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Warner's unlikely plan to convert your DVD library to UltraViolet explained

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A Warner Bros. executive hopes a new plan of having consumers take their DVDs to retailers to be ripped and uploaded to an UltraViolet digital locker will increase the services uptake.


The report about UltraViolet's disc-to-digital kiosks now has a some more substance to it, as a Warner Bros. executive made it clear that his company wants to target the existing DVD market to build out the digital locker service. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom conference in San Francisco, Warner Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara suggested that having customers take their DVD collections to retailers so they can be ripped and uploaded to a UV account will help the fledgling digital format gain traction. Put another way: take a stack of DVDs to an undisclosed location, pay someone an undisclosed amount of money, wait an undisclosed amount of time, and like magic, you've got DRM-laced digital copies of your movies ready for streaming.

This sounds like a lofty expectation to us, especially considering UltraViolet is already exceedingly complex. Warner seems to think it's a stopgap solution, too. The company plans to eventually allow users to upload their own digital copies from home, as well as automatically add a UV copy to a digital locker as soon as physical media is purchased. On top of this, Warner hopes that getting more devices to include the UV streaming will increase its uptake. This worked for Netflix, but with customers not adopting it in the first place, we can't really see what the incentive would be.

Oh, and if you're wondering why Warner and other studios are pushing UV over on-demand services like Netflix or iTunes, it's because they make 20-30 percent more when customers purchase movies rather than rent them. For this reason alone studios have a strong incentive to make UltraViolet succeed, but Tsuhijara's plan offers precious little incentive for consumers to join in.