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Old 04-07-2012, 03:09 PM   #616
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DECE UltraViolet: Digital Content Game Changer for 2012

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CommNexus has invited key members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) open consortium to talk about their role for the launch of a new consumer media service. Each panel member will review their role in the initiative and discuss the benefits to consumers and insight into the long term opportunities. DECE is an open consortium including Most Major Movie Studio’s, Consumer Electronics Manufacturers, Retailers, and Streaming Media companies. The initiative, dubbed “UltraViolet” allows consumers to purchase a movie, store it in a digital ”cloud” and retrieve it in a variety of options to various devices without purchasing a DVD/BluRay disc. The excitement is mounting as members of the consortium prepare for the launch in 2012.
Long, involved, April 3rd Ultraviolet video presentation, including Mitch Singer.

Interesting that the MC was a patent attorney. Even more interesting that the summary says launch is in 2012.



http://www.commnexus.org/programs/sp...t_20120307.php
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Warner Bros, on Ultraviolet - "We recognize that the product is not perfect today,” Mr. Tsujihara said. “We don’t have the luxury of waiting a year until we have everything perfect.”

Last edited by mikemorel; 04-07-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:19 PM   #617
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VUDU/UltraViolet FAQs

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VUDU/UltraViolet FAQs

1. What is UltraViolet?
a. UltraViolet is a new movie industry standard that allows you to put your movies in the cloud. It is also the only place that will keep a permanent record of all your movie purchases so you can build your digital movie collection safely and securely. With UltraViolet, you can now easily access your movies any time, any place on your favorite connected devices, including your TV. UltraViolet titles can be redeemed on VUDU accounts starting 4/16/2012.

2. What is the Disc to Digital program?
a. The Disc to Digital program is an in-store operation powered by Walmart that allows customers to convert their old discs into digital copies on their UltraViolet and VUDU accounts, also allowing customers to upgrade their old discs into HDX copies on their VUDU account. The program launches in Walmart stores on 4/16/2012.

3. How many VUDU accounts can I sync to my UltraViolet ? account?
a. You can sync up to 2 VUDU accounts to an UltraViolet account.

4. How many UltraViolet accounts can I sync to my VUDU account?
a. You can only sync 1 UltraViolet account to a VUDU account.

5. If I purchase a movie to own on VUDU, will it automatically be added to my UV account?
a. As long as the movie is available for UltraViolet redemption and your VUDU and UltraViolet accounts are linked together, the title should be added and accessible through both your UltraViolet locker and VUDU account. Look for the UltraViolet logo to see if a movie is UltraViolet-compatible.

6. How many movies can I stream on VUDU at once through my UltraViolet account?
a. You are able to have 3 simultaneous streams on VUDU from your UltraViolet account.

7. Does it cost me to watch my UltraViolet movies on VUDU?
a. No, streaming movies from your UltraViolet account on VUDU does not cost anything.

8. How much does it cost to convert a DVD or Blu-ray? to Digital and add it to my UltraViolet locker and VUDU account?
a. $2 per DVD to convert to Standard Definition (?SD?) on VUDU and $5 per DVD to upgrade to High Definition with Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound (?HDX?) on VUDU. $2 per Blu-Ray to convert to HDX. This can only be done in Walmart stores.

9. Which studios are supporting UltraViolet?
a. The studios supporting UltraViolet include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

10. Why do I have to create an UltraViolet account?
a. Disc to Digital is an UltraViolet program backed by many of the world's leading entertainment and technology companies and offered by Walmart. Creating a free UltraViolet account is a necessary step to initiate the Disc-to-Digital program. Once you create your UltraViolet account, any movies from participating studios that you purchase electronically on VUDU, including any past purchases, will be automatically registered within your UltraViolet cloud at no extra charge to you. You will also be able to redeem UltraViolet e-copies offered on selected physical DVD and Blu-ray discs offered by participating studios.

11. Can I use VUDU to access UltraViolet movies that I purchased at other retailers and/or redeemed on other services?
a. Yes, you can stream and or download any UltraViolet movies on VUDU, at no extra charge to you, regardless of where they were purchased, provided that: 1) you have registered those movies in your UltraViolet account and 2) VUDU has a licensing relationship with the participating studio or distributor.

