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How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

Physical media is having a rough time of it in the digital age. While Blu-rays are still a perfectly legitimate means of getting HD video, and ideal if you don’t have a high quality Internet connection, the convenience of web-based services like iTunes, the Google Play Store, and Amazon Instant Video is beginning to supersede them.

Hollywood’s answer to this is UltraViolet, a piss-poor scifi action movie web-based system that lets Blu-ray and DVD buyers collect digital copies of their physical movies.

Unfortunately, the system isn’t as well-integrated as some of its digital-only competitors. Different production houses and studios use different sites, you can’t get the movies on every digital platform, and things in general are less smooth than they should be. Here’s how to use those freebie codes to build up a library in the smoothest way possible.

Step One: Choose an UltraViolet Partner

Things are complicated right off the bat. Because while you can create an UltraViolet account on the official website, you can’t actually add any movies from there: you’ll have to go to either a studio sub-site or a streaming partner site in order to claim your movies. So let’s skip the middleman and ignore the corporate site altogether.

UltraViolet partners with the following services in the countries it supports:

  • VUDU
  • Fandango NOW (previously partnered with Flixter, which is now defunct)
  • Kaleidescape
  • Paramount
  • Sony Pictures
  • Verizon FiOS

There’s no reason to limit yourself with the studio and Verizon options. In the US, VUDU is probably the streaming option of choice, and in all other UltraViolet territories, Fandango should be your first stop. Both support Apple, Google, and Roku platforms, with VUDU supporting both Xbox and PlayStation (Fandango is only available on the Xbox One). A glaring omission in both cases is Amazon’s Fire TV…but none of the other systems support it, either.

For VUDU, head to VUDU.com and log in or create an account with the “Sign In” or “Sign Up” buttons at the top-right corner. For Fandango, use FandangoNOW.com and click “SIGN IN” in the top-right corner, then click “join now” if you don’t have an account. It’s not necessary to add a credit card.

Step Two: Link UltraViolet with VUDU or Fandango

Next, you need to create an UltraViolet library within those two services. Here’s how.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

On the main VUDU web page, click your username in the top-right corner, then click “UltraViolet.” Click the “I agree” box, then click “Create UltraViolet Library.”

Fandango NOW

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

On Fandango NOW, hover the mouse cursor over “Library,” then click “UltraViolet.” Click “Create Or Link UltraViolet Account.” Create a new one if this is your first movie, or click “Link my Ultraviolet Account” if you’ve done something similar on a different platform. Click the “I agree” box, then “Continue.” Log in or create a new account (yes, a second one) if necessary.

Step Three: Redeem Movie Codes

Unfortunately, there’s no central code page for UltraViolet: each studio forces its users to go to a different site. It’s a pain in the butt. Also note that the codes expire—if the one on your insert doesn’t work, this is probably why. This is an even bigger pain in the butt, since retailers don’t like it when you return opened movies, and usually the only way to get the code is to open it. Good luck arguing with the employee at the return desk.

Anyway, take the card that came with your Blu-ray or DVD, and go to the site on the instructions. (This site changes with every studio—for our example movie, Chicago from Lionsgate, it’s the generic “redeemmovie.com.” Each site will handle things a little differently, but generally you just find the right field and enter the code.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet moviesDon’t try to steal my Chicago movie code, readers. I already used it.

At this point you’ll be given a choice of digital retailers at which you can redeem your movie. For Lionsgate and Chicago, I can only choose VUDU or Fandango NOW. Your experience might be different…but as stated above, these are pretty much the only services you’ll want to use anyway.

You can only choose one. Make your selection. The movie will be added to your library on the service of your choice.

