Best Buy subsidiary CinemaNow has opened the doors to their disc-to-digital program. Much like Walmart’s competing Vudu offering, BBY’s Ultraviolet service validates ownership of a Blu-ray or DVD and, for a few bucks, will “copy” it to your account for later playback. However, unlike Vudu which requires a trip to Walmart, CinemaNow is self service – via your home computer. And, as you can see above, I paid $2 to archive my 12 Monkey’s DVD to the cloud.
I’m only aware of CinemaNow software clients for Mac and Windows, but as an Ultraviolet partner, there’s a high probability you’ll find your newly archived titles available for playback via Vudu iPhone, iPad, Android, and Roku apps. Sure enough, 12 monkeys was waiting for me there.
Presumably, one can also “copy” Netflix or Redbox rentals via this service… and either the stakeholders don’t mind as they stand to make a little money from each transaction or they figure the small amount abuse by those in the know would be insignificant to their bottom line. Maybe both. But, like all DRM schemes, this one is limited to licensed titles and if it’s ever retired, poof, there go your movies. Yet given the broad industry support, perhaps Ultraviolet will linger and I don’t mind paying a few bucks to make my content nearly universally available.