WARNING!!! INCOMING RANT!!!
Is it my imagination, or are these Ultraviolet digital copies you get with DVDs and Blu-rays a bit... well... crap?
I've just encountered them today for the first time and, I've got to say, I miss the good ol' days of 2010 when all I needed to do was open iTunes, enter a voucher code, then Bob's-yer-uncle, the film downloads and you can watch it whenever you like.
But today I had to set up an account with Ultraviolet, then set up another account with Flixster, link those two accounts (they couldn't be linked by default!?), and then jump through a series of hoops just to get access to the films I just purchased.
But, of course, more problems then arise when I tried to redeem the voucher for the 'Dark Knight Trilogy', and it tells me I can't link to my Ultraviolet account because "This UltraViolet user account is currently linked to another Flixster account.
Please create a new UltraViolet user account."
So I try creating a new Ultraviolet account, and a loading bar appears. I wait ten minutes and nothing's happened. I'm stuck with a loading bar and no knowledge if some technical glitch has just invalidated my redeem code. Lovely. Two hours later, and I still have no access to these digital copies. In that time I could have walked to the shops, picked up the DVDs and been back here with time to spare.
Then I try 'Amazing Spider-Man', and I have to set up *another* account, this time with Sony Pictures, and link *that* to my Ultraviolet account. Does this mean that Sony's going to start bombarding me with spam mail now?
Words just can not express how frustrating this experience is. If anybody from Warner Bros or Sony are out there, reading this, and you genuinely think this is going to stop people from pirating your movies, I've got news for you; it's not going to work.
Online piracy's driving force is as much about convenience as it is about money. By making their customers jump through so many malfunctioning hoops, all the studios are doing is alienating their audience and driving them back to sites like Pirate Bay, where all they need to do is click a button and *boom* the film is downloaded and waiting for them to play.
(I'm not advocating piracy, btw. I don't particularly like it myself, nor have I engaged in it, but that doesn't mean I'm not at least aware of its appeal)
The old iTunes/Windows Media Center form of digital copies worked well because it came across to us as a sign of trust and respect, that the studios didn't just assume we were all out to pirate their movies. Now, with this Ultraviolet system, it feels like the equivalent of asking your surly neighbor if you can have your ball back from his garden; he'll grumble and say no because of "reasons", and you're left with nothing to play with.
This whole issue is really another example of how much certain, somewhat myopic studios just don't "get it".
I just thank god that Disney haven't signed up to this system yet (though, that being said, they have stopped offering digital copies in the UK, but that's another rant for another day), and that Fox and Universal at least give you both options.
(oh yeah, and Studio Canal and Revolution can both go to hell for using proprietorial software on their digital copies that aren't Mac compatible... and not telling us this on the packaging.)
Sorry, rant over...
Just needed to vent.