Step Four: Watch Your Movies

The movie associated with your account will be yours, free to view on either VUDU or Fandango’s website. You’ll also have access to the movie on the associated apps, listed below:

  • Roku
  • iOS/Apple TV/Airlplay
  • Android/Android TV/Google Play/Chromecast
  • Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Playstation 3, PlayStation 4
  • LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Philips, RCA, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba, and Vizio Smart TVs

Fandango NOW

  • Roku
  • iOS/Apple TV/Airplay
  • Android/Google Play/Chromecast
  • Xbox One
  • Samsung, LG, Vizio, and Hisense Smart TVs

Simply install the app on your platform of choice, log in to either service, and check your video library for the movie you added. Repeat the process with any new Blu-rays or DVDs you purchase.

UltraViolet Limitations

Unfortunately, UltraViolet is not a universal standard: only the movie studios and electronics companies that participate in it offer movies via the digital services. These include movies and TV produced or distributed by:

  • Anchor Bay
  • BBC
  • Fox
  • HBO
  • Lionsgate
  • Paramount
  • Relativity Media
  • Roadshow Entertainment
  • Sony Pictures
  • Universal Studios
  • Weinstein Company

There are a lot of small and medium-sized movie production houses missing from that list, but the big one is Disney. That’s because Disney has its own digital video alternative, Disney Movies Anywhere, which includes digital codes for major releases from Walt Disney Studios, ABC Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasarts (who produces Star Wars). Disney Movies Anywhere allows users to redeem codes on the movie streaming services for Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, Microsoft, and VUDU. So if you’re hoping to create a single account with access to all the digital movie codes from all your physical purchases, VUDU is the way to go.

It’s easy and free.

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If you’ve bought a Blu-ray movie over the past decade and redeemed the digital download code, there’s a good chance it ended up in your Ultraviolet library. There’s an equally good chance that you’ve forgotten about it. Now that the service has announced it will be shutting down on July 31, you have six months to rescue them before they end up in digital oblivion.

The first thing you need to do is log into your Ultraviolet account. If you’ve ever redeemed an Ultraviolet code, you had to sign up for an account, so if you don’t remember it, try the “Forgot username or password” link. Ultraviolet has been around since the release Horrible Bosses in 2011, so it goes back a while.

Once you’ve logged in, you can check your library to see what’s in there. If there’s something you want to save, head over to Settings and click Linked Services to see the services you’ve previously connected. If there are any, you should already see your Ultraviolet movies in those libraries, though whether they show up depends on the studio, so it’s best to link to a couple of different sites to ensure your titles end up somewhere once Ultraviolet goes away.

You can link your Ultraviolet movie collection to other services to ensure they don’t disappear forever.

To see the available partners, click on Retailer Services. From there, you’ll be able to link your library to an external resource, which will essentially copy your library into their store. There are five services available, but we recommend Vudu above all others. Vudu is Walmart’s service and it includes every major studio, so your entire library will transfer over without a hitch. You’ll need to sign up for a Vudu account if you don’t already have one and then link your Ultraviolet library, but the whole process doesn’t take more than a couple minutes.

With your Ultaviolet library linked to Vudu, you can then link your Vudu library to Movies Anywhere so you can merge your iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon libraries into one. Vudu will also link any TV shows in your Ultraviolet library, but they won’t appear in Movies Anywhere, nor will Paramount, MGM, or Lionsgate movies.

Michael Simon covers all things iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, with a little Android thrown in. You can usually find him with his nose buried in a screen. The best way to yell at him is on Twitter.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

Movies Anywhere is Disney’s attempt to merge all of those digital movie services where you purchase content into one place. You don’t have to watch all of your movies in Movies Anywhere. Instead, the service brings the movies to you. If you’ve bought digital movies on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Xfinity, Microsoft, FandangoNOW, or Google Play, you can now watch all of them on whichever your preferred service is.

If you recently received an email from UltraViolet that the company is closing and you’ll have to link your movies to another account by July 31, 2019, you might be wondering whether you can get these movies into your Movies Anywhere account. You can add your UltraViolet movies to Movies Anywhere, but you need a Vudu account to do so (I know, you have to sign up for one more account).

