UltraViolet passes million download mark
Hollywood's movies-in-the-cloud service sprockets up
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 supplied the subscriber-base estimate, reckons were purchased and downloaded from the likes of Apple's iTunes and Microsoft's Xbox Live in 2011, let alone the 504m DVDs and Blu-ray Discs that were sold in the States during the year.
UV provides punters with the ability to download free copies of films they've bought on disc, the notion being that this will remove at least one of the barriers to buying optical media: if you want to watch it on a different device, you have to rip the disc, nick a digital copy off the net, or buy it again.
Content can be bought online too, allowing you to dispense with the disc altogether. UV will remember your purchases, so you can download or stream them whenever you want to - it's not a one-off process.
UV is vendor agnostic too. Buy a movie from Paramount's UV-based online store, say, and you should be able to view it on Warner's tablet app.
Purchasing is one thing, but digital movie rentals have considerably outpaced digital purchases in all of the past three years, IHS' figures show. It estimates there were more than three rentals for every purchase in 2011.
That's thanks to aggressive promotion of streaming services by the likes of Netflix and by iTunes' rentals, all of which eat into movie companies' sales revenues. ®
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.