Warner Bros. giving iTunes redemption codes to unhappy UltraViolet users

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
UltraViolet, an initiative by Hollywood studios to distribute digital movies independently of Apple's iTunes, has suffered such a backlash from users that Warner Bros. has started placating users with redemption codes for iTunes instead.



End users trying to access digital versions of BluRay or DVD movies via UltraViolet have been overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the system, which doesn't work natively on Apple's iOS devices. Amazon reviews of recent disc releases have been scathing, with more than half of the hundreds of responses complaining about UltraViolet.



Warner Bros. Flixster app for iOS, used to present UltraViolet movies, has been hit with so many complaints that the company has set up a support website to direct users on how to use the system, frequently resorting to giving away iTunes redemption codes to appease angry users unable to play the content they purchased.



Outside of Flixster, Ultraviolet requires registering a new user account and installing Adobe Flash Player. UltraViolet does not work at all on Apple TV. iTunes App Store reviews of Flixster users complain of long waits, irritating bugs, "too many hoops" to jump through to watch the content, and problems of the UltraViolet content simply not working at all.



UV vs Apple, Disney



UltraViolet is backed by more than 70 members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium, led by Sony Pictures' Mitch Singer. The group includes Adobe, Comcast, HP, Intel, LG, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Netflix, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, and Toshiba, along with studios Fox, Paramount, Sony, NBC Universal, Warner and the RIAA.



The consortium hoped to create a DRM alternative to Apple's iTunes video that would enable users to buy playback rights to a movie that could be presented on any participating device, similar to Microsoft's PlaysForSure for music.







Apple and Disney are among the few not supporting the program, but that also means UltraViolet content won't work on all iOS devices or iPods, a limitation that helped kill Microsoft's PlaysForSure and more recently Adobe Flash.



Disney and Apple have floated an alternative open format called Keychest that would enable users to obtain a single key that could be used to unlock digital rights on any system, rather than mandating the file type and technology of the DRM system as UltraViolet hopes to do.



In 2007, Apple began promoting "digital copy," a way for studios to enable DVD or BluRay buyers to access a mobile, digital download of the same movie for playback on their iPods and iOS devices without requiring them to rip the media or defeat its encryption.



The digital copy system also enabled opening the same content to Windows Media users, and some studios' content exclusively provided support for Microsoft's DRM, a problem Keychest sought to alleviate.



Apple has since worked to get studios to support digital streaming movies in iCloud, which is currently limited to providing cloud-based downloads of music and TV programs as the movie studios wait to see whether UltraViolet can offer any competition to the iTunes ecosystem. Studios are hoping that UltraViolet will support physical disc sales even as consumers increasing choose to buy digital downloads or streaming content from Apple, Amazon and Netflix.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    Quote:

    Warner Bros. giving iTunes redemption codes to unhappy UltraViolet users



    So? Ultraviolet users.



    Eventually Apple will have an Open Letter to Studios, petitioning for DRM-free video content. And when one does it, the rest will be forced to follow. Because it's Apple. And it's iTunes.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    ahahhahhahahahahhahah.... when will these companies learn that it's all about the user experience. Crappy experience = crappy product.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    UltraViolet, an initiative by Hollywood studios to distribute digital movies independently of Apple's iTunes, has suffered such a backlash from users that Warner Bros. has started placating users with redemption codes for iTunes instead.






    Warner distancing itself from the cartel. Angry customers. Hollywood at its finest.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SebaSaint View Post


    ahahhahhahahahahhahah.... when will these companies learn that it's all about the user experience. Crappy experience = crappy product.



    This, apple success is by combining art with science, it's only been the topic of apples success for years, why haven't the competitors figured that out yet? iOS and first iphone came it it didn't even support MMS or notifications or hell just about nothig was supported,and it was STILL a major success. WHy? Certainly not it's feature set. Because of it's genius design.



    When you bring a kid to the store to get a computer for school, she goes "aww that imac is cute" not "this computer has a newer generation mother board with faster front side bus and 20% higher cpu performance for 400 dollars cheaper" That might be what daddy tries to tell the little girl, but he still comes home with the pretty imac



    Stereo typed example i know but you get the idea heh.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,479member
    And in related news, McDonald's is sending their angry customers to Burger King...
  • Reply 6 of 43
    Hmpf. The last time the entertainment industry tried to build their own digital media tower of failure, it ended in iTunes Music Store and iPod saving their asses from rampant content piracy.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    Any ideas on how to acquire a code? I am having this exact same frustration with UV and WB DVDs.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by edlsoccer View Post


    Any ideas on how to acquire a code? I am having this exact same frustration with UV and WB DVDs.



    file a complaint at support.ultraviolet.flixster.com.



    it is the SD version of the feature but according to my sister she also got the Extras file. since the nephews are using iPads they won't notice the SD quality so she didn't mind that too much.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I guess this is what happens when a media platform doesn?t share Apple?s priority: user experience.



    Too bad?it could have worked well, and then it would have been another viewing option I wouldn?t have minded having.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    estyleestyle Posts: 201member
    Why exactly are the film companies trying to increase physical disc sales? Is that somehow more profitable than just selling the digital bits you are using to burn the movie to the disc?



    1. Make movie

    2. Convert to digital format

    3. Cost discs

    4. Cost of burning digital to disc

    5. Cost of packaging

    6. Cost of Shipping

    7. SELLING MOVIE



    or



    1. Make movie

    2. Convert to digital format

    3. SELLING MOVIE



    Maybe in an unexpected turn of events, the environmentalist can get all pissed at the Film Co's for trying to increase plastic product waste.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estyle View Post


    1. Make movie

    2. Convert to digital format

    3. SELLING MOVIE



    1. Make movie.



    ? they're all digital these days already. A pro!