Note: Not all movies are supported by Movies anywhere, so it’s a good idea to have your UltraViolet movies linked to a couple of different services to ensure all of your movies are accessible after UltraViolet closes.

Step 1: Sign up for Vudu

If you don’t already have a Vudu account, you’ll have to get one in order to merge your UltraViolet movies into Movies Anywhere.

Navigate to Vudu.com and sign up. You don’t have to add a credit card during the setup process if you don’t want to. Just skip the step to complete the process.

Step 2: Log into UltraViolet

If it’s been a while since you used UltraViolet to watch a movie, you may have forgotten your username or password. Navigate to UltraViolet’s Homepage and make sure you can log in. If you’ve forgotten, follow the steps to reset your account information.

Step 3: Merge your UltraViolet account with your Vudu account

Once you’re ready, it’s time to connect your UltraViolet account with your Vudu account so you can merge the movies from the former to the latter.

  1. Navigate to Vudu.com from your web browser.
  2. Log in with your Vudu account credentials if you haven’t already.
  3. Click on your Profile Name in the upper left corner of the website.

Click on UltraViolet.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

Click on OK when finished.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

Step 4: Connect your Vudu account with Movies Anywhere

If you haven’t already connected your Vudu account with Movies Anywhere, make sure you do so or you won’t see your UltraViolet movies on your list.

  1. Navigate to MoviesAnywhere.com from your preferred web browser.
  2. Sign in with your Movies Anywhere credentials.
  3. Click on your User profile in the upper right corner of the website.
  4. Click on Manage Retailers.
  5. Click Connect next to Vudu.

Enter your Vudu account credentials to confirm permission to connect the account.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

All supported movies will populate across all of your connected digital retailer services; iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Vudu.

Remember, not all movie distribution companies have signed on with Disney for Movies Anywhere. For example, Paramount Pictures does not support Movies Anywhere. So even if you bought a Paramount Pictures movie on iTunes or on Amazon, it won’t appear across all of your supported digital retail services.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to add your UltraViolet movies to Movies Anywhere? Put them in the comments and we’ll help you out.

Thanks to the iMore Show listeners that contacted me to let me know that this was possible.

Some DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K titles might include an iTunes Digital Copy of your movie in addition to the physical disc.

Redeem digital copies with a redemption code

Enter your code in the Apple TV app or iTunes.

Redeem on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open the Apple TV app.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, tap Watch Now.
  3. In the upper-right corner, tap the profile icon or your photo.
  4. Tap Redeem Gift Card or Code.
    How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  5. Tap “Enter Code Manually,” then enter the 12-digit code printed on the insert included with your disc.
  6. Tap Redeem.

Redeem on your Mac

  1. Open the Apple TV app.
  2. From the menu bar, choose Account > Redeem.
    How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password, then click Sign In.
  4. Enter the 12-digit code printed on the insert included with your disc. You might be able to use the camera on your Mac to redeem your code.
  5. You can download the digital copy of your movie now or download it later.

Redeem on your PC

  1. Open iTunes for Windows.
  2. From the menu bar, choose Account > Redeem.
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password, then click Sign In.
  4. Enter the 12-digit code printed on the insert included with your disc. You might be able to use the camera on your Mac to redeem your code.
  5. You can download the digital copy of your movie now or download it later.

If you can’t redeem the content code

  1. Look for an expiration date on the packaging.
  2. Make sure that you enter the correct characters. Some letters and numbers look alike.
  3. Make sure that the packaging on your item says that the Digital Copy code will work in your country or region. For example, you need a U.S. Apple ID to use a code from a U.S. DVD, and you need an Australian Apple ID to use a code from an Australian DVD.
  4. If your Digital Copy DVD, Blu-ray, or 4K title is damaged, scratched, or missing its redemption code or Digital Copy disc, contact the vendor for help.
  5. If you still can’t redeem the code or download your Digital Copy, contact Apple Support.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

Is UltraViolet shutting down?

