vudu

By: Nick Gambino

Well, here’s something that behemoth streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu don’t offer. The Vudu mobile app is now offering the option to convert your physical DVD and Blu-ray library into a digital library in mere seconds.

Walmart’s Vudu streaming platform has offered a desktop conversion service whereby you can use Vudu software to convert your discs to a digital format but now you can do this right in the mobile app.

All you have to do is scan the barcode on your disc case and within moments it will show up in your UltraViolet cloud (you’ll need to have an account). You can now watch your title from pretty much any desktop, TV or mobile device.

This is a fantastic option for those of us (yes, I include myself in this group) who have hundreds of Blu-rays and DVDs and don’t want to buy a digital copy or spend hours upon hours ripping them to a computer and placing them in Dropbox or Google Drive. And though we love streaming services they are still limited. Seriously, try finding A Goofy Movie anywhere.

Now there’s a catch or two that make this service not completely awesome. Each title is going to cost you $2 or $5 if you want to transfer DVDs to HD.

If you don’t have the case that the movie came in then you’re out of luck. That unfortunately means me. I threw away all of my cases and kept my discs in binders – the downside to owning hundreds of movies in a small New York City apartment.

Currently there are 8,000 titles available to transfer. That’s nothing to sneeze at but it does mean some of those more obscure titles in your library won’t be available to transfer. So much for my dreams of watching Rad or Revenge of the Ninja on my phone.

The limited selection is due to Walmart’s partnership with major studios like Paramount, Warner Bros., Universal, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal to legitimately create these cloud libraries. Though Walmart intends to grow their selection over time.

Now in case you’re thinking of hacking the system with a trip to Best Buy or other store that still sells DVDs or Blu-rays to scan barcodes right off the shelf, you’re going to be disappointed. The Vudu app smartly checks to make sure you’re scanning your discs from your home address using geolocation technology. So unless you live in the storage room of a Best Buy you might as well give up on being slick.

Now if you want to avoid paying the $2 or $5 fee you can just use a free software like HandBrake at home to rip your discs one by one. The “negative” here is that it takes a few minutes per disc and then you have to transfer it to a cloud service. So the fee you’re paying in the Vudu app is really just for the convenience.

You can sign up and download Vudu here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.

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