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Old Mar 25, 2015, 02:09 PM   #1
twobelowpar
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iTunes or UV: Making the switch to the industry standard?

As I purchase fewer and fewer Blurays, I'm at a crossroads of whether to continue with iTunes or switch over to what seems to be taking over: Ultraviolet. More movies come packaged with UV. The disc to digital program is a cheap way of upgrading my 150 DVDs to high definition and cloud-based storage. More devices play UV. It seems to be the logical thing to do.
However, drawbacks.

-I'm already in the Apple garden. ATV3 is our main hub of entertainment. We have a Roku 3 but it isn't set up on the main TV.
-I already have 50+ movies purchased from iTunes. Being stored in their cloud and ready to stream at a moment's notice is very nice. Extras are becoming more and more common.
-My kids' Disney flicks have all been redeemed in iTunes and watched on iPad frequently. Would have to figure out a way to get those watchable in Flixster. (We don't have Vudu in Canada)

Thoughts? What is everyone here doing and what do you think the future is?
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 02:15 PM   #2
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I've stopped all my iTunes purchases of late and moved over to other means.
In general they are more accessible and cheaper. Win win..
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Old Mar 26, 2015, 07:32 AM   #3
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UV seems to be a solution in search of a problem. My experiences with it have been pretty rocky, requiring dealing with multiple account logins and feeling like I'm jumping through a lot of hoops to redeem and use the content. I also have little trust for the industry behind UV.

As you said, though, iTunes is a bit more walled-garden. Easier to use, but only if you want to use it a certain way. Personally, I'm OK with that, because I've gone whole-hog into that ecosystem, but I don't expect that to hold true for everyone.

If you have the physical discs, your best bet almost certainly is to rip them yourself into the format(s) you desire at the quality level(s) you desire, based on the storage and delivery system you would prefer to use. It gives you the most control over how you want your content and doesn't rely on the whims of the content provider in the long run.
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Old Mar 26, 2015, 08:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by twobelowpar View Post
What is everyone here doing and what do you think the future is?
When it comes to movies, I buy physical media and will continue to do so as long as that's an option. I see no reason to buy digital when it comes to movies when having the physical media gives me complete control over what I do with it. Yes, I'm in the Apple ecosystem now but I don't expect that to last forever.
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Old Mar 26, 2015, 09:13 AM   #5
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For me, it's UV all the way. I find there are MANY more choices and deals for movies via UV than there are via iTunes. Plus, it's available everywhere--on all my Apple devices (except AppleTV) AND available on my Tivo, Roku, any browser, etc. UV is the way to go just because it's becoming a universal standard.

Also, if you're not aware, many people sell their UV codes from their blu-rays for the price of a rental. I rarely ever pay more than $5 for a UV movie, and it's not a copy or illegal; they sell and I gain full ownership rights. You can find them on ebay, some retail stores and several popular forums. That alone is worth switching to UV...you can build your library very quickly with a little cash.

----------

As someone who has been buying iTunes and UV movies for a couple years now, I'll also add these two points:

1. Vudu is owned by Walmart and is HUGELY popular. It capitalizes on UV titles, so they aren't going anywhere soon.

2. Activity in the secondary market I mentioned above is clearly moving in the direction of UV. When I first started buying, iTunes movies were the most coveted, but within the last year, the UV versions have overtaken iTunes versions of movies in being what people desire. In fact, often the iTunes movies will go for half the price because they're harder to unload.
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Old Mar 26, 2015, 12:48 PM   #6
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For me, it's UV all the way. I find there are MANY more choices and deals for movies via UV than there are via iTunes. Plus, it's available everywhere--on all my Apple devices (except AppleTV) AND available on my Tivo, Roku, any browser, etc. UV is the way to go just because it's becoming a universal standard.

Also, if you're not aware, many people sell their UV codes from their blu-rays for the price of a rental. I rarely ever pay more than $5 for a UV movie, and it's not a copy or illegal; they sell and I gain full ownership rights. You can find them on ebay, some retail stores and several popular forums. That alone is worth switching to UV...you can build your library very quickly with a little cash.