Yes. On January 31, 2019, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) announced that the UltraViolet service is shutting down. Kaleidescape will disconnect from UltraViolet services on May 31, 2019, however there is no change whatsoever to movies currently in your Kaleidescape account, whether they were purchased from Kaleidescape or another UltraViolet retailer.

After the disconnection date, Kaleidescape will no longer add new movies to your UltraViolet locker. Also, some of the Digital Offers offered through UltraViolet will no longer be available, including some “disc to digital” offers.

Will the UltraViolet movies that I purchased from other retailers still be playable on my Kaleidescape system?

Yes, your existing UltraViolet purchases will remain playable on your Kaleidescape system after the shutdown, regardless of where you purchased them, provided that your Kaleidescape Movie Store account is linked to your UltraViolet account before the Kaleidescape UltraViolet disconnection date of May 31, 2019.

What is UltraViolet?

UltraViolet is a way to collect, access, and enjoy your movies and TV shows in the cloud. When you buy a movie or TV show from the Kaleidescape Movie Store that is UltraViolet-enabled, it is automatically added to your UltraViolet library. You can stream these titles over the Internet or download them for offline viewing to a variety of connected devices using participating services that support UltraViolet. For more information about UltraViolet, please visit http://myuv.com/faq.

Please note that Kaleidescape will disconnect from UltraViolet on May 31, 2019.

What services can I use to stream movies and TV shows in my UltraViolet library?

Check out Where to Watch for an updated list in your territory.

How do I link my Kaleidescape Movie Store account with an UltraViolet library?

Go to the UltraViolet page and click on “Link UltraViolet library” If you don’t yet have an UltraViolet library, you will be prompted to create one.

Please note that Kaleidescape will disconnect from UltraViolet on May 31, 2019.

Are there any fees associated with getting an UltraViolet library?

No, there are no fees associated with signing up for an UltraViolet library.

How do I redeem the UltraViolet-enabled movie or TV show that I purchased from the Kaleidescape Movie Store? Will I need or get a redemption code?

The UltraViolet-enabled movie or TV show will appear automatically once your Kaleidescape account is linked with your UltraViolet library. There are no codes that you need to redeem.

Are all movies and TV shows on the Kaleidescape Movie Store UltraViolet-enabled?

Not all movies and TV shows on the Kaleidescape Movie Store are UltraViolet-enabled. Look for the text “UltraViolet-enabled”.

If I delete a download from my Kaleidescape System, will it also be deleted from my UltraViolet library?

No. Regardless of how often you delete and re-download a movie or TV show, it will remain in your UltraViolet library.

Will I get the UHD, HD, and SD UltraViolet-enabled versions from the Kaleidescape Movie Store?

If you purchased the DVD quality version from the Kaleidescape Movie Store, you will get the SD UltraViolet-enabled version. If you purchased the Blu-ray quality version from the movie store, you will get the SD and HD UltraViolet-enabled versions. If you purchased the 4K Ultra HD version from the movie store, you will receive the UHD UltraViolet-enabled version and, depending on the content provider, also receive the HD and SD UltraViolet-enabled versions.

Where can I see a list of all the movies and TV shows in my UltraViolet library?

You can see a full list of all the movies and TV shows in your UltraViolet library by visiting http://myuv.com.

Can I download from my UltraViolet library to my Kaleidescape System?

In many cases, you can download movies and TV shows you’ve purchased elsewhere that are in your UltraViolet library to your Kaleidescape System, at no extra cost.

I forgot which email address and username I used to link my UltraViolet library with my Kaleidescape Movie Store account. Is there a way to find this information?

Yes, you can see the information for your UltraViolet library from the Kaleidescape Movie Store. Go to the UltraViolet page under Account and look under UltraViolet User Account. This will display the email address and username of the UltraViolet user account you associated with the movie store.

How do I merge two UltraViolet libraries?