12. Why aren?t all of my movies available for Disc-to-Digital conversion?
a. The list of movies available for Disc-to-Digital conversion is comprised of titles from studios that are participating in the UltraViolet program that have been legally cleared for digital distribution. We expect the number of titles available for Disc-to-Digital conversion to grow over time.


13: When I take my discs in to be converted, will I need to 'trade' them in for the digital copies or do I get to keep my discs?

A. You get to keep your discs. They will be marked with a special stamp in the center of the disc, but the stamp will not affect the playback of the disc (merely to track it so no one else can redeem the same physical disc to their UV/VUDU account).

14: Will UltraViolet allow me to take my purchased movies out of the country or am I still only allowed to watch within the USA?

A. This depends on the partner that is streaming the UV content. Keep in mind that UV is simply a digital locker that stores movies that can be streamed on multiple different platforms. In the case of a customer trying to watch a UV movie on VUDU, no, they would not be able to view this movie outside of the USA.


15: If I decide I want to redeem my UltraViolet title for another service (like iTunes store), will I have to pay extra or can I just move it over from VUDU?

A. If you redeem a movie to an UltraViolet account, it automatically becomes available on every service that is attached to their UV account. For example, if I redeem “Forrest Gump” to my UltraViolet account, which is attached to my VUDU account and another UV account, the movie will show up in both..

Last edited by sbuberl; 04-07-2012 at 05:39 PM. Reason: Vudu updated the FAQs
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #618
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In 2007, studios thought they had a decade to develop UltraViolet. Turns out they did not.
True.

Without a doubt OD sell through is far worse than anyone would have guessed even just a few years back.

There are multiple studios quoted as expecting Blu-ray to make up for DVDs decline. That did not happen. Q1 may be the first quarter that that has EVER happened, but that is with a massive increase in BO strength and with DVD doing the heavy lifting of stemming the decline.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #619
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In 2007, studios thought they had a decade to develop UltraViolet. Turns out they did not.
They havent exactly been rushing imo. It all still seems like a half ass attempt. Wmv and itunes dc
failed to entice buyers. Uv seems to be better and as an added bonus studios now have a format with the ultimate drm.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:09 PM   #620
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Originally Posted by DonnyDC View Post
They havent exactly been rushing imo. It all still seems like a half ass attempt. Wmv and itunes dc
failed to entice buyers. Uv seems to be better and as an added bonus studios now have a format with the ultimate drm.
I agree the studios don't seem to be rushing so much as they are stumbling. I truly believe that they were caught off guard and tried some interesting tactics to boost OD sell through, to no avail. Now they are forced to rush R & D with UV and look extremely like chickens with their head off.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:05 PM   #621
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I agree the studios don't seem to be rushing so much as they are stumbling. I truly believe that they were caught off guard and tried some interesting tactics to boost OD sell through, to no avail. Now they are forced to rush R & D with UV and look extremely like chickens with their head off.
That could be very well true.

It also clearly could be the case the case that the studios are also trying to do the UltraViolet rollout in a manner that does not cannibalize or accelerate the existing profitable physical sell through revenue stream and are looking at it as a more long term option at this time.

The studios and retailers are also not monolithic and they have different levels of interests and undoubtedly disagree on the pace and method of supporting UltraViolet as well.

The less risky initial phase is to roll out UltraViolet first as a support and a bonus to make physical sell through more attractive and over time have it available to those that more and more want to move away from disc to an all digital cloud based option.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:12 AM   #622
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Is Fox facing a blackout on iCloud and UltraViolet?

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And then there was one.

With Universal reaching an agreement with HBO to relax contract rules limiting cloud-based distribution of movies during their pay-TV window, Fox is now the only studio that faces restrictions for its titles on Apple’s iCloud and UltraViolet.

Fox and HBO are still working on an adjustment to their long-term agreement that would allow digital storage and access of Fox titles on these cloud services during their pay TV window. Access generally starts six months after DVD release and extends anywhere from 12-18 months. (Depending on the deal and the movie, films can also later re-enter second and third pay TV windows.)

But the clock is ticking. On Monday, Walmart will launch a retail promotion campaign designed to kickstart the struggling UltraViolet cloud initiative — and all the studios were supposed to be aboard. (Update: Disney is not in the consortium backing UltraViolet, a fact not mentioned in this report earlier.)

