Gonnateachyahow: Understanding Digital Media - The Movies
Welcome to Digital Media
For those who are new to digital media, it often seems like an unorganized and confusing arrangement of services, all with no logical end. Although that is partially true there are many ways to make this whole mess make more sense and improve the ease of use.
To start you need to realize that there are five main categories that digital media falls into:
Books, Games, Movies and TV Shows, Music, and Photos.
When looking at different types of media it is important to realize what type of media it is. We will look at each one separately in a series of articles. Each article will include branch off articles which will elaborate further on the topics discussed.
Let's start with the of the most popular forms of Media, which is Movies.
A Must for Digital Movie Collectors - Movie Linking
Before starting into the various supplies for digital movies (and Television shows), it is important to understand two factors. This series of articles will discuss media that you own, not rental or monthly memberships. These are products that you purchase and own for the rest of your life.
Secondly, it is equally important to realize that these products can be limited especially if you do not use linking services, so we will briefly look at the two most popular movie linking networks available today.
Movie linking was started by Ultraviolet, a digital locker, a few years ago and continues to build up steam, any service with Ultraviolet linked to it will share Ultraviolet compatible movies. Not every movie sold by an Ultraviolet compatible service will be Ultraviolet and must have the purple "UV" logo to link. Most DVD and Blu-Ray movies now include an Ultraviolet code for redemption on a compatible website. Read this article for more info and instruction on setting up an Ultraviolet Account.
Disney's Linking System
Disney Movies Anywhere is a second digital locker, is not Ultraviolet compatible but is another necessity for Digital Movie Viewing. It currently links only to Itunes, Google Play, and Vudu. You can also view movies on the Disney Movies Anywhere app available on most phones and tablets..You also currently receive a free Disney movie for creating and linking your Disney Movies Anywhere Account.
Disney Movies Anywhere
The Big Four
Movies seem to be a clandestine effort at this point. While advances have been made in making it easier to use, it is nowhere near streamlined as it could be.
As it stands, there are four big players in the market, and they don't "play nice" with each other (for the most part). These are Amazon, Google, Itunes, and Vudu. There are many smaller players, but they work best when associated with one of the big four.
The Big Four
Which of the Big Four Do You Prefer?
Amazon - The Weakest Link
Amazon is one of the largest retailers around and you can buy movies from the service for digital viewing. They are stand alone (at press time) and do not link with any other service. The items you purchase on Amazon can only be viewed on devices that have their app installed, the good news it is available for a large number of devices. By not linking you are stuck in their network. I no longer buy from Amazon, but that may change if they join the ultraviolet network or at least Disney Movies Anywhere.
Read this article on setting up an Amazon account.
Amazon Instant Video
Movie's to Add to Your Collection
Google Play - The Best for Feebies
Google is a little more integrated and after setting up an account you will have access to Google Play, which is currently linkable to Disney Movies Anywhere.
Any purchases of Disney Movies Anywhere compatible movies will load to Disney Movies anywhere and populate in the libraries of other compatible services, such as Itunes and Vudu. They are not currently participating with Ultraviolet. The "Play Movies & TV" app is available on many devices. Google is one of the main sites for free media, sometimes giving away free movies, TV shows and Whole Albums of Music while carrying a large collection of free Apps.
Itunes is one of the longest running Movie and Music stores online and a mainstay in digital media. Itunes is a software app that you can download from Apple's website.
If you collect music, iItunes is a must have. If you collect movies I would highly suggest this site. Many of the older movies have Digital Copies along with the DVD. This copy allows you to load a free copy to your Itunes library. At press time, Itunes linked only to Disney Movies Anywhere and your compatible Disney movies will link through Disney Movies Anywhere and populate the libraries of Google Play and Vudu. Many of the other movies that you can get Digital Copies free with DVD's are Ultraviolet compatible on other providers, so these should be redeemed in hopes that one day Itunes will link to the Ultraviolet.
Itunes is the only downloadable application by the big four that allows you to use media that you store on your hard drive which you did n't buy from the site, such as DVD rips, home videos, CD rips etc.
Please read this article for setting up an Itunes account.
Vudu - The Reigning Champ
Vudu is the last of the main players and my personal favorite. Vudu, which is owned by the Mega Chain Walmart and has become a leader in the digital market. Many features place it well above the others.
First, it is compatible with both Disney Movies Anywhere and Ultraviolet. (Currently the only provider to do so). Second, it offers one of the largest selections of movies and TV shows, most available in high definition. They offer free TV shows on a weekly basis, have many sales and are the only big four provider that offers you Disc to Digital (D2D) service. D2D allows you to convert your personal movie collection from Disc to Digital. All movies that are D2D are Ultraviolet compatible, however, not every movie is Disc to Digital compatible, but that is fewer than those movies that are compatible. This service ranges from two to five dollars depending on the amount converted and the choice of quality. DVD conversion to Blu-Ray quality costs five dollars while DVD to DVD quality costs two Dollars. Blu-Ray to Blu-Ray costs two dollars. As an added incentive, if you digitalize ten or more movies you get them all half price, making Disc to Digital Conversion as cheap as a dollar per movie. Vudu apps are available on most devices and are very easy to use. For more information about Vudu's Disc to Digital please check out my article.
Which Provider Has the Best Linking?
Disney Movies Anywhere
Addition of Your Home Media
Vudu (and More)
There are other smaller services such as Cinema Now, Flixster, and M-Go. The big four is enough for the rookie collector, later these smaller ones will come into play.
And now moving on to Digital Music....
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