To merge two Libraries, log into one library at myuv.com, go to library Settings and select “Merge Two Libraries”. Follow the steps to complete the merge. Only full users may merge accounts. You’ll be asked to log in to the second library, so be sure a full user for that library is available to provide the login name and password.

Contact

+1 877-352-5343 Toll Free (US Only)
+1 650-625-6160
7:00am – 5:00pm PT (M – F)

*Kaleidescape will be closed on the following holidays.

Enter your redemption code below to add the movie or TV show you purchased to your UltraViolet Library for FREE, then use any compatible device to instantly stream or download from participating UltraViolet services.

  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies
  • How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

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· 21 November 2019

– Flixster closing website on 18 December 2019

– You have until then to move your library across

– Follow these simple steps

(Pocket-lint) – When digital movie locker service UltraViolet announced that it was closing for good, it also revealed that it would enable migration of existing libraries to other services.

And, for UV movie users in the UK, that means moving your Flixster films to Google Play. It’s easy and, most recently, more films have been added to the supported list.

So, don’t delay – it is a very simple task to migrate nigh-on every one of your UV movies to Google and it’s free.

Here’s how to do it.

How to migrate UltraViolet films from Flixster to Google Play for free

First up, using a web browser, either on PC, Mac or mobile, you need to sign into your Flixster account here.

On that page, you will see the notice about the website closure and a big “migrate my collection” button. Click on it.

The next page will show all of your movies (and TV shows, if you have them) that are supported. You might find one or two still won’t move across but, as of 21 November, the supported library expanded greatly so almost all of your films should be fine.

If you already moved some prior to November 2019, you really should check again as we’ve found Fox and a few additional Universal movies to now work, specifically. Maybe some others.

Next to all the films that are available to move across, you can see a “migrate” button. Click on that and it will bring up a box to choose the language or version, if you have alternatives available. Then it will take you to Google Play to redeem the content under your account.

One tip, make sure you are signed into the Google account you want to access the films through. If you have two or more Google accounts and forget to pick the right one initially, do not redeem the film on Google Play, sign out and then sign in again with the right account.

Then, head back to Flixster and, under the “migrate my collection” menu, sort the results to “synced first” using the drop bar in the top right. Then click on “verify” next to the film you tried to redeem initially. It will then take you back to Google Play for redemption again, this time under the right account.

Basically, rinse and repeat for your entire collection and they will all be available on Google Play to enjoy (hopefully) forever.

How to redeem UltraViolet films straight to Google Play

As well as offer the ability to migrate your collection, if you have a stack of UV codes that are yet to be redeemed, you can also have them stored on Google Play.

Again, this might not work with every film, due to licensing, but we have successfully done it ourselves with Sony Pictures and Universal codes.

Follow the instructions on the card inside the disc sleeve, enter the UV number into each studio’s dedicated redemption page and instead of sending you to Flixster (as they all used to in the UK) you will now be given the option to redeem the movie on Google Play. Hurrah!

Posted Wed Jul 24, 2019 at 01:14 PM PDT by Steven Cohen

As previously reported, UltraViolet is officially closing on July 31. The digital locker system was designed to redeem and link digital copies from numerous studios to various online retailers, enabling playback from a variety of devices.

But while the end of UltraViolet might present an inconvenience for current users, the platform’s termination DOES NOT mean that users have to lose their hard-earned digital libraries. In fact, in most cases, customers can retain all of their currently redeemed and purchased digital copies even after UV closes up shop. That is, so long as they ensure that a few simple steps have been followed.

How to Keep Your UltraViolet Titles

For most UltraViolet users, ensuring that your digital titles remain accessible will require you to simply sit back and do nothing. As long as you’ve had your UV account linked to VUDU and/or FandangoNOW, and you keep your UV account open and linked to those services, you’re basically set to keep your content through those retailers.

