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Movies Anywhere And Vudu Make Physical Copies A Better Purchase

Because there are so many streaming services available with thousands of television and movie titles, purchasing a physical Blu-ray or DVD disc might seem like a bad idea. But not every great show or movie is available on a streaming platform (or the ones you subscribe to), and there are some that you just might really want to own, whether it’s classic from decades ago or a new 4K release that won’t hit streaming platforms for months.


This might seem like a sponsored post, but it’s not. Consider it a PSA of sorts. Many of the physical shows and movies also come with a digital copy that can be redeemed on Movies Anywhere or Vudu.


I’m sharing this because the digital version of movies didn’t seem useful to me. My thinking was that the digital copy that comes with a physical copy is something you can watch on a phone or with an Apple TV. And the digital movie/TV service UltraViolet (which I used maybe once years ago to watch a movie on my phone) just shut down earlier this year, so it all seemed like a complete fad.


It appears things have changed, and many common people like me might not have any idea of the improvements.


After a recent purchase of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in 4K Ultra HD, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to redeem the digital code for the film. A Sony Pictures website made it easy to punch in the code, and it gave the option to redeem with Movies Anywhere or Vudu. Movies Anywhere—a fitting name—had several options I am familiar with including Amazon Prime (I am a member) and Xfinity (my cable provider), so I went with that.


(You can also connect Movies Anywhere to watch on Vudu. It can get pretty confusing, but the bottom line is you can watch your digital copies on one or the other. Movies Anywhere just seems to be easier to connect and easily watch on Amazon or Xfinity.)


Within ten minutes, after connecting my Amazon and Xfinity accounts to Movies Anywhere, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was available to watch on any smart TV—by logging into Prime Video—or connected Xfinity box, completely without the physical disc. A room without a capable 4K UHD player could still play the movie in 4K via Amazon Prime (though it appeared Xfinity did not offer a 4K option). It said the movie was purchased as if I bought it for the $19.99 price from Amazon or Xfinity; so basically, spending another several dollars for the physical copy is probably worth it for most people—you get the disc to insert into a UHD player, and you still get the redeemable copy to watch almost anywhere.


I suspect Vudu would be just as easy, as there is a Vudu app available many places (smart TVs, Apple TV, gaming consoles).


One issue is that a digital movie library can disappear like UltraViolet did, but Movies Anywhere is owned by The Walt Disney Company, and Vudu is owned by Walmart—so they figure to have more than enough resources to keep running. And, while I did not take advantage of it for the few movies I had on UltraViolet, you should be able to transfer your library somewhere (perhaps the connected Amazon, Xfinity, Google Play, etc. accounts will just keep them) if Movies Anywhere or Vudu ever folds.


Unfortunately, some companies (like Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM) are not participating with Movies Anywhere as of yet, so not every physical movie you buy will be available digitally if you want to use Movies Anywhere exclusively. (Vudu does have partnerships with all major movie studios.)


Overall, the usefulness of digital copies in 2019 is a pleasant surprise and a nice added bonus that makes physical movies and television shows a more appealing purchase.


  • Jack

    None of my Ultraviolet movies disappeared. Long before UV closed their doors they had started sharing movie rights with sites like Vudu and FandangoNow. All of the content I owned through UV are still owned by me through Vudu and FandangoNow some of them even became Movies Anywhere eligible and synced over to my Amazon, Google and iTunes account.

    • Heather

      Same thing I did. I have all the different services combined on there: Vudu, Prime Video, Microsux Movies & TV, AppleTV, FandangoNow, and GooglePlay/YouTube. There are some movies that you can scan in the UPC for on Vudu & get a digital copy for $2. Very useful – check to see if it’s eligible, find it at a pawn store (for $1-2), scan it in for $2.

  • AVP

    The author doesn’t know about iTunes? …. it’ll never go away, the movie quality is amazing and free upgrades to 4k. who gives a toss about Vudu and UV?? lol

  • NixFollower

    Best Buy owned Cinema Now, and Target and Barnes & Noble had the videos transferred to Cinema Now. Cinema Now did not tell anyone, just shut down. And all the digital movies you purchased on Cinema Now, and did not buy the physical disc with a digital code. You lost them permanently. I lost 3 movies. Some people lost hundreds in purchases. Cinema Now even disconnected from UV, so there was no way of recovering the movies. At least UV was a great company and you are able to keep your UV connection that is connected to other streaming services.

  • Roy

    Most of these streaming services can be linked. I don’t ever use MA on any device but when I redeem a MA code I can instantly watch it on Vudu, Google and Prime (and even iTunes even though I haven’t used it since some exclusive purchase I made a decade ago). I’m not sure which service did this, but they offered a free movie for every other service you linked to it. So when UV went down all the movies I had on there are still listed on all the other services I regularily use.

  • Kaitie

    I just wanted to add that the 4K version (like many) of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood also comes with a Blu-ray disc if you do not have a 4K player.

  • Alan

    Vudu has the better interface of all the streaming apps. Moviesanywhere being the worst. UV may be gone but they allowed users to bind their collections to multiple services including Vudu and by extension to Moviesanywhere which leads to everyone else (iTunes, Amazon, and cable providers). If you can’t see the value of digital and it’s concept of a shared linked library on multiple platforms for sustainability, you’re missing out on it’s usefulness as no one platform has it all.

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