One startling reminder of our technological progress is the fact that every few years, we tend to switch up the ways we enjoy our media at home. I'm sure nearly everyone reading this remembers the days of VHS tapes -- of Blockbuster, jammed cassette players, and "Be Kind, Rewind." Following that, we had the advent of DVD and instant scene changes. Now, we live in the world of Blu Ray, 4K Ultra HD, and for the rest of us, digital downloads.
Well, if you're a user of the latter, the time has come to leave one media venue behind. UltraViolet has announced that as of July 31st, it's shuttering its doors for the last time -- and it's taking all the videos it's storing in the cloud right now with them!
If you or a family member has ever used UltraViolet to download digital copies of your favorite movies and shows, you won't want to miss this important update. We'll break down what's changing with ultraviolet videos, and what you can do to claim your digital copies before they're gone forever.
Farewell to UltraViolet: An eight-year legacy
After eight years on the scene, UltraViolet announced to subscribers in an email that it would be shuttering its services for good.
When it first began, UltraViolet mostly served as an avenue to download digital copies of Blu Ray discs you purchased -- so you could easily watch the movies and shows you owned on your device. The service even included free cloud storage for the videos you owned.
Now, the company is informing users that all this content will be lost unless retrieved from its servers by July 31st. The email UltraViolet sent to subscribers and customers is as follows:
We are writing to inform you that the UltraViolet service is planning to shut down on July 31, 2019. You are receiving this message because you signed up for an UltraViolet Library or for a service that created an UltraViolet Library for you.
What does this mean for you?
Between January 31 and July 31, 2019
-You can continue to access your UltraViolet movies and TV shows through the retailer(s) linked to your UltraViolet Library.
-You can also continue to purchase new movies and TV shows and redeem digital codes by following the redemption instructions. Depending on the retailer, these new purchases and redemptions may or may not be added to your UltraViolet Library.
-Linking your UltraViolet Library to additional retailers can maximize your access to your Library and help avoid potential disruption.
After the shutdown date
-Your UltraViolet Library will automatically close and, in the majority of cases, your movies and TV shows will remain accessible at previously-linked retailers.
-You can continue to make online purchases and redeem codes, but these may only be available through that retailer, and will not be added to your UltraViolet Library.
What should you do now?
-As soon as possible, log in at myuv.com and choose Retailer Services to verify the retailers linked to your UltraViolet Library. If your Library is not currently linked to a retailer or if you would like to link to additional participating retailers, select one or more retailers to link to your UltraViolet Library.
-Don't unlink or close your UltraViolet Library, as UltraViolet and retailers will be working together to maximize your continued access to movies and TV shows.
-Look for further communications from UltraViolet and your retailers over the coming months, as some retailers may disconnect from UltraViolet before July 31.
Some details may be updated, so visit myuv.com/faq often for the most current information and answers to frequently asked questions.
Thank you for making UltraViolet part of how you enjoy digital entertainment. Please do not hesitate to contact customer support at email@example.com if you have additional questions.
The UltraViolet Team
What should I do to save my collection?
For starters, UltraViolet's email makes it clear that anything left on its servers at the cutoff time will be lost to the ages. To protect the videos you've purchased through UltraViolet, simply visit the website described in the email and download your content to your device of choice. If you have a large library, this process can take a while -- so plan your time and hard drive space accordingly.
On top of this, the email recommends linking your account to an existing retailer in order to retain continued access. To make the process easier, the company is hosting a webpage that shows its current retail partners.
For U.S. residents, UltraViolet recommends pairing your account with either FandangoNow or Vudu, which are both streaming services that are compatible with major devices like Amazon Fire TV and Roku. By signing up with these services and pairing your library, you can retain access to your UltraViolet collection even if you don't download everything!
This option might be easier for those of us with large video collections or small amounts of hard drive space.
Ultimately, as UltraViolet shuts down, it's likely that a new digital giant will take its space in the marketplace of content delivery.
Whether it provides the same kind of experience remains to be seen, but judging by current trends, it's unlikely that digital downloads will be as popular an avenue going forward. Streaming is the way of the future, and it's time we got used to it -- whether we like it or not.
5 sites to get free TV without any streaming costs
Streaming can get really expensive. From Netflix to Hulu and even HBO, the cost can add up. You might not know that there are some free streaming sites that you can start using today. With plenty of content available, you can use these sites to sit back, relax and start watching a great movie for free.