But, if you’re not sure whether your account is properly linked up, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide. Here’s a few steps you can take to make sure your digital library is ready for UltraViolet’s end:

  1. Sign into your UltraViolet account at myuv.com.
  2. Check to see if your account is already linked to an existing VUDU and/or FandangoNOW account at myuv.com/retailers.
  3. If your UltraViolet account is already linked to an existing VUDU or FandangoNOW account, simply make sure that you DO NOT UNLINK your UV account to those services.
  4. If your UltraViolet account is not already linked to a VUDU or FandangoNOW account, follow the instructions at myuv.com/retailers to link them together (you may need to create a VUDU or FandangoNOW account if you don’t have one).
  5. Customers who also use ParamountMovies for digital copy playback should also ensure that ParamountMovies remains linked to UltraViolet as functionality for that platform is changing. CLICK HERE for more details and instructions.
  6. As long as your UV account remains open and linked to your VUDU and/or FandangoNOW account, most, if not all, of your existing UV titles will remain accessible through those services following UltraViolet’s closure.
  7. UltraViolet recommends linking to both retailers to maximize availability of titles.
  8. In rare cases, some previously redeemed UV titles might not be available if VUDU or FandangoNOW don’t carry them.
  9. Existing, unused UV codes should also still remain redeemable via VUDU and FandangoNOW after UV’s closure for playback via the retailer you redeem them with.

Migrating to Movies Anywhere

And now that you’ve ensured that your UV library won’t disappear come July 31, there’s actually another step you can take to expand availability of your titles even more. To do this, you simply need to sync your VUDU and/or FandangoNOW account up to a Movies Anywhere account.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

Like UltraViolet, Movies Anywhere is a digital locker system that can link to a variety of retailers, allowing users to redeem and access their supported digital titles across numerous services. The retailers currently supported include VUDU, FanangoNOW, iTunes Amazon, Xfinity (for Xfinity TV subscribers only), Google Play/YouTube, and Microsoft Movies. Meanwhile, studios currently participating include Disney, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., and Universal.

Here’s how to get started with Movies Anywhere:

  1. Check out moviesanywhere.com/signup to create a Movies Anywhere account if you don’t already have one.
  2. After creating an account, simply follow the site’s instructions to sync it with your existing VUDU and/or FandangoNOW account.
  3. Likewise, you can also sync Movies Anywhere to any other supported retailers you have an account with.
  4. When that’s all done, all of your Movies Anywhere digital titles, including supported VUDU and/or FandangoNOW content that was carried over from UltraViolet, will now be accessible across the entire Movies Anywhere ecosystem.

With that said, there are two notable caveats to that last point that users should be aware of:

  1. Some studios that previously supported UltraViolet, like Paramount and Lionsgate, do not currently support Movies Anywhere. This means that while you will still be able to access those titles via your UV linked VUDU and FandangoNOW accounts, titles from those studios will not sync to other Movies Anywhere retailers.
  2. Movies Anywhere does not currently support TV shows. Again, shows from your UV library that remained linked to your VUDU and FandangoNOW accounts will remain viewable via those services, but they will not sync to other Movies Anywhere retailers.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

While all of this is admittedly a bit of chore to get sorted out and setup, the end of UltraViolet and the continued expansion of Movies Anywhere should simplify and streamline the digital copy redemption and playback process in the long run.

If Paramount and Lionsgate eventually sign on, and TV shows are added to the mix, Movies Anywhere has the potential to fulfill the promise that UltraViolet could never quite live up to — resulting in a truly unified digital copy platform that hopefully avoids UV’s tragic fate.

As more of us switch to digital downloads of our movies, question marks remain as to what happens when a service shuts down.

Whilst more and more of the marketplace heads towards digital downloads over buying physical discs of movies, there remains a degree of worry over just where people’s rights lie if they don’t have a disc in your hand.