That’s when Hollywood’s major studios will make about 4,000 titles available for UltraViolet storage. But Fox’s 10-year, $1 billion pay TV deal with HBO, signed in 2007, will limit its participation in UltraViolet. The studio-backed initiative offers DVD and Blu-ray purchasers a cloud-based digital copy of the movie they just bought, as well as films they already have in their disc library.

Those who purchase Fox movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes on iTunes will be similarly affected, with access to iCloud restricted (see lower left hand corner of the embedded photo). Put simply, when Fox movies enter their various pay TV windows, they will be blacked out from the cloud.

Last year, Warner Bros., which like HBO, is also owned by Time Warner, worked out an adjustment to its HBO contract whereby consumers who purchased the studio’s films prior to their entry into the pay TV window could still access and store their bounty in iCloud and UltraViolet during the blackout period.

On Monday, paidContent confirmed a Mac Rumors report that Universal was able to get HBO to agree to a similar allowance.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #623
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Last year, Warner Bros., which like HBO, is also owned by Time Warner, worked out an adjustment to its HBO contract whereby consumers who purchased the studio’s films prior to their entry into the pay TV window could still access and store their bounty in iCloud and UltraViolet during the blackout period.
That small adjustment makes a big difference. There is one thing not to get access in the first place, its totally a different perceived difference and issue when you grant access and then take it back and restrict it and take it away for any length of time.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:46 AM   #624
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4,000-Plus Titles Available in Walmart Disc-to-Digital Program

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ROSEMEAD, Calif. — More than 4,000 movies from five major studios will be available under Walmart’s disc-to-digital program when it launches at more than 3,500 stores April 16, with the retailer and the studios supporting the initiative with a major ad campaign, including print and TV and in-store signage. (Download the full list here.)

Intended to prolong the life of disc, the program allows consumers to take their existing DVDs and Blu-ray Discs into Walmart and for a fee have a digital version of the title unlocked on Vudu.com, accessible through compatible consumer electronics devices.

The initiative also complements Hollywood’s UltraViolet initiative, the industrywide cloud-based storage platform, which allows buyers of new Blu-ray Discs to send a copy into a cloud-based digital locker that they can then retrieve at any time for viewing on any device. Digital files unlocked via Walmart disc-to-digital can be accessed through the chain’s transactional VOD and electronic sellthrough website, Vudu.com and many via UltraViolet as well. Not all Vudu-enabled titles will be available on UltraViolet right away (i.e. Fox titles).

UltraViolet now has more than 1 million users since its launch in October.

Walmart launched the disc-to-digital program April 9 for its employees, to help with training, and showed it off step by step to media April 11. Digital files cost $2 a disc, $5 to upgrade a DVD to high-def. A $2 Blu-ray digital transfer will be in 720p or 1080p, depending on a users' bandwidth.

“Obviously for us it’s a great way to drive traffic in the store, but it’s also meant to unlock value in the content consumers already own,” said Louis Greth, director of movies and home entertainment for Walmart. “For us, this is a big first step. The feedback is that it’s been very simple, very easy, not very complicated.”

Signage at front entrances and in the entertainment department of Walmart tout the program, showing the price for digital media conversions, with both Vudu and UltraViolet logos. Greth said the program will teach consumers about UltraViolet as well as Vudu.

Consumers who bring their discs in are directed to the photo or customer service departments. Once there, they’re asked to fill out a form listing titles, whether it’s a DVD or a Blu-ray, and whether they would like a standard definition or high-def version of their content. Consumers who already have a Vudu.com account are asked for their email and phone number. Those without an account are directed to sign up for one.

Walmart employees check to make sure the disc isn’t a pirated copy or a rental from outlets such as Redbox or Blockbuster, or that the disc hasn’t been used in the disc-to-digital program before. An employee makes sure the title is available in the program, unlocks either a standard-definition or high-def version of the film for the consumer’s email address, and then stamps the center ring of the disc with “Walmart Entertainment.” The process takes about one minute per disc.

Home Media Magazine brought in 10 Blu-rays to be transferred to digital. All were available in high-def, except for The Godfather, with Greth explaining that some titles are available in standard-definition only. Hundreds of major titles are available under the program, though there are some notable absences, including Avatar, Platoon and The Untouchables. A full list of available titles will be on Vudu.com, Greth said.