----------

As someone who has been buying iTunes and UV movies for a couple years now, I'll also add these two points:

1. Vudu is owned by Walmart and is HUGELY popular. It capitalizes on UV titles, so they aren't going anywhere soon.

2. Activity in the secondary market I mentioned above is clearly moving in the direction of UV. When I first started buying, iTunes movies were the most coveted, but within the last year, the UV versions have overtaken iTunes versions of movies in being what people desire. In fact, often the iTunes movies will go for half the price because they're harder to unload.
Yes. Everything you've said in here is why I'm so tempted to switch. Only 2 things holding me back: No Roku setup on our main TV and anything I've purchased/redeemed from iTunes is stuck there. All my DVD/BR can go D2D. I love the convenience of cloud storage and streaming. I'm not as picky anymore about owning physical copies except for my very favourite films.
I'm in the digital copy marketplace myself (was a buyer until I found my own source and now I sell). iTunes is cheaper in that regard, but not as many of them.
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Old Mar 26, 2015, 09:27 PM   #7
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I use both formats. Doesn't matter to me. Have about 180 iTunes movies & 190 UV movies.
Rarely buy any bluray discs at this point, besides the big titles (only for the lossless audio).

I don't mind having 2 mediums to use as I use the Apple TV & Chromecast for all my needs.
Also have Amazon Prime and use the PS4 for those movies.

Thinking about going digital with the disc-to-digital Vudu offers and selling most of my 200+ bluray collection.

Honestly, digital movies make me cringe at the thought of getting up and swapping discs now lol
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 08:09 PM   #8
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I have a very low opinion of UV due to my personal experiences.

First experience was with a free digital code included with a BD. It didn't work, website said it was invalid. Investigated in Google and found that many invalid codes were printed. There was a whole program for getting a new code. A whole program that had expired, so I missed the window for getting help. Mind you, this was before they put expiration dates on the box for free digital copies, so in those early days there was no way to know that some arbitrary unlisted date had been exceeded.

Second experience was a promotional offer for a dozen or so free movies for new UV users. Fortunately I was a new user, seeing as how I never got that code to work. Anyway, the picture in the ad showed many top movies and new releases. Movies that were desirable to me and well worth making an account to get them for free.

Turns out the process was horrifying. First of all, I couldn't get all dozen in one place. Although not mentioned in the ad, the offer was actually to create several accounts (Best Buy, Target Ticket, Cinema Now, etc.), plus a UV account, plus tying all of the retail accounts to the UV account. In exchange for doing this, each one of the retailers would give me 3 movies or so, adding up to the dozen in the long run. This was a confusing and lengthy process. In all cases they also wanted a crapton of personal information, address, phone, etc., and even credit card information although the items were supposedly free. Every damn account I have to make is one more place for the hackers to get at it, and as we all know, Target was hacked.

The ad was misleading in another fundamental (and possibly illegal?) way. None of the movies shown in the ad, the ones that enticed me in the first place, were actually available as part of the free offer. This is classic bait and switch. They movies that were available for free were all older, crappy titles that wouldn't even sell as $2 Blu-ray in a Walmart bargain-bin. It took me forever to pick my free movies, not because there were so many to choose from, but because it was hard to find any titles I would want to actually want once, much less keep forever in my digital library. Of course, there was no way to know this until after I had given them all of my info and did all of the work making accounts and linking them.

Not giving me a digital version of that first movie kind of feels like theft; I paid for disc and digital, but only got disc. Misleading me about the number of accounts I'd have to set up was bad. Misleading me about the titles that would be available for free really pissed me off. The fact that this took a couple of hours instead of a couple of minutes was quite annoying too.

So UV just really ruined the "new customer experience", on multiple levels, and just left a bad taste in my mouth.

But it gets even worse. Last month I get an email from Target saying that they've given up on Target Ticket. Thankfully, titles can be transferred to CinemaNow, but only if CinemaNow also has rights to those titles. That's a huge disclaimer--titles that CinemaNow doesn't have, you get credits for. But the titles are lost. Once again, this proves that if there is a movie you really care about, buy it in a physical format so it cannot be retroactively taken away from you later.

