While UltraViolet has slowly become available in services and devices over the past year or so, one glaring hole has been Windows 8 and Windows RT. Tablets are perfect media consumptions devices, so we’ve been anxious to see some UltraViolet support for them. Finally, both Warner Brother and Paramount have answered this call.
Lest we forget, Warner Brothers’ UltraViolet outlet is through Flixster, and while Flixster has had a Windows Store app for a while now, only recently have they added the ability to watch movies from your UltraViolet collection. Flixsters’ new My Movies feature lists the movies you own as well as those you’ve rated through Flixster or indicated that you want to see. You cannot redeem UltraViolet codes or purchase movies through the app, though—you must do that online.
Like VUDU, one of the benefits of Flixster as an UltraViolet service is that Warner Brothers has negotiated licensing arrangements with most of the studios, allowing you to play nearly all of your UltraViolet titles from one service. This one-stop shopping is certainly more consumer friendly than the every-retailer-for-themselves approach of most UltraViolet participants, and it’s likely the thing that’s helped UltraViolet gain ground as a cloud video service.
Paramount has also released a Windows Store app that lets you play Paramount movies (only) from your UltraViolet collection. As a result, Paramount’s app is less useful—almost redundant—when compared to Flixster, and between its poor design approach and the problems we experienced while teseting, you may just be better off skipping it altogether.
The Windows Store app is choc full of bad reviews, with users claiming that the app doesn’t play the movies in their collection. This is because, while the app will only play Paramount titles, it lists all of the titles in your UltraViolet collection, and it doesn’t give you the ability to filter out those titles that are not from Paramount as their own web site does. Unfortunately, our testing proved current conditions to be even worse, with the app not showing any of the titles in our collection—even our Paramount titles.
The good news: Both of these apps are available for free in the Windows Store.
Now the bad news: Unlike their iOS and Android counterparts, neither of these apps lets you download movies to view offline. While Paramount’s site indicates that such an update is in the works, Flixster’s Apps page doesn’t even seem to know about their Windows Store app. Once these app add offline viewing capabilities, then