As we continue to grow our streaming video collection, the world of digital media continues to evolve. Video service UltraViolet took a bold new step in that direction today by opening a first-ever DVD-to-digital copy program.
That sounds crazy – how can they put every DVD in the cloud? – but it makes more sense than you'd expect. Using some mystical DVD recognition software, the Wal-Mart-sponsored service identifies your movies and allows you to purchase the streaming versions at a discount (typically $2 per movie). This probably will not work with movies outside the UltraViolet collection (including all Disney films).
This isn't exactly a revolution, but it's a notable step in the direction of some sort of digital-physical media convergence. As sales for DVDs continue to sag while new Netflix-style models like the Warner Classic Archive are catching on, studios will no doubt be looking for ways to cater to both experiences. We already see that to some extent with download codes being included with DVDs. But perhaps a future, a DVD will just be a key to accessing videos online.