Granted, as much as the marketing campaigns pushing you to buy a movie to own were always a bit folly (even though we all bought discs, all that in the eyes of the law gave us was a license to watch the film in a non-commercial screening), there’s something tangible nonetheless about having a disc in your hand. Internet goes down? It’s no problem if you actually have a DVD/Blu-ray/Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray/HD DVD/Laserdisc/VHS/Betamax of the film in question.

But there’s a further problem, and that’s over the companies offering you digital downloads of your movies. Basically: what happens if said companies stop trading, or get out of the movie business?

Over the past few months, we’ve been seeing how that pans out with the closure of the UltraViolet digital movie locker service.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

UltraViolet, you may recall, launched around a decade ago, as the film industry’s attempt to head off digital piracy to some degree. That when you bought a DVD or Blu-ray, a film may contain a leaflet in it that in turn contained a code. Enter that code, and it was added to your UltraViolet account, giving you a digital version of a film as well as a physical one.

Many major studios (although not all) jumped aboard, with the likes of Universal, Warner Bros, Sony, Fox and Lionsgate all offering UltraViolet options with a purchase.

It was always something of a muddy scheme, though, as you then needed to link your UltraViolet account to a third party store, through which you’d access your digital movies. In the UK, the service burned through a few of them, with companies such as HMV, Rakuten and TalkTalk at different stages supporting the service, and then backing out.

At the start of the year, then, came the announcement that UltraViolet was to close. This wasn’t a massive surprise, give that most studios had begun to withdraw support for it. But it meant that users had until July 31 st until their accounts and the service came to an end.

Not to worry, though. There was still one third party company supporting UltraViolet libraries in the UK, and films would still be accessible through there. The further problem though is that that company is Flixster. Flixster had already wound down its US operations, and then came the announcement that the UK side is closing too. UltraViolet users were left in limbo.

How to redeem and play digital ultraviolet movies

Since all this became known, further information has been on the scant side. Flixster has assured its UK users that their movies will transfer to a Google Play account, which at least offers some solidity: Google’s hardly likely to be going anywhere first, and it seems that in-date, unredeemed UltraViolet codes are defaulting to Google Play too.

But still, most people who use the Flixster service still don’t seem to know this, let alone how their account will be migrated (again).

Flixster sent a mail out to its userbase in July, stating that “we have made arrangements with Google Play to enable you to migrate available videos in your Flixster Video collection to Google Play. While we had expected the Flixster Video – Google Play migration process to be available in July, this migration process is not yet ready and available for Flixster Video users. We expect to launch this service soon and appreciate your patience”.

However, the migration process is not yet available in September, and UltraViolet shuttered six weeks ago at the time this is being written.

On this Google Play support thread, one user posted a note they got from the support team last week where they were told that “for the vast majority of Flixster users, all of their collections will be able to be migrated”.

But that’s language that leaves huge amounts of room for exceptions. Will all the movies and TV shows acquired legally through the UltraViolet service still be able when UK users migrate them all to Google Play? Nobody seems to be able to say with any certainty.

Separately, and unrelated, last week a fine reader (as you all are) got in touch and told me his digital copy of Annabelle had suddenly become unavailable, and he was granted a replacement film from a (long) list in its place. Quite why Annabelle had stopped working wasn’t known, but that goes to the core of the worry over digital film libraries: what guarantee do you have that a film will become unavailable?

Also, whilst in the case of UltraViolet and Flixster clearly efforts are being made for continuity of service, why is the onus on the consumer to do the linking of accounts to make that happen? Surely we just want to buy and watch movies, not do a bit of extra admin?

Of course, for the vast majority of movies, for the vast majority of the time, there isn’t a problem. The reason stories spike about people losing access to digital movies is because they tend to be on the very rare side.

But still: there are problems here, and problems that aren’t being solved or communicated as well as they could be. The next deadline in the cases above is 31 st October 2019, which is when Flixster UK is due to cease its services. That gives it just over six weeks to not only come up with its solution, but implement it, and communicate it. Because right now, too many people still appear to be in the dark…

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