’t that why we buy movies in the first place?

    1. I’ve watch tonnes of dl’d movies through Flixster but as other people have mentioned, Flixster is at the bottom for user friendly UV apps. Luckily, being UV, you have a choice of provider. If in the US use VuDu, I prefer CinemaNow over Flixster for playback in Canada.

  26. UV is another way for retailers to suck more than money from their unlucky customers.
    When you buy a car the manufacturer doesn’t restrict where you can get gas.
    When you buy clothes the maker doesn’t restrict what laundry detergent you can use.
    But, for some fucked up reason the Target executives think its okay to sell us something and then still control our actions with OUR PROPERTY!!!
    I used to buy DVDs all the time but, because so many distributors are now joining the UV bandwagon, I just don’t buy them anymore.
    I know it isn’t going to make one ounce of difference with the Target, Warner Brothers or whomever but there is a thing called principle…besides, movies are fun but they ain’t necessary.
    I haven’t bought a DVD in over two years now and guess what?
    I am doing just fine.

    Ultra-Violet is just another way for corporate America to make us their bitch but, in the end, they can’t make you their bitch unless you let them.

  27. ultraviolet are the worst of the worst…… simple…. the sooner this service is terminated the better, their customer service is a joke, they think its funny to lose your stuff and when you complain they struggle to even respond….. must be run by a barrel load of retarded monkeys looking to take over the world.. jokers

  28. I love ultraviolet and the Vudu service…zero issues 28th it here.

    I don’t buy any media through iTunes ever anymore ….ever.

  29. A lot more feedback thank I expected. TLDR: UV sucks. iTunes, Amazon, and Google want to provide the media but keep you walled in – aka vendor lock in. UV is backed by the movie studios and they want to restrict how you watch “your” media.

    Bottom line, DRM doesn’t work and just pushes people to torrent a digital copy of the movie they own. Much easier to obtain, plays anywhere, and no fuss.

  30. I tried signing up for Ultraviolet in the early days, just because i bought a bluray and of course have a digital copy that is mine, bought and paid for. But the sign up process was complex, and ultimately didn’t work. I had to sign up to 2 different sites and it just didn’t work. I gave up. Itunes movies are great, because they just work, across my network, from the cloud, whatever. People buy into the iTunes ecosystem because it is consumer friendly, not DRM rights holder friendly. If i buy blurays now, i go out of my way to buy a version that does not include an ultraviolet download.

    1. Why is it so hard for iTuners to understand, the UV system split delivery from storage so that you are not locked into a single ecosystem.

      UV itself is just the storage provider, the delivery is through whatever service or services you want, VuDu, CinemaNow, Flixster, Cineplex, whatever floats your boat. So all you need to do is create a UV account to create your cloud storage and then create an account through whichever provider you like the best. Vudu even does both for you with a single account creation process.

      This helps get around problems like when Apple decides out of the blue to discontinue a product and suddenly you need to upgrade hardware to continue to view your movies like you always did. Or when they suddenly stop supporting OSes and you suddenly find that you have to upgrade a perfectly good PC just to watch “The Expendables”. That’s much less likely to happen with UV since there are so many playback options; if one stops working for whatever reason you can always try another.

      Most smart devices sold in the last few years come with some form of UV playback service already installed. TVs, blu-ray players, gaming systems, Android phones and tablets, Apple phones and tablets, all can play UV movies. You can also have multiple people on multiple accounts all adding and playing back from the same library. Can the same be said for iTunes?

      I can’t even seem to create an iTunes account without installing the software from hell on my computer. I can, however create an account and watch all the UV movies I want without ever installing anything.

  31. After reading all of this I’m convinced there is something wrong with how UV interacts with apple equipment. My guess is apple makes sure UV will be a bad experience to keep people buying from itunes. all I know for sure is UV works great for me…..zero issues…over 1,000 movies plus tv shows, but I don’t have anything branded apple.

  32. There are many reason why UV is superior to iTunes, but the main reason is price.

    With UV, I have never paid more than $3.50 for a movie. Why? Because it is an open system, you can shop around. With iTunes, you have to pay their price. However, i can go to uvgrab to get sale items, or buy it cheap from Walmart or Target or Bestbuy (the list goes on). I can also D2D movies I already own for $2.50 for a HD version.

  33. UV is just a terrible service and I have never seen a UV movie that is Hi Def .They could not sell the service so now it’s free when you buys the combo packs . it’s also illegal to sell the codes that come with the combo packs now .It’s all a bunch of horseshit . No wonder pirating is on the increase.I can do without the combo packs myself too but just the blu ray edition on it’s own is getting hard to find unless you wait.

  34. I realize I’m super late on this one, but there are two ways to watch UV movies on your TV. First, some Blu-Ray players have the VUDU app, which lets you watch UV movies on tv. Second, Chromcast also has a VUDU app.

    Personally, for the iPad, I prefer the VUDU app to the Flixter app. Also, there’s a VUDU app for the Mac that lets you download copies to it. It’s not the world’s greatest app, and I much prefer iTunes, but it’s pretty good. I have all the original Star Trek movies and almost all my Godzilla movies on VUDU UV.

  35. What I find annoying is Ultraviolet no-where on any packaging says you have to deal with Flixter – I refuse to deal with that bunch… Ultraviolet is a total waste of time for anyone who won’t deal with flixter.

    1. What makes you think you have to deal with Flixster? Just use Vudu or CinemaNow or in Canada, Cineplex. Places like Vudu allow you to redeem any UV code regardless where the insert that came with your disc says you should go to redeem it.

