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Old 12-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
echopulse echopulse is offline
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Default Review of UltraViolet Providers

When UltraViolet was first launched to the public it had a lot of problems. You needed multiple accounts to redeem codes. Some people couldn't login to their accounts at all. Some devices didn't have apps available right away, and it was unclear whether you would get a SD or HD copy with your blu-ray disc. Using flixster was cumbersome, and some codes would not redeem. Now, all of those problems have been fixed.

For more than a year, I only used vudu, because it was the only good streaming service for a long time. Lately some other UV providers have really been innovating in this space, and they deserve a look. Here is a short review of all the UltraViolet retailers I've used.

Vudu: Has the most availability of UV films, and the highest video quality, but usually has higher prices than other providers. Sometimes they have good sales. They sometimes have films in the incorrect aspect ratio, even when other sources have the correct ones. Their Disc to Digital service is the cheapest and easiest to use and recognizes blu-ray discs, when others do not. Their IOS app is good, but it just allows downloads for offline viewing. The sorting option on the website is pretty useful, but it is also needed in the IOS app. The parental control is limited to TV's and set top boxes, it's not available on the website or IOS app. The Android app is much better.

Flixster: Was the first to launch UV access, but their website was slow, especially with large libraries, and sometimes failed to load at all. Most of those issues have been fixed. Their IOS app is pretty good, and it now allows HD playback. Only service that allows deletion of unwanted titles.

Target Ticket: I like their interface the best. It's clean and minimal when compared to vudu's. I also like the playlists feature, multiple family member accounts, & parental controls. The only drawback is that the website takes some time to load large libraries. They've also had good sales so far.

MGO: The website was slow to load, and the interface was bad when the service first launched, but it is much improved. I like their cards feature that lets you group movies together. Soon they will start selling gift cards that let you gift individual movies to people. I also like that it is built right into the Roku, with no need to install an app. I say this one is easily my second favorite as far as innovation, and I picked up Depsicable Me 2 HD for $8 on Black Friday.

CinemaNow: They often have good sales, but not much else is going for them. They did have a working IOS app from the beginning.

UltraViolet has come a long way in two years, but we still need better ways to sort our libraries, to prevent having to scroll for a very long time to get through a large libraries. I'm looking forward to the Common File Format, the ability to delete UV films, and upgrades from SD to HD. At that point I'll be satisfied with UV. Oh, and of course, Disney and MGM need to offer UV titles.

Last edited by echopulse; 12-05-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
squatting hen squatting hen is offline
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I mainly use my Roku for my UV streaming and Vudu had been my go to since I started my collection. I have a PS3 I use on occasion, but the Roku is much faster and easier to use for the entire family. My experience is only with using the Roku and PS3, as I do not watch movies on my PC.

I did create an account with Target Ticket so I could see how they handle my collection. I also thought it would work on one of my older Roku boxes, but the channel was released to it in error, so it would not work. I only spent a few minutes with it, but it was bright and colorful. I immediately noticed though that it brought over every movie in my UV collection, even duplicates, which I do not like or want. Vudu does not do this. I have not tried it again since that.

I don't care for CinemmaNow at all.

I too got the update on the Roku which intergrades M-GO services. I have not tried M-GO yet but I plan to. I will say that at this moment, my initial feelings are that I completely dislike how M-GO is built into the Roku. To me this feels like a sellout, cash grab, promotion, similar to race cars with all of their stickers and stadiums named after companies. I have not done it yet, but I have been considering going into the setting and hiding this "feature”. Maybe it will be great if I give it a chance, but it just feels like an app I love was just updated to include ads.

I have built up a nice collection of UV titles, but I have a selection of titles that are only viewable in Vudu. This alone keeps me from using another service, especially when Vudu, so far in my opinion, seems to be working just fine. I would be willing to give the other providers more of a chance if my entire movie collection was UV, not tied to a certain provider.

I know many people feel that the more options the better, but I would rather have one or two options, that worked really, really well.

