If you’ve been looking to build up your digital movie collection, Walmart may be announcing your dream – or nightmare – tomorrow.
Not all digital copies are created equal, consumers are learning. While a lot of Blu-ray packages now come with a redemption code for a digital copy of the movie that you can get through iTunes or Windows Media, some have started coming with what is known as an UltraViolet copy. The premise is that this is a copy of the movie stored in the cloud that you can watch on a device of your choosing, and can also be downloaded to watch when you’re somewhere that an Internet connection isn’t available. The only hitch, however, is that currently the copies won’t work on any iOS-based device, so the most popular tablet on the market, the iPad, is currently left out in the cold.
Even with this rather significant hurdle in place, it isn’t stopping the studios that back the format – Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Fox – from trying to ramp up adoption. According to StreamingMediaBlog, Walmart and the afore mentioned media companies will announce a plan tomorrow that will allow you to add a digital copy of DVDs you already own to your collection. For a rumored fee of two to four dollars – the higher end price being for an upgrade to HD – you will be able to add a digital copy of your film to your collection. To precent you from then passing the DVD on to a friend so they can do the same, supposedly the discs will be stamped in some way as having been redeemed so that only one digital copy per physical copy may be purchased. This will also be a way to also reduce the chances of you being able to sell it as a used copy, but we’re sure that isn’t on these companies minds at all.
Consumers haven’t exactly been flocking to the UltraViolet method of digital copies, so we’ll have to see if the idea of converting more of their collection to this format will take off. Until iOS support can be added, we see this as being a difficult sell to consumers.