In any case, the lack of professionalism and severe level of "scammyness" makes me feel that BD and iTunes are the way to go. I cannot imagine Apple stooping to these poor levels.

Obviously many of you are having a much better experience than I had!

Last edited by ActionableMango; Mar 30, 2015 at 08:16 PM.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 10:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ActionableMango View Post
I have a very low opinion of UV due to my personal experiences.

First experience was with a free digital code included with a BD. It didn't work, website said it was invalid. Investigated in Google and found that many invalid codes were printed. There was a whole program for getting a new code. A whole program that had expired, so I missed the window for getting help. Mind you, this was before they put expiration dates on the box for free digital copies, so in those early days there was no way to know that some arbitrary unlisted date had been exceeded.

Second experience was a promotional offer for a dozen or so free movies for new UV users. Fortunately I was a new user, seeing as how I never got that code to work. Anyway, the picture in the ad showed many top movies and new releases. Movies that were desirable to me and well worth making an account to get them for free.

Turns out the process was horrifying. First of all, I couldn't get all dozen in one place. Although not mentioned in the ad, the offer was actually to create several accounts (Best Buy, Target Ticket, Cinema Now, etc.), plus a UV account, plus tying all of the retail accounts to the UV account. In exchange for doing this, each one of the retailers would give me 3 movies or so, adding up to the dozen in the long run. This was a confusing and lengthy process. In all cases they also wanted a crapton of personal information, address, phone, etc., and even credit card information although the items were supposedly free. Every damn account I have to make is one more place for the hackers to get at it, and as we all know, Target was hacked.

The ad was misleading in another fundamental (and possibly illegal?) way. None of the movies shown in the ad, the ones that enticed me in the first place, were actually available as part of the free offer. This is classic bait and switch. They movies that were available for free were all older, crappy titles that wouldn't even sell as $2 Blu-ray in a Walmart bargain-bin. It took me forever to pick my free movies, not because there were so many to choose from, but because it was hard to find any titles I would want to actually want once, much less keep forever in my digital library. Of course, there was no way to know this until after I had given them all of my info and did all of the work making accounts and linking them.

Not giving me a digital version of that first movie kind of feels like theft; I paid for disc and digital, but only got disc. Misleading me about the number of accounts I'd have to set up was bad. Misleading me about the titles that would be available for free really pissed me off. The fact that this took a couple of hours instead of a couple of minutes was quite annoying too.

So UV just really ruined the "new customer experience", on multiple levels, and just left a bad taste in my mouth.

But it gets even worse. Last month I get an email from Target saying that they've given up on Target Ticket. Thankfully, titles can be transferred to CinemaNow, but only if CinemaNow also has rights to those titles. That's a huge disclaimer--titles that CinemaNow doesn't have, you get credits for. But the titles are lost. Once again, this proves that if there is a movie you really care about, buy it in a physical format so it cannot be retroactively taken away from you later.

In any case, the lack of professionalism and severe level of "scammyness" makes me feel that BD and iTunes are the way to go. I cannot imagine Apple stooping to these poor levels.

Obviously many of you are having a much better experience than I had!
If I had an inkling to move over to UV, you just killed it. Thanks for sharing
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 02:53 AM   #10
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UV all the way.

OP, you said one thing that was holding you back was that you already had movies locked into iTunes. That's EXACTLY why you should move - you don't want to lock all your movies into one provider. And if any of those movies are Disney, they will come with you to a provider like Vudu because they are DMA. Also, not having a Roku set-up on the main TV shouldn't be a deterrent. Your TV or optical disc player probably already have Vudu loaded but if not a Roku streaming stick can be had for $35.

To the poster who mentioned the Target Ticket thing - the move to CinemaNow was unnecessary in the first place because if the titles purchased from Target Ticket were UV enabled, you would be able to access them at any UV provider regardless of TT closing. And I bet Vudu had all of the titles CinemaNow didn't. And remember that iTunes can lose a license too (and they have).

