UltraViolet is a cloud-based library where you can store your digital possessions. To put it simply it is a new way to collect, access and watch your movies and favourite television shows in the cloud across many different devices from computes, smartphones and tablets. It was launched in the UK on 26th December 2011 with the release of 'Final Destination 5' and since then there have been a number of other retailers and companies beginning to adopt it which include Warner Bros. through Flixster, Paramount, Universal, Sony and Walmart Entertainment with Asda in the UK soon to come on board.
How UltraViolet works
Eager to fully understand the whole UltraViolet experience I decided to try it out for myself with my first UltraViolet enabled Blu-Ray Triple Play pack which was Happy Feet Two. If a Blu-Ray is UltraViolet enabled it will have a label on it with the UV logo and code inside which serves as a digital "proof of purchase". In order to redeem a digital copy you have to follow the instructions on where to go online to redeem it. As Happy Feet Two is a Warner Bros. movie it uses Flixster so you go to http://www.flixster.com/ultraviolet/ click on Redeem and then select the movie. If it is your first time using the service you will be prompted to set up a Flixster and UltraViolet account, you then enter in the code and your movie will be stored in your online Locker in the cloud where you have the option of downloading it on to a device such as your iPad or smart phone or streaming it directly to your device or television using Apple TV.
Setting up an UltraViolet account and collection does not cost anything as it is included with your UltraViolet movie and / or television show purchase. You can set up multiple devices and add up to six members to your account which is useful for families. You can also set up parental controls for individual members in your account which is great if you plan on letting your kids have their own account. Obviously if watching downloaded (local) copies there is no limit to the number of different UltraViolet movies and TV shows that shared Account Members can watch at any one time, but if streaming the limit is three streams at the same time.
UltraViolet pros and cons
I have to say my experience of using UltraViolet so far has been good. As a parent of a young child it comes in useful for long car trips as I can easily and quickly load up my iPad with movies to keep my son entertained. Streaming works great too with minimal effort required, you just load an app, select a movie and click 'watch' and hey presto it is available. The downside at the moment is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of movies available but hopefully this will start to change as more new movies get released and retailers and companies start adopting UltraViolet more. I would also like to be able to purchase the digital copy alone as I do not see the need for the physical copy if it available to stream and download from the cloud when and where I want it which unfortunately does not seem to be an option just yet and I do wonder why? I will be interested to see how UltraViolet is received in the UK and whether people will see storing their movies and television shows in the cloud as a good thing and begin to use it. Personally, I think it is great and will definitely continue to make use of it.
- Arts & Entertainment