Review: UltraViolet DVDs – it's movie streaming from the clouds


UltraViolet movies from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Have you heard of UltraViolet? It’s a digital service that allows dads, moms, and kids to upload, store and watch their favorite movies whenever and wherever they want. I tried out the service recently with three of Sony Pictures’ UltraViolet movies: Men in Black (I and II), Moneyball, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The movies were great on my Blu-ray player, but I also loved watching the UltraViolet movies on my iPod touch and Nook Color. The playback was very smooth. Best of all, I didn’t have to use software to convert my movies into a format that can be played on my mobile devices. The cloud service took care of that for me, and the process was easy and very quick.

The UltraViolet system is a cloud-based service. As a result, you need an Internet connection to stream movies to a mobile device, computer, TV, game console, or cable/satellite set-top box. But if you’re traveling and don’t expect to have Internet service where you’re going, you can also download an UltraViolet movie to your laptop for offline viewing.

With UltraViolet, you can also share your digital movie library with up to five other people without having to give them your username and password. All you have to do create a member account for them and then add them to your account. It only took me about a minute to create and add a member to my account.

Signing up for UltraViolet isn’t difficult, but you do need to sign-up for two accounts. First, you need an UltraViolet account for managing the licenses of your UltraViolet movies. UltraViolet is essentially a digital-rights locker and does not handle the streaming of movies. For that, you need an account like Flixster, which handles the content of your UltraViolet library. Alternatively, you can sign up for a streaming account with Sony Pictures Entertainment instead of Flixster. But then you’ll also have to sign up for separate accounts for the other movie studios. Flixster, on the other hand, can stream movies from multiple movie studios. In addition, Flixster will also create your UltraViolet account for you and link it to your Flixster account.

To sign up for a Flixster account, all you have to do is go to the Flixster signup page, and fill in the required information (name, email, password, birthday). Flixster will then redirect you to to create and link your UltraViolet account. Note: you only need to do this the first time you sign up, after that you can access your Flixster account directly without also having to login to Another note: you might have to check your email reader and click on the confirmation link to activate your account.

After signing up for your UltraViolet account, you can then add movies to your digital library. To do that, click on the Redeem Now button or go to the UltraViolet page. Click on the movie you want to add to your library and then enter the special UltraViolet code (it’s printed on a slip of paper inside your UltraViolet movie case). The movie will then be added to your collection and available for streaming to a device or downloading for offline viewing. To stream your movie to your device, you’ll also need to download the appropriate app: iPhone, iPad, and iPod | Android | Windows Phone | BlackBerry.

In conclusion, look for the UltraViolet label on your favorite movie titles. UltraViolet will expand your movie watching experience to your smartphone and other devices.

Links of interest: UltraViolet website | UltraViolet FAQ

[Disclosure: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment sent me some UltraViolet-enabled movies for review purposes. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.]


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