Once upon a time there were things called movies. They were magical and could be seen on a large screen in many towns, for a small price one could have a seat for a viewing.
Then came the television. TV Shows and Movies on a box in one’s own home. Amazing!
Later came other forms of media, thing that came and went, but eventually we got to bigger movie screens, bigger tv’s, boxes that held tape with video on it that could be displayed on one’s tv, then large discs, then smaller and then better.
The future arrived. Blu-ray and Digital HD.
For a long while there was something called Digital Copy and it came with DVD’s one could buy, when new. To Redeem these Digital Copies you had to use either: Windows Media Player or i-Tunes.
I, the writer, opted for WMP redemption twice. Never again. i-Tunes being nearly evil, was better than having no movie available digitally, like happens when WMP decides you don’t own the license because you … “whatevered” your computer.
For years Digital Copy was redeemed via I-Tunes.
Disney had a slot in the digital locker arena. Disney Movie Rewards, then and now, allows one to enter a Magic Code found on DVD’s to get points towards real rewards one could exchange points for.
In this time-frame a new media medium came to life. Blu-ray discs. The best home buying option for media to date. Digital Copy continued on, I dutifully entering redemption codes into my apple id i-tunes account, the only thing I ever did with it … I may have watch a few things, but I didn’t buy actual stuff from them, nor listen to music via i-tunes at all.
Disney had a locker streaming service and many of the movies you entered Magic Codes for would also be Digitally available to you. There was a point when some movies would not be a digital version code with Disney but they let you upgrade to a streaming version of a disc you registered, for a mere $5.
So you could enter a movie into i-Tunes but also have it on Disney’s streaming service.
Something called Ultraviolet started later. Disney also changed things with their Locker service, plus bought Marvel which changed the Digital Copy world for my family.
Ultraviolet was looked at skeptically, I admit. It seemed convoluted. What is convoluted though is the lack of digital copy choice for a Windows Pc/Android handheld person. At that time it was nil.
Things progressed, more and more movie companies partnered with UV (UltraViolet) which made UV more and more prevalent, and very misunderstood by many, though I was gaining in much better comprehension of what I was doing with it.
I got a Vudu account. I had also had account at a few of the movie companies, but it was just too much for me to consider the few times I might get bonus features by doing that … uh, no thank you. Also, like Sony Pictures … your account is deleted if there is no activity in a year. Yeah, easy for that to happen.
Both Vudu and Flixster work well with UV. You can redeem UV at either of the two services, also UV has a direct redeem feature on their site now.
In any case, redeem a UV movie and it’s in your UV Locker. Associate your locker with Vudu, Flixster, as well as other services I won’t go over. Once new content is in your locker it’ll populate in the services your locker is connected with. For the most part that works well, occasionally one service may not have exactly the same version, or title at all. The other might, it’ll be in UV in any case, once it’s redeemed it could and probably will show up at the other service provider eventually.
So there was Vudu. Then also my movies in i-Tunes. (They are lost to me there.) Vudu is where my non-Disney movies go now.
Disney Movies Anywhere started. Their old locker system was converted over, and I didn’t lose anything there, but still all I could do was stream though a browser. One could link ones i-Tunes account … then anything in your digital copy library that Disney owned would be in Disney Movies Anywhere too even if it wasn’t a Disney Streamable movie for you. Cool, but useless.
Then Digital HD came about. Now Disney movies were more than kids movies mostly, it was all this Marvel stuff too. Oh the travesty, but Digital HD saved the day.
I can take a redemption code for something Disney, whether it’s animated or the modern Marvel Universe of movies … I can choose where to redeem it, on Vudu, or … Google Play, or i-Tunes etc. Magic Codes are still a part of it, and the movie will be in Disney Movies Anywhere. Still not totally useful, but at least I can watch it on my PS3 or PS4 via Vudu.
Then later, very recently, the best partnership so far happened. Disney Movies Anywhere came to Android as an App, and even better than that, one could also link a Google Play account to the service and voila! You own the content in Google Play Movies too!
Now I still have many movies locked in i-Tunes, but some of them don’t suffer that fate, some Blu-rays I’ve gotten into UV via Vudu-to-Go disc to digital conversion. Also I’ve done some DVD’s that we like but haven’t looked for on Blu-ray. In any case, not all of the discs are eligible for UV. Many of them are actually UV titles, but my discs read as ineligible for whatever licensing reason is out there.
So then, I can watch The Avengers (2012) on Disney Movies Anywhere, stream from their site, or from my Android tablet or phone, or even download it for offline viewing on Android. I could even watch it in i-Tunes if I “wanted” to.
Relegated to that fate as well are Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.
But Iron Man3 and Thor the Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are available via Vudu and through Disney Movies Anywhere’s site and on Anroid. Win! Win!
One new Disney movie I was able to redeem the same way, The LIttle Mermaid. Now Re-releases on Blu-ray are worth the buy.
About Disc Conversion: The biggest part of it that totally isn’t nice is that ANY disk you have that is owned by Disney now, is not eligible for Disc to Digital, even if it’s an old title held by some other movie house.
What Vudu fails on is not allowing portable devices to download a movie in HD or HDX, they only allow you to stream and/or download in SD, no matter what kind of spectacular device you may have (like a Nexus 10 for example.) So a large portion of my digital library is locked online and viewable only, the best way, in a PC browser or via a console of some variety hooked to your big television screen.
A smaller smattering of my content is locked into the Disney world and at least it’s now watchable on Android in Glorious HD and connected with Google Play, thus also Chromecast-able to the big screen in the livingroom.
I still love discs, but have come to rely on things like Netflix on my gaming consoles, as well as Vudu there. The content I have in i-Tunes wastes away, and I can only hope that someday I can link that stuff to something else too.
I do have Flixster but haven’t tried to watch any of my UV content there. I’ve heard one can HD with them on Android, but I’m just stuck in a Vudu on PS3/PS4 and Android for Disney mode.
I look forward to Guardians of the Galaxy, having it both places, and other Disney movies we may get in the future. It’s the older content though, locked on a disc, not eligible, other digital copy, not transferable to anywhere, only recourse is to find a UV code for sale, or buy it again on disc just for the code to get it into UV or Vudu, at least, and not have to pay 22.99 or higher to buy it digitally for things you already have in multiples, like a DVD, plus a Blu-ray copy, Digital i-Tunes copy, and another DVD that came in that pack. Forget those movies.
So from my perspective, we have it fairly good now. It’s not the best of times, nor the worst of times.
Movies Unlimited is a service from PlayStation. It’d be great, but I don’t only have Sony devices. I have Android, and Google Play is a more useful partner for me, and then using Vudu on PlayStation. Having Google Play Movies on PlayStation would be a dream come true.
Some nice snappy pictures in this post would be great, but it’s not about pictures, it’s about words about moving pictures, and best read, not just looked at.
Additional Note: November 18, 2014, 8:10am EST. >>So with the whole thing written up and posted yesterday I find today that, holy cow, I can actually link Disney Movies Anywhere with my Vudu account now too. OK. Things are looking up, improving even more than I had hoped.