Paramount Pictures is the first studio to start selling digital movies based on the UltraViolet digital distribution standard through its website, without the customer having to purchase a Blu-ray disc first. Additionally, the movie studio has also started selling discs that include UltraViolet digital copies, just as Warner, Sony, and Universal currently do. If you head over to ParamountMovies.com, you can browse a variety of genres and rent or purchase any movie on the site (though rentals are not part of the UltraViolet system and come with a different set of DRM). The number of offerings is respectable and includes a good mix of popular older films and newer titles, but it certainly doesn't represent Paramount's full catalog. To buy, you'll need to first create a Paramount Movies account and then link back to your UltraViolet account (or create a new one, if necessary).
At that point, you can make your purchase and stream or download the movie from Paramount's site. You can also play it on your iOS device, but you can't download for offline viewing — so if you wanted to watch your movie on the plane, you're out of luck. There's also no support for set-top TV boxes or video game consoles (Paramount suggestions you hook your computer up to your TV directly), and Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry users are out of luck entirely. Movies are also quite a bit more costly than you'll find them for on iTunes or Amazon.com. SD titles run for $12.99, while HD will set you back a full $19.99 — often times more than the Blu-ray would cost. While the decent catalog and digital-only option gives Paramount's first offering a more complete feel than Warner's launch, there's still a number of holes in the service — notably the lack of mobile offline viewing and Android support. Hopefully the next studio to try its hand will learn from Paramount and Warner's mistakes.