“As we continue to negotiate with the studios, more titles will become available,” he said. “In some cases there are digital rights issues.”

Once a consumer settles their bill, they’ll find the films unlocked on their Vudu account. Playing the titles back on connected consumer electronics devices requires consumers to link to their UltraViolet account or sign up for one at UVVU.com. The movies play instantly without an UltraViolet account on PCs.

Noticeably absent from the initiative is Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, which so far is sticking with its own cloud content service, Disney Studio All Access. Warner Home Entertainment Group, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment are part of the program, with more to come, Greth said.

“We want everyone involved,” Greth said. “Now we’re going after the other big players. We would love to have everybody involved with this.”

Greth added that Walmart wants to “unlock every movie possible” and that the disc-to-digital initiative “unlocks more value in your existing disc library, and we hope it makes people more confident buying DVDs.”

Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment was on hand April 11 to test out the system himself. He brought his DVD copies of Liar Liar and Meet the Fockers.

“It’s wildly exciting and at the same time a bit daunting,” Kornblau said. “Think about the logistics of launching this at 3,500 stores with 4,000 titles. It’s a first, and I’m happy to see it being done by Walmart.”

To view images from the April 11 event at the Rosemead, Calif., Walmart, click here.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:47 AM   #625
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List of Disc-to-Digital Movies Available at Walmart
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Warner Bros, on Ultraviolet - "We recognize that the product is not perfect today,” Mr. Tsujihara said. “We don’t have the luxury of waiting a year until we have everything perfect.”
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:00 AM   #626
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That's a more comprehensive list than I expected at launch from the other than Disney studios.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #627
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That's a more comprehensive list than I expected at launch from the other than Disney studios.
Some would argue that is not comprehensive enough. Studios have 5 years of digital foot dragging to make up. They are competing with consumers that are increasingly ripping their own discs. And there are 10 billion discs out there.

Should be a win-win for Wall-Mart though. They are being paid (instead of paying) for signing up consumers to Vudu. No wonder Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn got canned.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:32 AM   #628
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Some would argue that is not comprehensive enough. Studios have 5 years of digital foot dragging to make up. They are competing with consumers that are increasingly ripping their own discs. And there are 10 billion discs out there.

Should be a win-win for Wall-Mart though. They are being paid (instead of paying) for signing up consumers to Vudu. No wonder Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn got canned.
He was canned for more important reasons I assure you.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #629
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No wonder Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn got canned
I think he actually got canned as as he was under investigation for personal misconduct and resigned in advance of being fired.

But I agree that it makes sense for Best Buy to do this too.


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Best Buy Inquiry Into Chief’s Behavior Will Continue
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
Published: April 11, 2012

A day after Brian J. Dunn, the chief executive of Best Buy, abruptly resigned, the company said its investigation into his conduct was still active, though it still did not disclose details of what that conduct was.
Related

Best Buy Chief Executive Resigns Amid Inquiry (April 11, 2012)

“Brian’s resignation certainly had an effect on the investigation, but the investigation remains open,” Greg Hitt, a spokesman for the company’s board, said Wednesday. “The board is still looking into these issues, and the investigation has not been closed.”

The company initially disclosed Mr. Dunn’s departure on Tuesday morning, saying that “there was mutual agreement” between Mr. Dunn and the board that it was time for new leadership, and that “there were no disagreements between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies or procedures.”

But by Tuesday afternoon, Best Buy said that its board’s audit committee was conducting an investigation into Mr. Dunn’s “personal conduct” and that had led to the resignation. Audit committees are charged with investigating complaints involving senior executives or financial issues. The company said the conduct in question was “unrelated to the company’s operations or financial controls.”

In an e-mail to employees on Wednesday afternoon, the interim chief executive, G. Mike Mikan, said that the coverage about Mr. Dunn’s departure probably “raised additional questions for many of you,” and added: “We will redouble our efforts to ensure employees learn about important company news from us, first.”

...
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/bu...stigation.html
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #630
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I think he actually got canned as as he was under investigation for personal misconduct and resigned in advance of being fired.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/bu...stigation.html
Yikes.

