Disney launches Digital Copy Plus program for those who need DVD cloud backups

ozHow many times have you bought a DVD that promises a “Digital Copy,” only to find yourself confounded by the specific rules for obtaining that copy? Chances are, you’ve dealt with everything from finding the logins for a slew of websites to file formats that don’t even work with your systems. The early days of digital bundling weren’t pretty, and now Disney is seeking to shift towards something more user-friendly with its new Disney Digital Copy Plus program.

The basis of the new program is incredibly simple: Once you’ve bought the disc, you can download a digital version in the format/from the provider of your choice – as long as said provider is either iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, or Vudu. All the disc owner will have to do is go to the website to confirm their purchase and choose which format they’d like their digital video in.

According to a Disney spokesperson, the new program “allows for the capability to redeem the digital version of your movie on any connected device. You no longer have to wait until you get home to insert a disc into your computer.” Ultimately, according to Disney, the plan is to slowly introduce the concept of accessing content digitally without the need for a physical object in order to do so, and in the process introduce the concept of purely digital media, held in the cloud, to its customers. One would assume that this shouldn’t be an entirely new concept to anyone already using either iTunes or Amazon Instant Video, but there may be some unspoken assumption since Disney’s core audience isn’t exactly made up of traditionally digital consumers.

The new format is similar to Ultraviolet, the digital rights management system backed by studios including Warner Bros, Sony, Fox, Universal and Paramount. That format allows customers to access digital content held in the cloud across multiple devices once activated using the purchased disc, and is considered to be as close to a cross-platform, cross-studio solution in the current environment. Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, many expected Disney to sign onto the Ultraviolet platform itself.

Given that Disney effectively owns the geek audience through its ownership of Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios, it’ll be interesting to see the level of uptake of the new Digital Copy Plus program. Whereas earlier efforts to go it alone in this manner have been met with some disinterest, the Venn diagram of early adopters and fans of Avengers-related movies, Pixar animation, and Star Wars suggests that tastemakers may find themselves compelled to investigate this new format if they want both digital and analog versions of their favorite movies.

The program launches with the June 11 release of Oz The Great and Powerful on disc.

Movies & TV

Movies Anywhere service adds Comcast films to its library and devices

Movies Anywhere lets you watch movies purchased from different services all in one place, and it just got even better with the addition of Comcast, which joins Microsoft, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and FandangoNow.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Get ready to ditch your amplifier: New LG TVs add a powerful way to go wireless

WiSA, a wireless technology designed for high-end home theaters, might finally start seeing more love. LG's top-tier 2019 TVs will be WiSA certified, and that could mean a new wireless future for premium surround sound.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Smart Home

The Apple HomePod gets a whole lot cheaper today at Target

Apple's HomePod hasn't been the most popular smart speaker on the market but for users who are all in on Apple's heavily policed ecosystem of devices, this smart speaker is on serious sale at Target this week.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

These top-line smart speakers conduct the most sophisticated symphony: Your life

Stuck talking to yourself? Get an A.I. assistant to keep you company! Whether you put your stock in Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, we've picked out the best smart speaker for any smart home ecosystem.

Choosing one of these smart TVs under $300 will make you look like a genius

Buying a good cheap smart TV is easier than ever. To help you out, we've sniffed out a half dozen of the best models out there with prices starting at just $130. We've even thrown in a couple 4K smart TVs, with these UHD models still…