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Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

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    Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

    Hi everyone,

    New Vudu user here. For tl;dr version, scroll all the way to the bottom and just read the last paragraph.

    I've been a long-time user of many DVR and streaming options (XBMC, Windows Media Center, Plex, TiVo, Apple TV, etc.), and have a large collections of movies I own which I have available on my home server. I've grown increasingly tired of having to go through the whole ripping process, storing them, dealing with various glitches here and there. I also had one of my hard drives fail a while ago which was a bummer since it meant that I lost about 50 movies I had ripped, so I had to go and re-rip those all over again.

    Couple that with the fact that on "movie night" my wife seldomly wants to watch something we already own and instead wants to watch something new (usually via Apple TV / iTunes).

    This got me to wondering if the whole ripping process was worth the effort and maintaining multiple hard drives connected to my server. Maybe I should just rent most of the time and only buy movies (and buy them digitally) when I really, really, really know that it's something that I'll watch several times.

    When these "buy-digital" approaches were new, the pros/cons didn't add up well for me: Prices were high, DRM sucks, and what happened if the service you chose to buy from went bankrupt or you switched from an Apple device to some other ecosystem (or vice versa)? I'd hate to buy 500 movies on iTunes and later find that I wanted to switch to Android or whatever and wouldn't be able to play them. But my first taste of UV was negative. The initial setup process seemed far clunkier than Apple's and using Vudu on my Blu-ray player felt clunky, too.

    Flash forward to the last couple of weeks. I was an early TiVo adopter who used it happily for many years but switched to Windows Media Center for a few years, and just recently decided to switch back to TiVo (Roamio Plus). I was thinking again about the "buy digital" approach since I had noticed more recently that there were some decent sales (via iTunes, Amazon, and VUDU) every so often on some movies I liked. The idea of having *one* device (my TiVo) to do *everything* and not have to switch inputs to do different thingsto use for everything With TiVo I had a couple of options: VUDU and Amazon. There were some rumors about Amazon joining UV, so that got me to look into UV again, which then led me to take another look at VUDU. I was excited when I saw their in-home "disc to digital" feature, and the 50% off promo made it even more compelling.

    So I started experimenting with VUDU yesterday. I had a couple of Blu-rays which came with digital copy codes that I never used, so I tried those out. I learned that Disney had its own approach but that VUDU had a partnership with them, so it wasn't too much of a hassle. The only other snag I ran into was that a couple of those "digital copy" codes I had were from an older digital copy approach that didn't seem to be redeemable under the newer UVU or Disney approaches.

    I was fairly happy with the overall usability, genre filtering, etc. of the VUDU UI on my TiVo and the PQ looked good. I should add that TiVo's support of 24Hz was a big plus for me (I'm assuming/hoping that the source material fed from VUDU to the TiVo really *is* 24Hz). The VUDU app on the TiVo is an Opera app and it certainly feels like a web app, which isn't a great thing, but it isn't horrible. My main complaint is probably that I had some SD movies in my collection which I have no idea how they got there and I don't want to even see them show up, but there's no way to hide them (I believe I read that I can email VUDU and ask them to delete them from my collection, but I'd prefer to hide them and not totally delete them, just in case I ever wanted to access them in the future).

    So I've seen enough that I think I want to take the next step and shell out some money to convert a bunch of my movies to HDX. I figured I'd start out by converting 10 movies to take advantage of the 50% off promo and then actually watch a couple of movies from beginning to end to make sure the usability and PQ are good enough for my standards (I should mention that my living room has an Epson 8350 front projector and very large 2.35:1 screen).

    I haven't downloaded the disc-to-digital app yet, but I did go through the search process to make sure all/most of my movies are available. I was mostly happy to find most of my movies, but was disappointed to find that there were several MGM movies that were not, along with all of the more recent Marvel movies, and no Disney movies. It appears that there is no disc-to-digital option through Disney, either, so I guess I'm out of luck there.

    One other thing that still concerns me a bit: It's my understanding that when you start storing your movie purchases in the cloud, you're at the whim of the licensing deals that these guys (VUDU/UVU/Studios) have in place. I think I've seen it written that a studio might decide to sever their relationship with UVU (or perhaps just VUDU?), either overall or perhaps even just for a particular movie, and you could lose access to that movie. So, my question is: Has that ever *actually* happened yet for any movies? Are there any actual examples where someone has purchased a movie through VUDU and that movie later became unavailable to watch for the person who purchased it?

    #2
    Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

    Disney removed "Prep and Landing" from a few cloud services, even though people had paid for them.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technolog...ep-and-landing

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...sed-film.shtml

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

      I have not encountered any purchased titles that have become unavailable, of course there is a slight risk involved since no one knows what the future holds. You may however encounter titles that become no longer available for sale/purchase but remain in your collection.

      Originally posted by CT-Scott View Post
      I'm assuming/hoping that the source material fed from VUDU to the TiVo really *is* 24Hz
      Yes, most vudu content is film framerate. Tivo Roamio, wdtv live, and several Blu-ray players support 24hz playback. Roamio works great for vudu.

