Netflix has revolutionized television with the release of its original program, “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey. In addition, Netflix is working on the sixth season of Arrested Development. The fans rejoiced and Willa Paskin of Wired made a prediction — programs made for online streaming will soon make DVDs obsolete.
Shortly after Netflix’s announcement, Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. division unveiled UltraViolet, a video streaming service in Australia. Days later Rdio, a music streaming service, revealed their plans to launch Vdio, a new video service. Looks like the joke’s on Netflix.
This cloud-based video distribution service gives you access to a full entertainment library of videos and lets you watch content on tablets, smartphones, laptops and HD television. According to LifeHacker.com.au, if you purchase “The Hobbit” on Blu-Ray, UV makes it possible to download and watch the video offline or go online and view the streamed version on any portable viewing device. The UV app can be uploaded to iOs, Android, Mac and PC devices. Though it’s not set for Smart TV applications yet, Jonathan Hollett, Warner Bros. Australian PR manager, says IPTV apps are being developed and should be available soon. Will this service be available in the US? Life Hacker’s Chris Jager signed on with a US account and experienced a few glitches in the program, but it should work in any country. If you purchase a DVD that has the UV logo sticker, you only need the proof-of-purchase code to start streaming. As for its cloud features, UV offers users an online backup feature to store all of the media that is purchased through this service.
Unlike UV, Vdio is competing with iTunes and Amazon. Available exclusively in the UK and US, Vdio can be accessed only on iPad and the Web, for now. Dave LeClair at MakeUseOf.com says there is some talk of the service being available in the near future on Android, iPhone, and possibly on desktops — for offline viewing. The cost for movies is $15 and $15 to $50 per season for most TV show. According to LeClair, the design for this app is so enjoyable that navigating through show selections is a “joyous experience.” Will this feature yank users away from other video streaming services? We shall see.
iTunes and Amazon
Since the release of UV and Vdio, Amazon is doing its best to stay ahead of the game. Christopher Harris, of Vibe.com, says the online retailer is now offering AutoRip, a service that allows users to receive MP3 versions of music they purchased on CD. To “one up” their competitors Amazon extended this offer to users who buy vinyl as well.
Meanwhile, Wilson Rothman, of MSN.com, says iTunes is yesterday’s news. Suddenly the idea of downloading a free episode or movie, and only being able to enjoy it on one device, isn’t worth the time it takes to download. It’s back to the drawing board for iTunes and full stream ahead for its competitors.
Editor’s Note: The preceding article was written by guest writer Amy Nguyen.
Amy is a programmer and lover of EDM. She writes code by day and music reviews by night. Her readers look forward to the technical viewpoints in her reviews.