    2. Edit, write music, do ADR?



    3. Sell on NAND Thunderbolt drives with draconian DRM.



    3.1. Or just sell on iTunes. As 1080p files. For once.



    Even better!
  • Reply 12 of 43
    dualiedualie Posts: 331member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SebaSaint View Post


    ahahhahhahahahahhahah.... when will these companies learn that it's all about the user experience. Crappy experience = crappy product.



    Apple could learn from this too, since none of it's iTunes Store HD movies will play on any device that's not HDCP compliant, AND they don't bother to tell you that before they rent you a "all sales are final" movie.



    Yup, crappy experience = crappy product.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    This is so fantastic. I didn't complain on Amazon, but I did complain in an email the day I got the Harry Potter part 2 disc that just released. And I got a prompt email from them offering me an iTunes redemption code. It never occurred to me that others would be as upset as I was.



    For those don't know what's going on. I bought Harry Potter part 2 and was going to download a digital copy. I found out I had to register with Flixster, download Adobe Air so I could run their digital app. I don't want Adobe Air so I can run yet another app and net another media locker. I was so upset I wrote to them and explained that there are simply too many entities that want us to use their media app. There is already a king media app. It's called iTunes. And I have no interest in using ten different media apps to manage movies I buy. I told them change it, or I'll simply not buy the Blu-ray in the first place. To that they offered a redemption code.



    It really does bother me that I am asked to install Adobe Air so I can run yet another app on top of Adobe Air. Screw that. Learn to frick'n program in my native op. And I don't want to look in ten different apps for the movie I want to watch. I want to use iTunes and maybe stream it to my Apple TV. I don't want to have to have all these separate things. I like my eco system.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dualie View Post


    [no] HD movies will play on any device that's not HDCP compliant



    That's… kind of how it goes. It should be evident in the phrase "HDCP".
  • Reply 15 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Hmpf. The last time the entertainment industry tried to build their own digital media tower of failure, it ended in iTunes Music Store and iPod saving their asses from rampant content piracy.



    And Sony was a major player in the music industry's failure in the digital music game. Finally the industry listened to Steve Jobs and iTunes was born.



    It's not about the customers or even money. It's about power and they don't want to give it Apple. Even though they have no clue what they're doing and they would make way more money partnering with Apple.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    Yes the music industry had to accept to future (iTunes) with some reluctance. Movie studios shoud learn the lesson.



    Harry Potter is the first super-major title to be encumbered by Ultraviolet. Forgive me for not counting Green Lantern or others (sorry, but not as big).



    I wholeheartedly believe, as I wrote WB, the power play will backlash against their studio and product. The internal marketing idea is clear: force those elitist wealthier Apple customers to buy their blu-ray disc copy and then ave to buy another copy fom the iTunes store - paying twice for the same product. Problem with this studio logic is, that's not how this game would play out... Instead, pissed off buyer are likely to turn to illegal torrent downloads. The customer after all already feels ownership as they hold their receipt in hand. Instead of making the right choice, the studios stabbed their customers in hopes the customer would bleed money.



    WB and other studios, trust and treat your customers with respect - likely Apple and other quality companies. Don't force the customer to pursue alternative methods to obtain what they happily pay for. Don't insult us. Don't use us.



    Do the right thing and embrace all distribution channels - and in the end bring in the rightful profit your product earns. Customers are happy to be honest and legal - don't force them to choose otherwise.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    My wife was going to buy the super combo pack for Harry Potter, until she noticed the 'Ultraviolet' logo. She then recalled how cranky I was that Green Lantern was saddled with it and I had to use other means to get it to play on my iPad with no internet connection.



    She decided to forgo buying the super combo pack and just bought the digital version from iTunes.



    So basically WB did not get the sale of the Super Combo Pack, they got 70% of the digital download price. Wonder, in the long run, which they would have preferred?
  • Reply 18 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estyle View Post


    Why exactly are the film companies trying to increase physical disc sales?



    Like the Music industry before them, the movie studio's want to preserve that status quo (sell Discs) at all costs (like most large old businesses) - even if they pay someone to tell them what the future is (which is staring them in the face) they won't accept and embrace it. Content is to be tightly controlled.



    And so, just like the music industry, you get this awful attempt at digital delivery in the guise of sustaining Disc sales because they are afraid of cannibalizing disc sales of their own product. Just like the Music industry they will fail and be forced to embrace something closer to what Apple and Disney are proposing.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estyle View Post


    Why exactly are the film companies trying to increase physical disc sales? Is that somehow more profitable than just selling the digital bits you are using to burn the movie to the disc?



    Because the only way to get an HD movie with HD audio is via optical disk, and since sales of Blu-ray are continuing to increase, consumers must want them.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estyle View Post


    Maybe in an unexpected turn of events, the environmentalist can get all pissed at the Film Co's for trying to increase plastic product waste.



    What about the environmental cost in producing the hardware to store the movies, and the electricity required to power these digital download servers.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aybara View Post


    My wife was going to buy the super combo pack for Harry Potter, until she noticed the 'Ultraviolet' logo. She then recalled how cranky I was that Green Lantern was saddled with it and I had to use other means to get it to play on my iPad with no internet connection.



    She decided to forgo buying the super combo pack and just bought the digital version from iTunes.



    They seriously need to sort this out. UltraViolet should be a way better solution than buying an iTunes movie.



    Of course no DRM at all would be best, but if we are forced to use DRM then UltraViolet is the best solution I've seen... if only they would implement it right!!
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