For those who know of my work, many know that I review many films and that includes a lot of films on Blu-ray. Back in 2008, I only had 21 Blu-rays in my collection. In two years, I had 576. In 2015, I’m now at 1,700.
For any collector and also for us reviewers, the thought of having Blu-rays all over the place, is one that makes one think of the word “hoarder”.
I have had this discussion with many friends and for many of them, they have accepted watching their films digitally. Not caring if there is lag or artifacts, they have accepted digital streaming as their way to access movies without having to physically pay and keep them in whatever cabinet, organizer they have at their home.
For me, I have dealt with the problem once before with DVD’s and I had thrown away all cases and kept the discs in binders. I have yet to do that with Blu-ray and I’m often asked, why don’t you move to digital streaming? It would eliminate all those Blu-rays you have stored in bookcases.
And trust me, I have thought about it.
But the truth is that I love watching films in 1080p, I love hearing surround sound via 7.2, I want to be immersed with the best picture quality and lossless audio and yes, I have paid good money for my equipment to have that luxury that most people don’t care about.
But I have run out of room. I know it and I have to downsize and possibly give away the Blu-rays I know I will never watch again.
But there have been one saving grace for the purchase of Blu-rays and that is UltraViolet.
According to the UltraViolet website, “UltraViolet connects you with your entertainment, on your terms. Buy movies & TV shows once, add them to your online UltraViolet Library at no cost, then instantly stream and download to a wide variety of devices at home and on the go. With your UltraViolet Library, you have choices for where to buy and watch – at any time, you can choose from a growing number of participating UltraViolet retailers. And, you can share your UltraViolet Library with your chosen circle of family and friends.”
So, if I purchase a Blu-ray that shows UltraViolet on the back, I know that I can access the film digitally and in HD via the UltraViolet site, Vudu and Flixster. And the cool thing about it is that the code works cross platform, so when I enter the code, the film will show up on all platforms with the exception of Disney films which will only show up on the Disney site or Vudu.
You can access your UltraViolet films on your tablet, phone or computer (MAC or PC) and I have had no problems viewing UltraViolet at all. In fact, one of the coolest aspect of the service is that you can add (via invitation) a few family and friends to watch the films as well.
For my own personal taste, I only purchase Blu-rays that have the UltraViolet logo. I want to know that something I do buy, will be available via streaming whenever I want to see it or wherever location that I am at.
I do know there are people who feel concerned that what if the movie companies decide to leave UltraViolet and what happens then? Well, that would be a concern but for now, for the past four or five years, I have been able to access UltraViolet and have seen how positive the service has been in my life, especially on long commutes and myself and family would want to watch something on Vudu or Flixster. It is very convenient, but then again, so is having Netflix and Hulu.
But if you purchase a Blu-ray movie, definitely add the code to your UltraViolet account (unless you plan to sell the Blu-ray, then don’t add the code) but remember that these codes do expire typically a year after the Blu-ray was released.