Sometimes, when buying a Blu-Ray movie, it will come with a digital download code allowing you to “watch anywhere”. The slip of paper provided gives you instructions to go online and redeem the code in order to add it to your online movie collection. Over the years, I’ve managed to build up a nice little collection of these digital backup copies online using Flixster Video, which always seemed to be the preferred service for adding them to during the redeem process. I have the Flixster app on my iPhone and iPad, and although I’ve never really made much use of them, it’s nice to know they’re there if I ever did want to access them when away from my physical movie collection at home. I also used to have the Flixster app on my NowTV streaming stick (a Roku based system, produced in conjunction with Sky TV), enabling me to fire up a movie quickly without having to go hunt for the Blu-ray and load that up. Nice. I liked where this whole digital future was heading.
But then NowTV disallowed the Flixster app from their boxes, presumably in favour of their own Sky store system for purchasing and viewing digital movies. And then I bought a few Blu-ray’s recently and tried to redeem the digital code, only to find that Flixster wasn’t an available option. Google Play was my only choice. Luckily, I do have a Google Play account, so I was able to still use it. The point is though, I don’t use Google Play for any other movies, so now I have my digital movies in multiple locations.
Recently, my daughter wanted to own Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The Blu-ray wasn’t out yet, but it was available to buy and download. We are Amazon Prime customers and Amazon we’re offering it at a reduced price, so we purchased it and it ended up in our Amazon video library. So, now we also have another location where a purchased movie lives.
All of these companies seem to be so interested in restricting you to using either their service, or a preferred partner. To me, this only makes life more difficult, when it should all be getting easier. Instead of loading up my digital library and playing a movie, I now have to remember if I do have a digital copy of the movie I’m interested in watching, and then I have to try and find which service is responsible for delivering it to me. It’s far easier for me to just pickup the Blu-Ray from my shelf and watch it in my living room, which defeats the whole purpose.
Hopefully someone will get in touch and tell me about some amazingly simple service out there that takes care of everything in one place. Last year I got quite excited at the announcement of a new service called Movies Anywhere, which seemed to be a big step in the right direction.
So, I tried signing up for an account, only to discover that this is a US only service… and I’m in the UK. So, not “anywhere” after all then…
Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Maybe I’m expecting too much and we’re not quite at the stage yet where I really can watch my movies anywhere. Or maybe I’m just getting too old for technology these days and just don’t understand…