The recently released Blu-ray of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 comes with a code for the UltraViolet digital version, but the experience is so rocky that Warner Bros. has resorted to sending iTunes download codes to mollify unhappy customers. Adding insult to the studio’s injury is the fact that Apple has not joined the DECE consortium behind UltraViolet, so it’s having to pay consumers to use a competing service.

Anyone involved with UltraViolet will find it uncomfortable to read the comments on Amazon or the Flixster help forum.

First of all, there are complaints about having to register twice – once for an UltraViolet account, then again for Warner Bros. own Flixter service. Then there are customers who resent having to download two pieces of software (Adobe Air and the Flixster collections app). Additionally, once users are registered and ready, many of them don’t like that the download takes a half-hour or more for the 2 GB file.

On Tuesday, Warner Bros. decided to upload a video guide to the process on YouTube (see below).

Those who submit a help ticket receive the following email:

Thank you for being one of our best customers and among the first to try UltraViolet(tm) (UV) Digital Copy.
While we have received a lot of positive reaction to UltraViolet, we realize that with any new technology there is a learning curve for both creators and consumers, and this is especially true around new user experiences.
It’s important to us that you are fully satisfied with your purchase. We are issuing you an iTunes code for your movie so that you can obtain an iOS-compatible download of this title immediately.

Once consumers are ready to watch the UltraViolet version of the movie they bought, there is widespread confusion about the need to be online while watching the digital version of the movie. Additionally, some dislike having to use the Flixster player instead of their preferred player, and others can’t figure out how to watch the movie on an iPad since they can’t move the file to iTunes.

Related links:

GigaOm –

Home Media Magazine –

Apple Insider –

Big Picture Big Sound –





  1. You only understand half of the problem. The reason I hate UltraViolet is because I’ve already made significant investment in the iTunes format as far as content, supporting hardware and setup time.

    With iTunes format, I can stream to my TV via Apple TV, I can plug video out cables from my iPhone into my minivan to let my kids watch content on the rear entertainment system, I can stream one of my 185 movies from my computer to my iPad over WiFi via Home Sharing, and I have all my digital library backed up multiple disks using a Drobo.

    UltraViolet simply lacks the capabilities of its more popular competitor, and I’m so frustrated with its inclusion in some movies, that I’ll refuse to buy another combo pack that includes the format at the expense of iTunes.

    It’s about as frustrating for consumers as the HD-DVD/Blu-ray format wars, except in this case, Warner Brothers et al are introducing the competing format AFTER another is already dominant.

  2. I’m patient and I’m sure UV will work out the kinks and eventually become better than iTunes. I hate iTunes. It loads up so slowly and makes my computer unstable. Even on my Mac, it starts up slow as molasses.

    I’m planning to sell my iPad 1 for the new Transformer Nexus. It’s time to try the new kid on the block.

  3. Not only does this Ultraviolet concept reek, when I went to register a complaint, the system told me that my address was not valid. It’s almost like they declared war on the maker of the most prolific devices

  4. So, Steve seems to be a PLANT. Anyone else loving the PLANTyness of Steve?

    Ultraviolet is a horrendous idea. It completely misses the point of WHY iTunes is popular and why people like it and the other Apple Products.

    Not only do you have to download all new apps and other software that you don’t want (ESPECIALLY if you own a Mac), but you MUST give Warner Bros. permission to spy on your computer. Forever.

    Once more films are released with these bogusly-named “digital copies” (because they are NOT digital copies), this Ultraviolet thing will blow up in Warners and the other studios’ face.

    It’s bad now with the Harry Potter crowd. Imagine what will happen when all of those 13 year-old girls can’t download and watch their beloved Twilight movie on their iPhone, iPad, or iPodTouches.

    Better to cut and run, stupid Warners and other studios. Better to cut and run.