Lastly, I can never understand one common complaint about UV - having to open multiple account logins to redeem codes. You need only one account - your UV account. All codes can be redeemed right on the UV website. Just go here - https://www.myuv.com/en/us/redeem. That is no more complicated than redeeming a code on iTunes.

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Old Mar 31, 2015, 11:58 AM   #11
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I don't understand why there still needs to be locked digital lockers for DRM content. Just like you can buy a physical disc from any store and play it on any player. The studios should make anything you buy from Amazon, iTunes, Google, vudu etc show up on every locker you sign up for.

They can do it seeing as it's not the stores that give out the codes. It's the studios that do.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:04 PM   #12
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UV all the way.
Can UV movies be downloaded locally, backed up on my own hard drive, and played back offline?
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:11 PM   #13
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Can UV movies be downloaded locally, backed up on my own hard drive, and played back offline?
They can be downloaded locally and played offline, but not backed up. They still need to be played through the app of a UV partner because of DRM. But I just use the Vudu app and it works flawlessly.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:17 PM   #14
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They can be downloaded locally and played offline, but not backed up. They still need to be played through the app of a UV partner because of DRM. But I just use the Vudu app and it works flawlessly.
So if I download a movie locally, and Vudu loses the license to that movie, will it still play back? Why can't I move the locally downloaded movie into a backup drive?

It seems to me that iTunes is more flexible here. I can download the movie locally, move it to whatever folder or hard drive I want, and it will always play back with iTunes whether or not iTunes still sells that movie. Thus, I know that as long as I have a local copy, even if iTunes doesn't have a license anymore, I can still play it back. Further, even if my hard drive dies, or whatever, as long as I have a backup, I will still have that movie.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:19 PM   #15
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To the poster who mentioned the Target Ticket thing - the move to CinemaNow was unnecessary in the first place because if the titles purchased from Target Ticket were UV enabled, you would be able to access them at any UV provider regardless of TT closing.
Perhaps this is true, but the Target Ticket says absolutely nothing about credits appearing in the UV account for lost movies. In fact, it says otherwise:
you must agree to have your library of purchased titles and existing account credit transferred from Target Ticket to CinemaNow in order to maintain access to your titles purchased through Target Ticket
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Originally Posted by arbogast777 View Post
And remember that iTunes can lose a license too (and they have).
Which is why I said if you really care about a movie, buy it in a physical format like BD.

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Lastly, I can never understand one common complaint about UV - having to open multiple account logins to redeem codes. You need only one account - your UV account. All codes can be redeemed right on the UV website. Just go here - https://www.myuv.com/en/us/redeem. That is no more complicated than redeeming a code on iTunes.
I wasn't talking about redeeming codes. If they had simply sent me codes, I could have redeemed them in one place and been much, much happier. I'm talking about a specific promotional offer which absolutely required me to create multiple accounts at multiple retailers in order to get the free movies, something I did not know ahead of time or I wouldn't have bothered.

Oh, and it gets even worse. Because of this thread I decided to take a look at my UV movie collection again to see if I might want to watch something from it. But apparently I have not watched my crappy free movies often enough, so my UV account has expired:



No problem, right? There's a link to restore my account, right? When I click the link to restore my account, I get this:



So now I don't even have access to any of my movies any more. I fully understand that temporary outages happen, but I got the 500 error last night and again when I tried today. Nothing like this has ever happened to me with a BD or iTunes.

Maybe some day these asshats will get their acts together, but today is not that day.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:20 PM   #16
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They can be downloaded locally and played offline, but not backed up. They still need to be played through the app of a UV partner because of DRM. But I just use the Vudu app and it works flawlessly.
Correct. I know a number of people who have large HD's hooked up to their PlayStations filled with UV movies. I download UV titles to my iPad for offline viewing when traveling.

If having a set-up where you want all of your movies backed up to a HD is what you want, iTunes might be the way to go. My computing set-up consists of iPad/iPhone only so that is not of interest to me.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:23 PM   #17
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So if I download a movie locally, and Vudu loses the license to that movie, will it still play back? Why can't I move the locally downloaded movie into a backup drive?

