The Walmart Disc-to-Digital service will be launched on April 16, 2012. In a joint announcement from Walmart and five Hollywood movie studios, they outlined a plan to "bring new life" to your physical DVD and Blu-ray disc collection by making the movies available to stream from online.
You will be able to walk into a Walmart store with your DVDs and have a Walmart employee enter your movie titles into your Vudu cloud movie streaming service account. You will no longer be limited to watching your DVDs and Blu-ray discs on a player connected to your TV. The digital movie titles will be available to stream on any device that can play Vudu movies. Although details were not released, these movies will also be available from your UltraViolet cloud account.
The best part of this service is that you don't have to figure out how to go into your Vudu account to register the movie. A Walmart employee will do the work for you.
What is Vudu, UltraViolet and Digital Movie Streaming?
Digital Movie Streaming - Online services have made it possible to watch movies and TV shows without downloading them to your computer. Services that rent movies- iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu- charge about $3.99 or more for access to stream the movie for a 24-hour period. Movies can be streamed to computers or other devices with web browsers, or to devices with movie streaming apps.
Vudu is a movie streaming service from which you can rent or buy new and popular movie titles and store them in an online cloud account. Rented movies are available for streaming within 30 days of when you click on "rent." Purchased movies are available anytime in your online Vudu library. You can stream from your Vudu library to watch movies on any of over 300 connected TVs, media players, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, smart phones and tablets that have the Vudu app. The Vudu service has been popular for many years and was purchased by Walmart in 2010.
UltraViolet is a cloud service where you can stream your DVD or Blu-ray Disc movie titles online. So far, Ultraviolet has been a feature included on a few Blu-ray Disc titles. When you buy a disc with the Ultraviolet feature, you can register the disc with an included code, and be able to stream it from online to any device. Launched in October 2011, the experience has been cumbersome and confusing. It will be helpful to have a Walmart employee do the work of setting up your movies to watch from your Ultraviolet account.
How will the Walmart Disc-to-Digital service will work?
- Before going into the store, create a Vudu Account (if you don't already have one).
- Bring your DVDs and Blu-ray discs into one of 3500 participating Walmart Stores. The movies must be from Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment or Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. So far, Disney movies and other independent films may not be available.
- Pay $2 for the digital version. DVDs will give you access to a standard definition version, Blu-ray Discs will give you access to a high-definition version. For $5 you can upgrade and get access to a high-definition digital version of a DVD.
- A Walmart employee will add those titles to your Vudu library.
- When you want to watch the movie, open the Vudu app and sign into your account on a TV, media player, smart phone or tablet and play the movie on the device wherever and whenever you like.
The Walmart Disc-to-Digital service does not give you a digital movie file.
The Walmart service is different from actually getting a digital copy of the movie that is saved to your computer. The "Disc-to-Digital" name may be confusion as it infers that you will actually receive the digital copy. Instead, the movies will be available to stream using the Vudu service wherever you have internet access.
The Walmart Disc-to-Digital service is easy for everyone to use.
The Hollywood studio executives expressed that Walmart's new program will make it easy for consumers to stream digital movies even if they had never tried it before. They stated repeatedly that this will boost consumer confidence in buying DVDs and Blu-ray Discs even as the trend moves more to digital movie streaming. Owning a physical disc will no longer restrict your access to watching movies at home on your TV.
Ten billion DVDs and Blu-ray Discs have been sold in North America. They are calling the "Disc-to-Digital" Vudu service the "largest movie cloud" that will be created overnight as all movie titles released on DVD or Blu-ray from these five major studios will be available.