My Amazon.com order arrived today. Another DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack with UltraViolet digital copy. Since my last experience with UltraViolet was less than stellar, I took some notes on my second experience to see if things had improved. This time around my UltraViolet and Flixter accounts have been setup, and those accounts are configured on my iPad, iPhone, and on my Mac. All that mess of setting up accounts, linking accounts, and logging in has been taken care of. UltraViolet streaming should be no problem now, right? (TL;DR version: Nope, still a horrible experience.)
Redemption code from the DVD box in hand, I log into Fkixter and click the “Redeem Now” button at the top of Flixter’s page. Instead of being presented with a form to enter my redemption code, I’m presented with a list of movies available on UltraViolet. No option to search and filter, no genre grouping. The only option is to scroll through the list and find your movie. This should be easy right? With no option to sort and filter, it would make sense to sort movies alphabetically.
Here is the exact order of the movies listed:
- Horrible Bosses
- Green Lantern
- Crazy, Stupid, Love
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
- The Hangover Part II
- The Smurfs
- Cowboys & Aliens
- Friends With Benefits
- Dolphin Tale
- One Tree Hill: The Complete Eighth Season
- Underworld Trilogy
- Colombiana (Unrated)
- Final Destination 5
- Shameless Season One
- Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
- The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption
- Killer Elite
- The Ides of March
- The Thing
- Dream House
- A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
- The Loras
- J. Edgar
- Honey 2
- Tower Heist
- Johnny Englis Reborn
- Justice League Doom
- The Town
- Monty Python And The Holy Grail
- Jack and Jill
- Happy Feet Two
- Scooby-Doo! Music of the VAmpire
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
- One Tree Hill: The Complete Ninth Season
- IMAX: BornTo Be Wild
- New Years Eve
- Joyful Noise
- Men In Black
- Suits, Season 1
- Men In Black II
- The Dark Knight
- Batman Begins
- Cold War: The Complete Series
- Chuck Season 5
- Underworld: The Legacy Collection
- The Vow
- Spider-Man 2
- Spider-Man 3
- The Grey
- The Woman in Black
- Rizzoli & Isles Season 2
- True Blood Season 1
- True Blood Season 2
- True Blood Season 3
- True Blood Season 4
- Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
- Save House
- Pretty Little Liars Season 2
- Falling Skies Season 1
- Superman Vs. the Elite
- Too Big to Fail
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
OK, so we have TV and Movies mixed together. As best I can tell, they are sorted by the date they were made availabe on UltraViolet’s distribution system with the newest releases at the end of the list. Don’t you typically put your newest products on the top of the list, at the front of the store, or on a marble pedestal so that everyone can easily see (and buy) what’s new? So far UltraViolet Digital Distribution continues to defy logic.
And another comparison, redeeming a code in iTunes is simple. You click the “Redeem” link on the front page of the iTunes store, enter your code, and iTunes brings you to the product that code is for. It doesn’t matter if the code is for an iTunes gift card, a digital copy of a movie, an iTunes pre-order card purchased in a store, whatever. Click redeem, enter code, get product. Why can’t UltraViolet do the same? I have a code that uniquely identifies my purchase. Presumably they know what movie the code is for, but first I have to find my movie and click on it in order to redeem my code.
OK, so I’ve clicked the redeem button, I’ve found and clicked on my movie. And now I’m presented with a larger picture of my movie. The exact same picture on the Blu-Ray box, and a description of UltraViolet:UltraViolet makes it possible for you to watch the digital movies you own anytime, anywhere, any way you want. Thanks guys, I needed to know that. Why else would I be here in the first place? The printed instructions told me to go here! Next up, instructions for the redemption process:
Redemption code found inside your Blu-ray or DVD package. Offer valid only in US.
News flash: I have the box, I have my code, you should have given me a field to enter my redeem code immediately after clicking the redeem button on the main page Flixter.
So, one more click on the Get Started Button (three so far) and yes, here it is, the Redeem Code field and button! Enter code, and please wait. And please wait. And Please wait. OK now I’m redirected to Flixter…and…wow this is a slow Web site…yes I had enough time to type “wow this is a slow Web site” into the notes I’m keeping as I’m going through the redemption process. It truly is a slow site. Patience prevails, and my movie has been added to my collection.
UltraViolet may be the first out of the gate, but Apple and Disney are working on Keychest, or some competitior to UltraViolet. They aren’t even on the market with their system, but with Apple involved it would be a safe bet that the Apple/Disney venture will blow UltraViolet out of the water experience wise when they do come to market.
The audio issues (distortion, peaking, whatever an audio engineer would call it) I mentioned in my previous write up are still there in the UltraViolet digital edition (download and streaming.) Again the audio issues persist across multiple devices, headphones, and speakers. Something is very wrong with the encoding process.
3 thoughts on “UltraViolet Follow Up”
Have you used any providers other than Flixter? I tried it on Vudu without any of these issues, but I don't watch movies on my portable devices.
I normally do not watch movies on my mobile device either but thanks for the heads up on Flixster and the Ultraviolet situation, so I don’t waste my time. I've used Ultraviolet on Vudu service but the problem that I have with it is purchasing my movies individually instead of having it readily available for me. I’ve chosen a much better option through my job (Dish) that offers me new release movies 28 days before Netflix and Redbox. Blockbuster@Home is cheaper than Netflix and allows me to stream 3,000 movies to my TV and 4,000 movies to my PC along with disc rentals by mail. I have over 100,000 titles to choose from by mail, which includes games, TV shows, blu-rays and movies!
I feel you. UV is maddening. I just want it in iTunes!