Is UltraViolet the Digital Solution Movie Fans Have Longed For?

By  · Published on July 22nd, 2010

It’s late one night, and you decide to buy Murder By Death through download. After laughing for almost two hours, you start to wonder why you didn’t watch it on your television. Then you start to wonder what will happen when your computer’s hard drive calls in sick and you lose the digital copy of the film.

The strange nature of downloading a film has been a frustration for modern film fans and a key argument that frequent film pirates use to justify their theft. When you download a movie, you’re not really getting anything. Nothing tangible at least. You want to be able to truly own the movie and to play it on any device that you have handy.

Maybe UltraViolet is the solution.

A report on NPR today detailed the main focus of UltraViolet: to create an individualized online library to place your digital films. Fans would even be able to share these films with a small group of people.

Currently, over 60 media groups have come together to back the service – either by making their films available or by connecting their storefronts to it for ease of use. Essentially, you’ll be able to download your movie from Best Buy, store it in your UltraViolet library, and play it on any media device you choose. In what is usually a blood feud between equally-teamed opponents (think HD-DVD vs Blu-ray), Disney essentially stands alone against Best Buy, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Fox, IBM, Netflix, Sony, Samsung, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, Panasonic, Toshiba, NBC Universal, Microsoft, Dolby, Paramount, and a cast of dozens more that have agreed to make UltraViolet the digital library product to push on the masses.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the product – notably how much it will cost and how usable it will actually be.

Still, the idea of a manageable digital library that isn’t housed on a computer hard drive is an appealing one, and it doesn’t stretch the imagination to foresee a future where DVD has been completely replaced by Blu-ray, but Blu-ray has been completely replaced by digital copies.

But then what would I burn in the microwave with the lights off when I’m bored?

Would you use a product like this?

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.