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Warner aims to flip DVDs to UltraViolet via stores, uploads

updated 03:55 pm EST, Sat March 10, 2012

Warner exec hints at UltraViolet movie conversion

Warner Bros.' home entertainment president Kevin Tsujihara used time at a Morgan Stanley technology conference to outline in more detail how his studio would steer viewers towards converting their videos from DVD and Blu-ray discs to the UltraViolet format and cloud video access. It would start with in-store conversion like that planned by Walmart, he said, but stores would eventually automate this and provide digital copies automatically. The discs themselves would eventually provide the option, which he implied would be like ripping a CD and would upload the movie itself.

Tsujihara didn't have a definitive timeframe or price. However, he implied that there might be a cost for the process, albeit at "reasonable prices." Objections have already existed over any fee from some owners, many of whom have argued that they would be paying twice when transcoding and ripping apps often do it for free, without having to tie them to a specific service and limited rights.

The method could still serve as a jumpstart for UltraViolet, which hasn't had wide update and has faced some early criticism. Initial viewers encountered enough problems playing or otherwise accessing videos that Warner itself began handing out iTunes codes as compensation. An authentication-based system that often requires either native format support or Flash has meant periodic problems and a lack of support on numerous devices. While Android and iOS will play the videos through third-party apps like Flixster, the Apple TV, consoles, and other popular hardware can't see the format.

Some studios have unusually put an expiry date on these digital copies, giving owners of discs little incentive to use UltraViolet when an iTunes or Amazon video will be usable as long as the store exists.

The Warner executive acknowledged the problems, although he didn't touch on the real incentives to steer users to UltraViolet. As it's usually tied to purchases rather than rentals, the new technology tends to be 20 to 30 percent more profitable than rentals from subscription services like Netflix. [via LA Times]

by MacNN Staff



  1. chas_m



    Good luck with that

    I can only speak for myself, but I for one WILL NOT BUY a DVD or Blu-Ray that has a DRM'd-to-h***-and-back UV copy. Give me an iTunes digital copy (which works with my devices and only has the limitations that I can't burn it or pirate it), or I will make my own copy. Once I've bought a license to view the movie (which is what I'm buying with a disc), I **will** have control over what devices I can watch that movie on, period end of discussion.

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too late

    The greedy studios lost it when iTunes came out. UV is just another lame attempt to keep control of content, destined to fail.

  1. moofpup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Not to mention that the quality of UV is terrible compared to the iTunes counterpart.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here's an idea:

    Realize that DRM doesn't work. You can Torrent any movie today with DRM. So DRM now only inconveniences paying customers.

    So why not just release movies in un-DRMed format. DVDs with no DRM. Blu-rays with no DRM. Also publish tools that let us optimally rip said content to our computers. Yes - I'm saying the movie execs should encourage us to rip them to use on our iPads, Playbooks, or whatever we like. No, that doesn't encourage piracy. Pirates are already encouraged. In fact it makes us feel better about buying the movies, knowing we can play them on any device we'd like.

    We're likely to buy more movies knowing the movie execs don't hate us so much.

  1. facebook_Skeeter

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    No Thank You Warner Bros!

    What I don't need or want to find are my Blu-Rays like the most recent Harry Potter movies copy with a UV copy "inside" to find that I must download my digital copy into yet another format that requires a different media player to use!

    Fortunately if you email Warner Bros customer service they quickly convert it to what you expect which is an iTunes code! As long as I ca choose the play I want to use I will continue to buy your Blu-Ray & 3D discs, if it stops then thanks but all pass on all purchases from Warner Bros.

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