Watch for falling formats — Walmart shows off its new UltraViolet cloud service



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Seven years ago, Walmart controlled nearly half of a U.S. DVD sell-through business that generated nearly $16.3 billion in annual revenue. But even with disc sales plunging below $9 billion last year, and overall home entertainment revenue dipping to $18 billion from $24.3 billion over that same span, Hollywood’s movie business is still beholden to Walmart’s Bentonville, Ark. headquarters.

Fortunately for them, studio executives — and members of the media and tech press — only needed to travel about 15 miles East on the 60 Freeway to Rosemead, Calif., Wednesday to see the retailer show off what might be the home entertainment business’ last hope to resuscitate growth, the so-called “Disc to Digital” service.

Disc to Digital is a key component of the major studios’ UltraViolet initiative, which is designed to let consumers store digital versions of the movies they’ve purchased on disc in a cloud.

Starting Monday, within the photo processing areas inside about 3,500 U.S. Walmart stores, consumers can begin uploading their disc collections to the cloud, paying $2 for each authenticated title (or $5 if they want to convert a standard-definition DVD to a high-def digital file).

$2 and two minutes of your time

I showed up at Wednesday’s demo at about 1:15 p.m., right ahead of a small contingent of Universal Home Entertainment executives, led by division president Craig Kornblau, holding a DVD copy of Universal’s 1997 Jim Carrey hit Liar Liar.

“Hurry, I just can’t wait to get into the cloud,” the affable Kornblau quipped, delighting a small cadre of chain and consortium PR staffers, as well as store employees who were still learning about how to administer the Disc to Digital service.

I had forgotten to bring my discs for upload, but Louis, a kind Walmart employee loaned me a copy of Warner Bros.’ 1990 Martin Scorsese gangster classic Goodfellas, so that I could test drive the system.

Walmart’s Disc to Digital service enables users of UltraViolet-authenticated DVD and Blu-ray titles to also own digital versions of their movies in Vudu, the retailer’s popular digital movie rental and sell-through service. Since I’m already a happily registered Vudu user, getting set up was pretty easy.

I filled out a form, offering up my Vudu user email, and also indicating what version of Goodfellas I wished to upload (I chose HD).

About two minutes later, Louis emerged from a computer workstation — he had stamped the disc with a little Walmart insignia, so that it couldn’t be authenticated again, and I had a high-def version of Goodfellas waiting for me in my Vudu account, ready to download or stream to a wide range of living-room and mobile devices, and share with select family members.

Bringing back $20 movie purchases

The system is designed to rekindle consumers’ willingness to buy movies rather than merely stream them on platforms like Netflix. Last month, research firm IHS Screen Digest, for example, noted that low-margin movie and TV show streams will surpass higher-margin disc sales and rentals in quantity, with the overall home entertainment sector still continuing to see revenue declines.

As of late February — about four months after launch — UltraViolet had claimed only around 1 million sign-ups. However, the Hollywood majors — who will greatly expand the number of UltraViolet-eligible titles to around 4,000 on Monday — hope the inclusion of Walmart and Vudu will accelerate the initiative’s buy-in.

Having already talked to a number of ranking home entertainment executives who are quietly pessimistic regarding UltraViolet’s success, I still left Rosemead Wednesday slightly excited.

The house of no Mouse

With a trip to my mother-in-law’s retirement-community condo rendered upon me for this upcoming weekend, I saw value in being able to watch Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito savagely beat and murder all who annoyed him as I distracted myself with Goodfellas on my iPad 2. But since a wireless connection isn’t available there, I might be as out of luck as Michael Imperioli’s poor, half-witted Spider — on the iPad, Vudu will only let me stream the movie and not download it. (I can always buy it again on iTunes — Apple, which is conspicuously absent from the UltraViolet grouping, will let me download movies to the iPad, of course — but the whole point of UltraViolet is supposed to be about letting me enjoy the movie on any device I want with a single purchase.)

Then there’s title availability. Any urge to selflessly provide my 6-year-old son the same kind of relief with a downloaded copy of Cars 2 or Toy Story 3 can’t happen either, whether or not I can find a wireless connection, since the biggest supplier of kids’ movies, Disney, doesn’t do UltraViolet.

Meanwhile, not every title from every participating studio is available. For example, as we reported earlier this week, Fox movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes become unavailable on platforms like UltraViolet and Apple’s iCloud once they enter any of HBO’s pay-TV windows.
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