The demise of digital copy 'lockers'

I bet many of use have purchased physical optical media in recent years but been a bit annoyed that the digital copies offered were generally either iTunes or an UltraViolet copy.

In the last couple of years I never really bothered to redeem many of the UV copies - either forgot or couldn’t be bothered - the biggest problem seemed to be that playing UV copies wasn’t very simple depending on what devices you had.

It now seems UV have announced they are closing in the summer. I can’t say I’m surprised given the popularity of streaming services, but it does show it’s important to download the digital copies and not rely on cloud based access, though even if you have the download presumably DRM could scupper playback if the authenticating servers for the format close too.

I bought several dozen movies on iTunes the other day when they had loads on offer at £2.99, many including 4k copies (though you can only download in up to 1080p which is a real shame).

I guess the concern is that we could see all the major digital copy suppliers shut down or change their business model to streaming only. The liked of Apple and Amazon are probably more resistant to market changes, but they might still change their policies.

The only safe option seems to be buying physical media and format shifting to a non-DRM copy for your own personal use in case your media or optical disc player fails.

In reality, how many of us believe that optical disc players and physical media have a rosy future?

Seems this Disney company may have been a factor in UVs demise, but I think it’s US only - thanks again movie studios and your regional coding/licensing antics!

In the past, I have tried to download movies from the sites you link to with the download codes, but I’ve given up - it’s very flakey. I did manage to download the latest Mama Mia film to an iPad for SWMBO to watch on a recent long flight, but when I tried to use the Apple thingamy to mirror to our Apple TV at home, I couldn’t get it to work. I really can’t be bothered with it all! Give me the disc every time.

I’ve got a small collection of streaming 4K movies from Apple, but I’m not confident they’ll always be available to watch.

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Most of the 4K Blu-Ray movies seem to come with both a standard Blu-Ray and a digital download. I’ve never bothered with the latter - preferring just to rip the former - removing the copy protection- on my Mac.

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The long term availability is certainly a concern or digital purchases, plus some movies can get remastered it seems with a modern makeover which may not be to everyone’s liking, at least you have the one you bought with a physical copy.

Yes, that’s probably the best approach if we put convenience aside. I assume you use M@keMKV or similar on the Mac?

I do fing it quite annoying that they rarely seem to bundle 4k with a 3D BluRay - appreciate it’s lost popularity but they still sell 3D BluRay/BluRay/code combos but expect you to spend more again if you the 4k copy with duplicate BluRay discs/codes.

For some odd reason I take far more care of DVD/BluRay discs than I ever did with CD, probably as I never really enjoyed CDs.

Yep to Make MKV, plus I usually transcode an MP4 copy (using Handbrake) for portability.

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Thanks, they have been my ‘go to’ tools for many years but have not used them much recently - good to know they’re still sound options.

I use DVD Fab to remove BluRay/DVD copy protection, then Handbrake to rip the discs onto computer, play using Plex. But it’s all a bit of a fag and I can’t be bothered with it nowadays. If you could only download directly from those codes…

I know what you mean Tony - it’s all a bit of a chore these days compared to simply shoving in the physical disc.

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Would be good if a BluRay version of the Naim Core existed - would automatically rip, metadata tag and store whatever quality file required (e.g. .mp4 for iTunes and .mkv for watching on TV)…

ATB. George

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It’s called Vortexbox is, all you need is a pc with a Blu-ray drive install Vortexbox os and purchase makemkv full license. Done.

@CrystalGipsy, how does this vary from DVDfab ripping software which rips BluRays and DVDs on a PC or Mac equipped with an optical disc reader? Using a music analogy I guess VortexBox for movies is akin to using DBPoweramp (software solution with some manual intervention needed) vs. Naim Core (all-in-one hardware & software solution).

ATB, George.

Nope. Once setup its all automatic on disc insertion. It’s a Linux based os so some knowledge is helpful in setting it up, but the docs are pretty good. It’s what I use to automatically rip CDs . I use it as VM running on my Qnap Nas in VirtualisationStation rather than have another pc. The usb cd drive is plugged in to the Nas and I can then tell it to be available to VortexBox via the VirtualisationStation app on the Qnap. Same could be done for a BluRay drive. To rip blurays you do need a full license of makemkv once that’s done its choose a location to rip them to in the config file.

Many thanks @CrystalGipsy - I’ll Check it out!

ATB. George.

Or if you are especially thrifty, just get the updated beta license key every few months.

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Cool, you will need to install a few extra repositories if you want to rip to external sources or the nases own folders if running as a VM. I can help with this if you need any pointers.

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Can’t say I’ve even tried to download one the films using the UV code. We only watch movies at home/cinema and if I’m on the road then it’s music. As you say, it’s too much faff and I’d probably pony up a few pounds to Apple to download a film to watch on a long flight if I was really desperate.

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