Last edited by squatting hen; 12-03-2013 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:27 PM   #3
echopulse echopulse is offline
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My problem with vudu is that they haven't done much to innovate. They have been around the longest, but have the fewest features. CinemaNow and Target Ticket rushed out the gate with an app for iPad that worked. Vudu's app didn't work when IOS7 came out, and wasn't fixed for over a month. Even the fixed version required a fix. It took them ages to add a sort feature to the website, and they still haven't added it to the IOS app. People have also been asking for a way to bundle films together in the library view for ages, but nothing has been hinted at. I also can't understand why they don't add HD downloads for the IOS or Android apps, when flixster has even added it. It just seems like vudu is standing still, while other services are adding features. They are still the favorite for quality, but others have already surpassed them in features.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
squatting hen squatting hen is offline
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I see your point. I don't have any of those issues (although I do want to group my titles) since I don't have an ios device or use a PC for playback.

UV's site itself is due for an upgrade and new features too.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:49 AM   #5
DrStrangelove DrStrangelove is online now
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I totally agree with your review. I wasn't aware of MGO, I'll have to give that a try. As far as what I've seen, the Vudu IOS app is total junk. Their PS3 app however is fantastic. Even before I had a UV collection I would frequent the app just for rentals and trailers.

The Flixster app is second to none on IOS however not all my UV movies are available through the app and I can't figure out how to get my UV TV series to show up?
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
jdmac29 jdmac29 is offline
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I have used all the services and vudu is still the best overall. With disc to digital service in wal mart and online with blu rays no one can compare.
I do like the flixster ios app the best though since it requires the smallest file size downloads for movies on my 16gb iphone 5s. Best deal I seen on a new release was MGO they had despicable me 2 for $5 SD and I think $8 for HD.
What I don't really understand about the online disc to digital services is how some sites can read the disc and allow you to get a digital copy and others do not, since this is all UV what is the big difference.
I do like the ps3 app on vudu for the downloading of hdx files also, I don't have a fast enought internet to stream them.
We really need the common file format to start soon so hopefully I can put them on my NAS and stream without the worry of internet speed.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
RDLee RDLee is offline
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I think I saw someone mention on Vudu forums recently that Amazon, Comcast and Redbox Instant may support UV soon.

The more, the merrier.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:23 PM   #8
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No one mentioned another one: Nook Video. Their mobile and Roku app have clean, simple design (look like their ebook Nook app if you know it). If you own their newer Nook tablets, you can stream your Nook Video collection on your tablet in 1080p. Nook Video supports most of my UV collection. Their video store on their web site is alright.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
Clark Kent Clark Kent is offline
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Doesn't Universal's website provide a way to watch their UV movies? They have very gimpy servers when it comes to digital code redemptions, I've had three separate times in the last month when a code would redeem on Universal's site and then would not get added to my collection. I had to contact their customer service every time for a new code.

Last edited by Clark Kent; 12-10-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:59 PM   #10
echopulse echopulse is offline
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This happened to me last night with JOBS. They won't issue me a new code unless I provide a copy of the receipt, or picture of the inside and outside of the case with the discs showing. I can't do that because I bought the code directly. Is there anything I can do if I don't have that?
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:56 PM   #11
Clark Kent Clark Kent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echopulse View Post
This happened to me last night with JOBS. They won't issue me a new code unless I provide a copy of the receipt, or picture of the inside and outside of the case with the discs showing. I can't do that because I bought the code directly. Is there anything I can do if I don't have that?
Universal's customer service is fairly firm on a snapshot of the code sheet unless the code was directly entered into your account on their site and it failed to get added once you went past the second step of redemption.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:35 AM   #12
echopulse echopulse is offline
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I have the code sheet. Just not the discs.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:34 PM   #13
pghflyer pghflyer is offline
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I have to say, the inconsistency of UV library synchronization is really crazy among these providers. Just an example, I redeemed Despicable Me 2 UV at Vudu...it now appears in there and in Flixster.....but NOT in CinemaNow for some reason.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #14
Clark Kent Clark Kent is offline
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Is anyone else noticing some strange totals in their Flixster collections? I was over 300 movies on Flixster but at the current moment it is only showing 232 movies. VUDU is rock solid as always and showing the correct number. Did Flixster lose UV rights to a number of movies?
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:51 AM   #15
Evil Evil is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Kent View Post
Is anyone else noticing some strange totals in their Flixster collections? I was over 300 movies on Flixster but at the current moment it is only showing 232 movies. VUDU is rock solid as always and showing the correct number. Did Flixster lose UV rights to a number of movies?
I don't think so. My Flixster collection hasn't dropped at all.
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