It seems to me that iTunes is more flexible here. I can download the movie locally, move it to whatever folder or hard drive I want, and it will always play back with iTunes whether or not iTunes still sells that movie. Thus, I know that as long as I have a local copy, even if iTunes doesn't have a license anymore, I can still play it back. Further, even if my hard drive dies, or whatever, as long as I have a backup, I will still have that movie.
Well...I should add that I usually download movies through my iPad app, so I'm not sure of the behavior of the desktop download.

But I think the behavior of both are the same. Yes, you can move the movie easy with iTunes, but if your iTunes doesn't have the license anymore, you won't be able to play it.

If you mean that iTunes or Vudu corporate doesn't have the license anymore, that shouldn't affect you if you've purchased. I've never had a movie "taken away" because it disappeared out of the catalog. Others may not be able to buy it at that point, but since I bought it when it was available, it's always available to me.

----------

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Perhaps this is true, but the Target Ticket says absolutely nothing about credits appearing in the UV account for lost movies, nor that the movies are still available at any other provider. In fact, it says otherwise:
you must agree to have your library of purchased titles and existing account credit transferred from Target Ticket to CinemaNow in order to maintain access to your titles purchased through Target Ticket


Which is why I said if you really care about a movie, buy it in a physical format like BD.



I wasn't talking about redeeming codes. If they had simply sent me codes, I could have redeemed them in one place and been much, much happier. I'm talking about a specific promotional offer which absolutely required me to create multiple accounts at multiple retailers in order to get the free movies, something I did not know ahead of time or I wouldn't have bothered.

Oh, and it gets even worse. Because of this thread I decided to take a look at my UV movie collection again to see if I might want to watch something from it. But apparently I have not watched my crappy free movies often enough, so my UV account has expired:

Image

No problem, right? There's a link to restore my account, right? When I click the link to restore my account, I get this:

Image

So now I don't even have access to any of my movies any more. I fully understand that temporary outages happen, but I got the 500 error last night and again when I tried today. Nothing like this has ever happened to me with a BD or iTunes.

Maybe some day these asshats will get their acts together, but today is not that day.
Let me help you here: CinemaNow sucks. They're spotty at best. Create an account at Vudu and hook up your UV account. All your movies will be there. And I've never seen Vudu down, it's available on pretty much any device, and Walmart owns it. It's not going anywhere.

(By the way, opening a Vudu account and hooking up your UV account will NOT affect your CinemaNow standing. You can have multiple services grabbing your UV movies.)

As far as the whole TargetTicket thing goes: Their email is partially incorrect. You ONLY need CinemaNow for TargetTicket movies you bought that were NOT UV. That's very few of them. Chances are, all your movies are in your UV account and you can just use another service. Use Vudu. You'll be glad you did.

The only time I don't buy digital movies are if they are NOT UV. In that case, I get the disc because those cannot be transferred. But if it's UV, you're golden and digital is the way to go--much better than iTunes in this case.

Oh! One other reason UV is awesome. You can share your UV library with up to 5 family or friends. You can do this through the UV or Vudu interface. So, for instance, I shared my UV library with my parents. Now, if they purchase any movies on their account, they go directly into mine instead as long as we're connected. Pretty slick if you have family members who don't want their "own" libraries.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:28 PM   #18
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I wasn't talking about redeeming codes. If they had simply sent me codes, I could have redeemed them in one place and been much, much happier.
That's fantastic, but I wasn't referring to your post

And as the poster above me said, forget about the whole Target Ticket/CinemaNow thing. You are making this harder than it has to be. Sign up for Vudu and link to UV. Your movies will be there.

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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:31 PM   #19
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but if your iTunes doesn't have the license anymore, you won't be able to play it.
I'm not sure what you mean here. If I have the movie file from iTunes, it will always play it.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:33 PM   #20
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I'm not sure what you mean here. If I have the movie file from iTunes, it will always play it.
I mean if, for instance, you move your file to a new Mac and it doesn't have your iTunes license transferred with it. Then it won't play.

