June 24--An increasingly common feature for those still buying DVD and Blu-ray movies is the option for an "UltraViolet" copy of the film. But what is UltraViolet and how is it different from a "Digital Copy," which is also sometimes included with newly purchased movies?
UltraViolet (at uvvu.com) had a rough launch in 2011 as a studio and movie-industry backed option for movie fans to stream online or download digital copies of movies they own. By registering a code that comes with some DVD or Blu-ray purchases, movie watchers can create a so-called digital locker of their movies with rights to stream and download those movies to certain devices (phones, tablets, video game consoles) that would not expire. Disney is the only major movie studio that is not involved with UltraViolet.
Over the past year, it's improved quite a bit and can now be accessed using apps and services such as "Flixster" and "Vudu." Some DVD/Blu-ray combo packs include both an UltraViolet code as well as one to download a separate digital copy using Apple's iTunes or Windows Media Player. There is also a service that can grant you UltraViolet copies of movies you already own for an additional fee, about $2-$5 per disc.
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