Yes, UltraViolet Is Still Around, But Not for Much Longer
Sad news for UltraViolet users: The service announced today it will shut down on July 31st. UltraViolet is a free online movie locker service introduced by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem in 2011 to offset ebbing DVD sales. By giving consumers a way to build a movie library in the cloud, one they could access from multiple locations, the DECE hoped to boost movie sales. Despite moves to make the service more attractive, such as a sharing feature introduced in 2014 that let members share their libraries with five friends, the service didn't find strong support.
The service will work as usual until July 31, the website says, and members can continue to add new movies and TV shows until then. Members are encouraged to log into their accounts and link to supporting retailers. After the shutdown, members should be able to access their purchases through retailer accounts, but not through UltraViolet.
Vudu, the service's biggest supporting retailer, is warning UltraViolet members not to shut down or unlink their accounts early, as doing so will wipe out their entire digital libraries. The service currently has over 30 million users and stores more that 300 million movies and shows, Variety reports.
While UltraViolet is going away, competing digital locker system Movies Anywhere will continue. The service was created by Disney as an alternative to UltraViolet, but later gained the support of the other major movie studios. They found it easier to join Disney than fight it.
UltraViolet becomes a little less restrictive thanks to a Vudu feature that lets members share the contents of their online libraries.
When Paramount begins distributing CFF UV titles in the second half of this year, it will use DTS for high-definition audio.
Most studios are on-board and most new releases are UltraViolet-enabled. But does that mean UltraViolet is a success?
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) is trying to bring together an amalgam of DRM schemes that will let consumers achieve the long-sought goal of "buy once, play everywhere."