      Originally posted by CT-Scott View Post
      I was mostly happy to find most of my movies, but was disappointed to find that there were several MGM movies that were not, along with all of the more recent Marvel movies, and no Disney movies.
      Most MGM movies are not UV (though this is slowly changing) and many are unfortunately not available for purchase on vudu yet. MGM does not offer Disc to Digital at this time. Most Marvel movies fall under Disney ownership, and as you have noticed, Disney is not a UV partner and currently offers no Disc to Digital option via Disney Movies Anywhere.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

        Originally posted by SpeedRacer2K View Post
        Disney removed "Prep and Landing" from a few cloud services, even though people had paid for them.

        http://www.theguardian.com/technolog...ep-and-landing

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...sed-film.shtml
        This was a mistake that was cleared up a couple days later. They had intended to remove it for sale. But some services accidentally removed it totally.

        "Amazon blamed the removal on "a temporary issue with some of our catalog data" which it says has been fixed, adding that "customers should never lose access to their Amazon Instant Video purchases." It says the database error was unrelated to Disney's request."

        http://www.theguardian.com/technolog...ep-and-landing

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

          CT-Scott, the next step is going to have some frustrations: there are a lot of discs that, even though they're listed as eligible for at home Disc-to-Digital with VUDU, the program doesn't recognize them. But you can set these aside and bring them in to a Walmart to have them added to your VUDU account, although you won't get the 50% off at the store that you do with the at-home scanning.

          But if you've invested in a home theater, I think you'll find that having these licenses in the cloud is a great feature. I've used VUDU on my laptop, phone, and tablet while traveling and despite having to plan downloads and deal with limited storage space on my older devices, it's been a great thing to have while on the road (and in the sky).

          I think at this point UV has matured enough that as long as there are streaming services we won't have to worry about our licenses. Note what happened when Target Ticket shut down: they transferred all licenses to CinemaNow, and those that they couldn't transfer they refunded. I would think that a sale would mean that if the item sold to you was suddenly removed or made useless, you could sue for a refund, so any business would find it easier to just leave the licenses in place than to try to revoke them. (There are a lot of assumptions there, but I think the business model is no longer on the bleeding edge, and so I think standards and practices are being established even as we discuss it here.)

          BTW, since you mentioned the Roamio, can you or anyone else tell me how responsive it is compared to a Roku 3? I originally bought my Roku 3s just for PLEX and VUDU, but I also noticed that the Netflix app was MUCH faster on the Roku than on my TiVo Premiere, and now we only use the TiVos for recordings, and the Rokus for third-party apps. I'm wondering if a Roamio might change my mind, as our TiVo HD XL is getting up there in years.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

            Thanks for all of the replies. That's encouraging to hear.

            satam55, I will definitely take a look at that forum. I've happened upon that site in the past but did not realize they had an active forum discussing cloud-based digital movies.

            qazzaq, thanks for educating me about the other players that support 24Hz, as I was curious about that. I'm pretty sure my Panasonic 3D Blu-ray player has a VUDU app, so I will test it out at some point to see how it compares to my TiVo Roamio/Mini. The WDTV might also be worth looking into again (I bought/returned one of their iterations of it a long while back). I watched my first VUDU/UV movie the other night (The Mask of Zorro) and thought the black/gray levels were off (the black bars seemed gray), so I've been wanting to do some additional testing to see if it was:
            a) My imagination
            b) A problem with that particular movie
            c) A problem with the TiVo Mini (and/or the VUDU implementation on the TiVo Mini)
            d) Same as (c) but affecting my TiVo Roamio as well
            e) I somehow had my front projector's settings screwed up (Epson 8350)

            I'm more of a videophile than an audiophile, and the 24Hz thing is one of those holy grail things for me. But if other aspects of the PQ (too low of a bitrate, black levels, etc.) are off, that could be a deal-killer.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

              Originally posted by CT-Scott View Post
              I haven't downloaded the disc-to-digital app yet, but I did go through the search process to make sure all/most of my movies are available. I was mostly happy to find most of my movies, but was disappointed to find that there were several MGM movies that were not, along with all of the more recent Marvel movies, and no Disney movies. It appears that there is no disc-to-digital option through Disney, either, so I guess I'm out of luck there.
              With Disney, if you connect your VUDU account with the Disney Movie Anywhere (DMA) account and your DMA account with iTunes, your purchases (if available) will sync up across all three platforms. In other words, Disney movies in iTunes will become available in VUDU (not UV enabled unfortunately), Disney movies in VUDU will be added to iTunes, and all will be available in DMA. Also, attaching Google Play to the mix gives you access to the Disney movies there as well. This will give you access to the Marvel movies as well. The only downside to the lack of UV is the material is not available to shared users.


