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Have You Used Digital Copy?

When you buy a Blu-ray/DVD bundle these days, chances are it also comes with something called Digital Copy. This is just what the name says—a digital copy of the movie to put on your computer's hard drive or NAS (network-attached storage) so you can watch it on other authorized devices in your entertainment ecosystem, subject to the copy's DRM (digital-rights management) provisions and compatibility with various platforms.

Have you used Digital Copy with titles you've purchased? If so, do you find it to be a useful feature?

Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.

Have You Used Digital Copy?

mweston's picture

When you download an ultrviolet movie, what are the specifications? Is it 1080P or 1080i or 720/7.1 or 5.1 or plain stereo?

Kris Deering's picture
Doesn't seem to be any set standard yet for UV movies. I know all of the iTunes based digital copies have been SD so far. BUT, Apple has recently matched those titles if you stream them on a Mac or through Apple TV. So if you have a library of digital copies and have an Apple TV box, you can stream the titles (with the exception of Fox and Universal titles at the moment) in full 1080p and 5.1. The Roku boxes have the Flixster application on them, which should allow streaming of UV titles, but I don't know what kind of quality you get from them. I know the downloads in Flixster from your UV collection are SD.
notabadname's picture

I try to limit blu-ray purchases to ones with digital copy. Great benefit if you have kids and iPads or iPod Touches. Once we have viewed the blu-ray on the home theater, I make it available (the digital copy) to the kids via their devices. We have an extensive "digital" library now as a result. Probably about 80 of my 250 blu-rays had this feature.

Mrlee41's picture

I will download the digital copy, only because I do have some blu-ray disc which came with digital copy that I did not download and the digital copy expired. So I can never use that code. So now I download them just so I will have the copy, who knows what I may find useful later!

fcapra1's picture

I think digital copies are great so I can take movies on the go on my laptop. What I don't get is why they expire. In most cases, you pay extra for this feature; so I want a guarantee that my code will work no matter when get the movie. I have purchased older releases with the hopes of getting that digital copy only to find out the code has expired. This happened with my Lord of The Rings bluray set. I was not happy. I know this is some way to cut down on piracy, but it doesn't work. If I pay for it, it better damn well work!

bmoss's picture

if the price is the same or close we buy movies with Digital Copy. Recently bought a move that came with UltraViolet. It was not a good experience. They want their own app both on your computer as well as your iOS device. I know they want DRM and iTunes has DRM but was disappointed with UV forcing their own DRM and apps.
p.s. I emailed tech support and they sent me an iTunes code. So I was good but probably not so in the future.

JustinGN's picture

Yes, I've used Digital Copy a few times before. The first time was with Speed Racer (BD), and I chose the "Plays For Sure" Windows Media Video version (wmv). To be honest, it did play for sure - on my Windows PCs only, until I imported a compatible device from Taiwan (at which point I could view it on the go). It was not compatible with the Microsoft Zune or my Windows Mobile 6 device.

After that, I largely gave the codes to friends with lots of Apple gear as gifts. I got my shiny Blu-Ray, they got a lower-resolution digital download for free; not a bad deal, though knowing Hollywood, I likely broke several EULAs and TOS agreements by doing so.

Let's just say, now that the new iPad and AppleTV support H.264 HP@4.1, I have my own methods of obtaining a digital copy from my Blu-Ray discs.

David Vaughn's picture
UltraViolet's launch has been a train wreck thus far. Universal is the best studio with its Digital Copies because they give you the choice iTunes and UV, whichever you'd like, unlike Warner and Sony.
Kris Deering's picture
I'm with you there Dave. It is really frustrating that these studios used to support one method and now all of the sudden they don't. All the hoops you have to jump through are a total put off too. Once I got Flixster to work properly it hasn't been too bad but only the Sony and Warner titles work for downloading. The Paramount titles require an internet connection and different software, which is useless to me when I'm on travel. I really wish everyone would adopt Universal's stance if they are going to go forward with digital copies and provide the option to use whatever solution you want. iTunes is just SO much easier to deal with.
David Vaughn's picture
Kris, another issue is all the different passwords that you need. One for each of the studios, plus your UV password as well. I'm not an Apple fanboy by any stretch (I'm a PC guy who owns an iTouch), but iTunes works very good and its easy to get movies into your library and like you, I don't want to have to have an Internet connection in order to watch a movie.
msardo's picture

I have a few Blu-Rays with Digital Copy and so far I have not used the Digital Copy thing at all b/c I like viewing such titles on Blu-Ray in their finest HD picture and high resolution sound quality!

For kicks, I have two different recent Blu-Rays with UV and decided to see what it would be like to setup and use these. One I had to register/setup through UV/Paramount and the other through UV/Flixster (if I remember correctly) - the point is that I had to set these up via two completely different websites. I found it rather cumbersome and clunky - to say the least. Then, and I have a good high speed connection that works just fine for Netflix and Vudu streaming, I found the UV playback to be of a very inferior quality.

Mark, from Upstate New York
aka - "Son"

Ovation123's picture

I find them useful to carry on my laptop or my wife's iPad when we're traveling and don't have access to internet for streaming Netflix. A nice convenience but I don't go out of my way looking for it. Also, I've found, so far, that all my titles with "expired codes" (some going back to 2009) still load today (I just expanded my HD space for iTunes and put a bunch of these digital copies into it--doesn't seem to matter which studio, so far).

TheJoBoo's picture

Having made the switch to iTunes some time ago, I have personally put my foot down on Ultraviolet, specifically towards Warner Brothers. WB was a huge part of bringing costs down on DVDs. Yet, with the streaming age, they seem to be one of the greediest players in town. UV is a great idea, if studios and hardware companies, like Apple, had joined BEFORE it launched. Instead, it was brought to market half-baked, much like Blu-ray, HD-DVD and Divx. At least now studios are offering Blu-ray titles with UV and genuine digital copies.