But I don't think that's what you meant, right? You meant if it disappeared from the iTunes or UV catalog. In that case, as long as you own it, it won't disappear from your personal library.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:37 PM   #21
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Well...I should add that I usually download movies through my iPad app, so I'm not sure of the behavior of the desktop download.

But I think the behavior of both are the same. Yes, you can move the movie easy with iTunes, but if your iTunes doesn't have the license anymore, you won't be able to play it.

If you mean that iTunes or Vudu corporate doesn't have the license anymore, that shouldn't affect you if you've purchased. I've never had a movie "taken away" because it disappeared out of the catalog. Others may not be able to buy it at that point, but since I bought it when it was available, it's always available to me.



----------



Let me help you here: CinemaNow sucks. They're spotty at best. Create an account at Vudu and hook up your UV account. All your movies will be there. And I've never seen Vudu down, it's available on pretty much any device, and Walmart owns it. It's not going anywhere.

(By the way, opening a Vudu account and hooking up your UV account will NOT affect your CinemaNow standing. You can have multiple services grabbing your UV movies.)

As far as the whole TargetTicket thing goes: Their email is partially incorrect. You ONLY need CinemaNow for TargetTicket movies you bought that were NOT UV. That's very few of them. Chances are, all your movies are in your UV account and you can just use another service. Use Vudu. You'll be glad you did.

The only time I don't buy digital movies are if they are NOT UV. In that case, I get the disc because those cannot be transferred. But if it's UV, you're golden and digital is the way to go--much better than iTunes in this case.

Oh! One other reason UV is awesome. You can share your UV library with up to 5 family or friends. You can do this through the UV or Vudu interface. So, for instance, I shared my UV library with my parents. Now, if they purchase any movies on their account, they go directly into mine instead as long as we're connected. Pretty slick if you have family members who don't want their "own" libraries.
how exactly did the person who you replied to loose his UV account?? why would it expire??
Also, you can share your iTunes purchases now.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:40 PM   #22
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Also, you can share your iTunes purchases now.
True, but that only helps if the people you share with uses Apple products. With UV you can share with everyone.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by arbogast777 View Post
Correct, if you have the movie FILE from iTunes you can always play it, but not so if you only stream, which is what I think he was referring to.
So if you buy a movie from iTunes and they remove it from their catalog, you can't stream it anymore? Won't it stay in your library in the cloud? I can't think they'd just make it disappear after you paid for it...I've certainly never had that happen on Vudu, but I guess you never know...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbogast777 View Post
True, but that only helps if the people you share with uses Apple products. With UV you can share with everyone.
And that's really handy. For instance, my Dad streams through his DVD player that has Vudu on it. My Mom uses a Roku. Neither uses Apple products, but they all share my UV library. And personally, I use it not only on my Apple devices but also my TiVo.

(Note: No UV partners are on AppleTV yet.)
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:46 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JuryDuty View Post
So if you buy a movie from iTunes and they remove it from their catalog, you can't stream it anymore? Won't it stay in your library in the cloud? I can't think they'd just make it disappear after you paid for it...I've certainly never had that happen on Vudu, but I guess you never know...
"I guess you never know" is really the answer here. I have definitely heard of people no longer being able to stream a movie they purchased from the iTunes store (Carrie comes to mind) and Apple's response was that they should download anything they don't want to lose. It's kind of the elephant in the room when it comes to digital media, whether it be iTunes or UV...
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 01:52 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by arbogast777 View Post
"I guess you never know" is really the answer here. I have definitely heard of people no longer being able to stream a movie they purchased from the iTunes store (Carrie comes to mind) and Apple's response was that they should download anything they don't want to lose. It's kind of the elephant in the room when it comes to digital media, whether it be iTunes or UV...
That's interesting, and a horrible answer IMO because you've already paid for it. I've not had that happen to anything I own on Vudu, and maybe it's different because it's mainly a streaming service--you really only download to watch online. They might have different agreements with the studios.

But I'm not sure. You're right--that is a difference with digital media. With physical media you KNOW you own it. That's why I do a combination of the two. But mostly I use digital. I guess it's worth the small risk to me to have the convenience.
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