UltraViolet, Hollywood’s original attempt at a cross-platform digital movie locker service, is shutting down this week on July 31st. If you’ve redeemed your fair share of codes that came with Blu-rays or DVDs through the years, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve linked your UltraViolet collection to another retailer so you can continue accessing and streaming those titles after the service goes offline.
Walmart-backed Vudu is the best bet for people in the United States. I don’t foresee it shutting down anytime soon, and it supports Movies Anywhere, so you’ll be able to watch your UltraViolet collection across popular streaming devices and apps like Amazon Video or Apple TV. But you can also go with FandangoNow or Kaleidescape; the latter is only really useful to people with a fancy theater room somewhere in their house. Here’s how to make sure everything is linked correctly:
There is a chance that some movies or TV shows might vanish from your collection once UltraViolet goes dark. Such is the risk of never truly owning your digital content, and a shutdown FAQ acknowledges this possibility. But I don’t think it’ll be something most of us have to deal with.
I also don’t know what sort of person would have a large UltraViolet catalog without having ever linked it to Vudu or another service by now. But time is running out if that’s somehow the predicament you’re in.
One last piece of advice: don’t manually unlink or close your UltraViolet account prior to the 31st, as “UltraViolet and retailers will be working together to maximize your continued access to movies and TV shows,” and doing so might throw a wrench into that process. Again, this goes to show the perils of not physically owning content. Streaming services are good for a short term, but actually owning content is best for those movies you need to see.