              Originally posted by CT-Scott View Post
              One other thing that still concerns me a bit: It's my understanding that when you start storing your movie purchases in the cloud, you're at the whim of the licensing deals that these guys (VUDU/UVU/Studios) have in place. I think I've seen it written that a studio might decide to sever their relationship with UVU (or perhaps just VUDU?), either overall or perhaps even just for a particular movie, and you could lose access to that movie. So, my question is: Has that ever *actually* happened yet for any movies? Are there any actual examples where someone has purchased a movie through VUDU and that movie later became unavailable to watch for the person who purchased it?
              As for this, I had a scare when things first started out. I had gotten Cowboys vs Aliens via code from a Bluray. It disappear from my account and when I asked about it, this is what I was told:

              "Thank you for contacting VUDU customer care. Unfortunately, the reason you are not seeing Cowboys and Aliens in your library, is because it is no longer available on VUDU. This may be because we no longer have the licensing to stream that title or there may have been an encoding issue and it is being taken care of. Once we regain licensing for the title, or the encoding issue is resolved, it will be available on your library again. We appreciate your patience."

              They did get it resolved, but I was worried for a bit after that. I had 300+ movies at the time and knowing that things like that could happen scared me. I've been waiting to see if they ever come out with the CFF files for us to download, but I'm not holding my breath. As it stands, I have 1100+ movies in VUDU and I don't really worry about losing anything right now.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                I have not lost any U/V - Vudu movies but have lost an iTunes movie that was removed from their catalog. The movie was "Carrie" the old version. Apple would only say that their customers are supposed to download the movie since they're not a streaming provider.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                  Thanks for the additional replies.

                  Gnatevil, sorry for any confusion I caused...Yes, I'm aware of Disney Anywhere and linking that account to my VUDU account. I was referring specifically to the inability to do Disc-to-Digital for Disney and Marvel movies.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                    Originally posted by CT-Scott View Post
                    Thanks for the additional replies.

                    Gnatevil, sorry for any confusion I caused...Yes, I'm aware of Disney Anywhere and linking that account to my VUDU account. I was referring specifically to the inability to do Disc-to-Digital for Disney and Marvel movies.
                    Rgr that...I wish they did D2D because I have a whole lot of movies to do. Them and MGM movies.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                      see

                      "rise of the guardians missing from my account" thread for examples of a 4 different movies that can be "disappear" from your account.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                        Originally posted by ZuliuZ View Post
                        see

                        "rise of the guardians missing from my account" thread for examples of a 4 different movies that can be "disappear" from your account.
                        Here's the thread, and I read it all the way through.

                        It's explained as an accounting glitch that has since been fixed. (That's not the same as a title that's removed from our libraries as part of some contract expiration. And I have yet to see a real example of the latter.)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                          Originally posted by Gnatevil View Post
                          Rgr that...I wish they did D2D because I have a whole lot of movies to do. Them and MGM movies.
                          D2D is too good a bargain for Disney to participate. Disney expects you to pay and pay and pay for the privilege of viewing their product. If you want a UV for a Disney or Marvel movie, Disney damn sure isn't letting you have it for $5 or less.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                            Originally posted by Tim000 View Post
                            D2D is too good a bargain for Disney to participate. Disney expects you to pay and pay and pay for the privilege of viewing their product. If you want a UV for a Disney or Marvel movie, Disney damn sure isn't letting you have it for $5 or less.
                            Just to clarify, Disney does not participate in Ultraviolet, they use DisneyMoviesAnywhere as their digital locker system. All their new Bluray releases do come with digital copy codes that can be redeemed on Vudu. Of course that doesn't help for older releases and non DMA releases.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Any actual examples where a purchased movie has become unavailable later?

                              Originally posted by MaxH View Post
                              CT-Scott, the next step is going to have some frustrations: there are a lot of discs that, even though they're listed as eligible for at home Disc-to-Digital with VUDU, the program doesn't recognize them. But you can set these aside and bring them in to a Walmart to have them added to your VUDU account, although you won't get the 50% off at the store that you do with the at-home scanning.
                              I've found taking the discs to my local walmart to be a nightmare. Basically my store can't do D2D and has shown little interest in getting the updated equipment and the store can no longer do it, nor has the personnel capable of doing it. Last time I tried there, I was told to come back in 2 months and they might be able to do it then, or maybe they couldn't.

                              So my option when Vudu2go can't read a disc has come down to trying the disc in flixster disc to digital program or cinemanow's d2d program. I've also found sometimes you can try a friends dvd in place of your dvd. Not all dvds are created equal in the vudu2go program's code. Gladiator was a royal pain to find a dvd that vudu2go would read for example. It absolutely hated my 2 disc set. Sometimes you can try a bonus dvd when your main dvd isn't recognized by vudu2go. Star Trek The Motion Picture would not verify in vudu2go, however, once you insisted the bonus dvd (second dvd with extras). vudu2go seen it as the actual movie. But the movie disc would not verify. Some silver two sided dvds will not read either, try flipping them over, sometimes the second side will work.

                              Comment

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