      You can easily redeem and then DL or stream any UV movie without ever installing the Flixster app or going to their site.

  36. Actually there are many ways to watch UV on your tv. The best way is thru any streaming box, they all have UV accept Apple tv and I would recommend Roku.

    And on Flixster, why do you think you have to use them? That’s whats nice about UV, although I’m sure some love Flixster, if you don’t, go to one of the many other UV venders till you find the right fit, for me that’s Vudu, specifically thru my Roku 3…..highly recommended.

  37. Nope your not alone, it’s NOT one of my BEST LIKE APP. I LIKE VUDU BETTER. The rest I don’t use unless I have to but I don’t like any of them. Best of luck, lets hope someday there will only be VUDU.

  38. I was sold on UV, and was beginning to convert disc 2 digital, until external drives became so cheap. I’ve backed up exact disc images (no compression) of my physical collection and can mount them and watch via PC to TV, or still convert and stream. This is preferable to losing menus (an art form themselves) and extras that come with a disc.

    As for UV vs Apple, UV is the better ecosystem to be logged into, I think, as it doesn’t tie you two a particular device or software. The “U” should stand for “Universal”.

  39. I just want to add my personal pet peeve about UV I like the service in general, I’m not asking for sympathy when I say this but I’m also dyslexic (thank god for spell checkers) I always end up retyping those fracking long codes in 2 or 3 times. my question is, Why are the codes not also printed as QRC or just plain bar codes for easy entry? can someone answer that?

  40. And what happens to all my UV movies that I paid for if UV goes belly up? At least the digital copies I have purchased and saved on iTunes are on my hard drive, recallable at any time.

    1. You can also dl all your UV movies and save them to your HD, SD card, whatever. You also can play them back on a variety of devices and multiple apps and not just through iTunes.

      Just ask people running WinXP how well iTunes movies are working out for them. iTunes recently changed their encryption requirements so people running XP are being cut off from iTunes. For them to playback their movies requires an OS update on the PC.

  41. I recently purchased ‘” The White Queen ” Blue Ray Disc which also gave me digital copies with it.
    I had to redeem them at UV. The story is long and arduous, but after weeks of trying and contacting not only UV, but STARZ as well, I finally got my copies into my UV Library. Attempted adding my library and devices to FLIXTER, VUDU, CINEPLEX, SONY PICTURES, and somewhere else I can not even remember at the moment was so hard it would take NASA Scientists to figure it out. It says they are there and linked and device is activated but they just will not play on any device. I bought the blu ray specifically for the digital copies to be able to watch on a trip. i could have just purchased the iTUNES and grabbed them before I left and should have. If any movie studio is watching this blog, be aware, it is itunes only for me from this point on.
    I ended up having a good friend rip the episodes from my blue ray disk for me and put them on my ipad
    as .mp4. Now I can watch the episodes anywhere I damn well please. Problem solved. No more anything related to Ultra Violet for this gal. The disks stay in the store.

  42. In my opinion, the worst scourge on earth is the Instawatch from Walmart. I bought Interstellar with Instawatch, and redeemed it with the app, and a week later I have no movie. Vudu always works for me. I use Vudu and it is extremely easy, and I absolutely hate crApple anything. I do not find and of their devices to be intuitive at all. In fact, they are quite difficult! LOL! And I HATE iTunes. I got that iTunes infection on my PC and ended up having to upgrade to Windows 8 to get rid of it. What a steaming pile of slow, confusing, crap software. I was forced to use it for a class. It took hours to install, and it would not uninstall. To me, that is a virus. I avoid it like the plague. But, where is my Interstellar? Damnit! Walmart ripped me off!

  43. Never tried instawatch but it sounds like they are still working out the kinks. I agree, UV is so easy. Go to Vudu and set up an account, when it asks if you need a UV account check mark yes (assuming you are just getting started with UV) and it will automatically set it up with the same log in…….You are done. No need to go anyplace else. Enter all codes at Vudu…

    1. None of that helps us on the Isle of Man, where we are sold discs featuring UV, but are not allowed to use the service (and I can see no readily apparent reason why this should be the case considering we are considered as part of the UK for most things these days).

      I will carry on using the Apple film store until UV get their act in gear and stop treating us like we don’t exist!

  44. So if I want Pacific Rim in digital form, I either have to buy it a second time on iTunes, watch the movie on a Flixster/UltraViolet compatible device or illegally rip a copy from the disc I purchased.

    From where I’m standing, it seems like the problem is the AppleTV not having an Ultraviolet movie playing app. What about the issue of only being able to watch iTunes content in iTunes? (except they have DRM free music now thank goodness)

  45. Ultraviolet is the worse yet! I am a Canadian, and I am not allowed to watch my movies that I buy in the USA in Canada. I live in the USA 6 months and Canada the other 6 months. They will not do anything for me regarding this matter.

    1. Have you tried the CinemaNow app? I live in Canada and I routinely buy digital movies from Vudu so they are the American versions (license-wise). Flixster has issues playing back a lot of the recent titles (older titles seems to work) but CinemaNow doesn’t complain at all.

      I don’t know if CinemaNow considers any license valid for North America good while Flixster only validates the country you’re in but I know it works for me.

  46. Ultraviolet and Flixster are THE WORST!!! Getting access to your content is next to impossible. LET’S GET A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT GOING!!!

Comments are closed.