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What is UltraViolet?

Campbell Simpson | April 24, 2013
We look at the free movie download and streaming service bundled with new DVDs and Blu-rays

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After May 1, if you're out shopping and you buy a DVD or Blu-ray, there's a good chance it will come with a bonus -- a free copy of your new movie or TV series online, available for streaming or for download.

This new, free service is called UltraViolet. It's been widespread in the United States for a year and a half, but we're only just getting it in Australia.

From May 1st, more and more movies and TV series on DVD and Blu-ray will come bundled with free UltraViolet movie streaming and downloads. The first title to come out with UltraViolet support will probably be The Hobbit.

A Blu-ray + UltraViolet copy of <i>The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey</i>.
A Blu-ray + UltraViolet copy of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

This Blu-ray disc is the US version of The Hobbit -- Australian versions, and any other UltraViolet-enabled DVD or Blu-ray, will change the blue banner at the top of the disc case to a purple one.

The sticker on the front of the disc case gives you the idea behind UltraViolet -- with this movie, you get a coupon that lets you load The Hobbit onto a service that lets you watch it on your PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone.

The sticker you'll see on UltraViolet-enabled movie and TV discs when they're available in Australia.
The sticker you'll see on UltraViolet-enabled movie and TV discs when they're available in Australia.

The idea behind UltraViolet is that, after you've bought a DVD or Blu-ray disc, you'll find a slip of paper inside the disc case, with a unique 12- or 16-digit code on it. That same slip of paper has a short three-step instruction process that tells you what to do.

Here's what you'll see when you open a DVD or Blu-ray movie that has UltraViolet included. The slip of paper tells you what to do.
Here's what you'll see when you open a DVD or Blu-ray movie that has UltraViolet included. The slip of paper tells you what to do.

Here's the process, with a little explanation of each step.

1. Go to the website mentioned on the slip of paper. There are different websites depending on which film company -- like Universal, or Sony Pictures, or Warner Bros -- you buy the DVD or Blu-ray from. However, this doesn't matter much, because all of your saved UltraViolet movies (no matter the company) appear in the same place after you've redeemed them.

 

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