Ultraviolet codes and where to use them.

Film Anyone who's bought a DVD or BD from certain film studios over the past decade will know about the Ultraviolet (UV) codes which appear in the case so that the films you've bought can be streamed on other devices without the need for the actual disc. I've never completely understood why this was useful, but I can see why it might be if you're on holiday or can't be bothered walking to a shelf, pulling the DVD out and putting into the player or don't have access to them anyway through a streaming service.

About six months ago, Ultraviolet closed, and users were given the option to migrate their purchases to Google Play via a system which effectively meant you could purchase them on that service for free.  After some initial teething problems to do with not every film being available on Google Play so couldn't be shifted over, the system worked well and has ultimately been more convenient than any of the earlier options with the titles showing up both on the Movies apps and YouTube.

What isn't generally known is that most of those Ultraviolet codes don't expire.  Although the packaging will often give a redemption date, for whatever reason, it was never implemented.  So earlier this evening I was able to register a UV code which was supposed to expire at the end of 2015.  But it was fine.  Same for another that should have been out at the end of 2016.  And notice that I was still able to use those codes even though UV is dead (The Conjuring and Elysium in case you were wondering).

This is where for once it looks like someone's had a thought about this.  On the UV inserts there's a redemption website were one is able to redeem the code and although these have usually been scrubbed of UV branding they still work.  Entering the code punts you to the Google Play story were you can "purchase" it for free. 

There are some discs which still suggest a visit to Flixster which used to be key streaming service for the titles.  That now redirects to the migration page for collections.  But those codes can still be traded in if you visit the given redemption page for the film company instead.  So for The Conjuring that was Warner Bros.    If you still have any old Flixter codes, a Google Play purchase awaits instead. 

For convenience, I thought I'd provide a list of some of the redemption pages for all of the major studios, some googling around might reveal others.


20th Century Fox





Warner Bros

Liongate seems a bit hinkey.  The old UV page has a link back to Flixter which Google Chrome doesn't like.  Or else there's another page which looks more like a phishing exercise, despite the Lionsgate copyright at the bottom.  Also there's something about forcing customers to use a new proprietary streaming app.  Ugh.  Googling for The Weinstein Company (ugh) leads to the Sony redemption page. 

Final note.  Now that DVDs are going for pence in some charity shops this can be a good way of building up a digital collection, assuming that the code haven't already been redeemed.  But how they're redeemed at Google Play seems to change from release to release.  In some cases, DVDs become HD streams, BD become SD streams or they match.  There doesn't seem to be a particular rule.  But it is also true that an SD stream of a film still looks better than its shiny disc counterpart.

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