iTunes vs. Ultraviolet: Are Apple-loving Veronica Mars fans entitled to their service of choice, or just entitled?

iTunes vs. Ultraviolet: Are Apple-loving Veronica Mars fans entitled to their service of choice, or just entitled?

The Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie landed not only in theaters, but on Ultraviolet digital streaming and on iTunes yesterday. For a Hollywood movie from a studio like Warner Brothers, that's... transcendent. But as much as it might have presaged a new era in entertainment, it also highlighted some massive ongoing problems. Mainly, the digital downloads offered to backers turned out not to be the iTunes codes some wanted but Ultraviolet streams instead. That caused a lot of confusion and more than a little anger. Moisés Chiullan, writing for TechHive:

UltraViolet is a studio-backed system that came about as a response to the massive success of Apple's iTunes as a digital media storefront. Understandably, the movie and TV studios did not want to be beholden to Apple as they felt the music industry had become. The problem is that the catch-all solution the studios came up with is neither intuitive nor convenient—and as consequence, not widely adopted. And that's a problem for a few reasons. First, device compatibility is problematic, especially if you're an iOS user who wants to watch the movie on your TV. And second, signing up for the UltraViolet service is complicated and messy.

I backed Veronica Mars on Kickstarter, I bought a ticket for the premiere, and I pre-ordered on iTunes anyway because I love the idea and want to see more of it. That said, expecting everyone to pay close to $150 just to watch a movie on the Apple TV is ludicrous. (Ultraviolet is only supported on iPhone and iPad, not Apple TV, and does not allow AirPlay.)

I've met industry backed "standards" before. Like Ultraviolet they are harder to use than Apple's versions, less consumer friendly, and almost without exception end up abandoned for those very reasons.

Chiullan does an excellent job explaining the problem. Give his article a read and then come back here and let me know — do you use Ultraviolet? Do you like it? And is the push-back on Veronica Mars justified or just Apple-centric people being far too Apple-centric?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iTunes vs. Ultraviolet: Are Apple-loving Veronica Mars fans entitled to their service of choice, or just entitled?


I don't use Ultraviolet because I don't have a way to play those digital copies on my TV at the moment. I think the pushback is justifiable if people were led to believe they'd be getting iTunes codes instead of Ultraviolet codes. I have a digital copy of TDKR that I haven't redeemed yet because I don't use the Ultraviolet service, so I can understand the frustration.

It's a bit Apple-centric, but customers have a right to kvetch, and to ask for more. Asking and getting are different beasts, though.

Fundamentally, the content producers are absolutely entitled to select the distribution channels for their goods. Customers are entitled only to purchase or not to purchase - and enough consumers not purchasing is the only message that will alter producer choices.

I think part of the quibble here is that the kickstarter said "digital download" and Ultraviolet technically isn't downloadable?

I prefer UV over iTunes.
You can download or stream on iPad, android, roku, or Windows. Unlike iTunes, which does not support Android at all.
Check out the Flixster or Vudu apps.
Things have gotten drastically easier to redeem since my first movies. The first time I had to register with like 5 sites. Now I just go to Vudu and enter the redemption code.

It depends on your vendor and studio restrictions. In most cases, yes, you can.

Remember, UltraViolet does not actually house or provide any video. It's simply a locker of keys that keeps the record of movies you have the right to view in one place. You then access your library through Vudu, Flixter, etc.

I've read up a bit on the complaints regarding this, and it's much ado about nothing - they went with Flixter because they were able to provide day/date worldwide and not restrict location and were the only provider that would do so. This is no different than any Blu-ray you pick up on a shelf that says "UltraViolet" - you may have to redeem it at a certain vendor, but then it's available to own with whatever vendor you like.

Imagine if you bought a movie with Amazon's digital download service and then had it magically appear in iTunes as well for you when you logged in there. That's what UltraViolet does - just not for Amazon and iTunes, since they won't play ball for obvious reasons - they don't want your collection to be portable, they want you stuck to them like glue.

Minor quibble; these are not customers, but investors. There is a difference

Customers can get iTunes or Amazon versions with no issues.

Color me shocked that kickstarter investors aren't getting the product they envisioned when they invested.

If the Kickstarter campaign said iTunes, or downloads without drm, you could color me as shocked. If it said downloadable, then UV complies. You might argue it complies with the letter, not the spirit, but the letter is what matters.

Since these backers are almost by definition this characters' biggest fans, I would expect WB to provide backer refunds or iTunes credit in short order. In the entertainment business, it rarely pays to alienate your fan base.

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No, they're not investors. Technically, they're donors. Investors would have a lasting stake in what they're investing, ie, return on the movie.

Kickstarter backers do not.

Of course I would prefer it be available on iTunes, that was strike one. But the Ultraviolet "service" was unwatchable even on a very fast internet service, every minute or two the "stream" would pause for a second or 30. It wasn't about the money, per se, as I had already spent 200+ on the Kickstarter, but about the Ultraviolet which is just a steaming pile of insult and aggravation. I ended up buying it from iTunes.

Not a lawyer but ...

... how is it that ALL the big movie and production studios can create a unified service like UltraViolet as competition to iTunes, and have it NOT be an anti-trust violation? UltraViolet would seem to be a clear-cut case of a bunch of companies getting together to collude on prices and services, to the disadvantage of other already established industry players.

This is completely illegal in my country, and rightly so. Why isn't this illegal in the USA?

ultraviolet is not a competitor to iTunes as they offer nothing to purchase. it's just drm wrapped around a video format (basically the digital version of blu ray).

There is nothing illegal about creating a standard just like its not illegal when dvds, cds, mp3s, blurays were created. Collusion on prices price fixing. There's no evidence of an agreement to fix prices, just conjecture. The "established industry players" are all in favor of using Ultraviolet. There are like over 80 movie studios that are use ultraviolet. What you should consider is that when anyone makes a copyrighted work, film, audio, book, photograph, they have the right to decide if it will be distributed to the public AT ALL and what method. There's not requirement that a movie, record, or book be distributed through itunes any more than there would be a requirement to distribute it in a theater, best buy, or home depot center. It's also not anti-competitive because Apple is free to invent it's own standard and try and get filmmakers to use it. Regardless, no country can force any filmmaker to release a film on itunes if they don't want to.

Good question. Under U.S. Anti-trust law an agreement between competitors (like movie studios) is only illegal if it unreasonably restrains trade. (This is called the rule of reason.) While U.S. law does view competitors making agreements with suspicion, the idea of a joint venture is fairly well accepted.

A joint venture is when two or more computers (or, really, anyone but we're focusing on anti-trust law) enter into an agreement to make or do something that isn't anti-compeitive. The creation of UV probably hasn't harmed anyone. For example, digital download prices don't seem to have gone up.

No one's going to bother filing a complaint until we see some kind of anti-competive harm.

I hadn't heard of UltraViolet until reading your article. After seeing the comments and looking at TechHive article, I consider it a timely warning! If those who invested were misled, as seems evident even in the current promotional material, then people have the right to be angry/disappointed.

These corporations need to understand that there will always be people who want to buy content, and also those that will look for free options. By being pigheaded, they push usually paying customers to the other side. iTunes is so easy to use, mostly inexpensive, with plenty of options; so making the choice to pay is simple. Afterall, we are looking for pleasure, and don't want it wrapped in layers of pain.

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I use ultraviolet and only buy DVDs for the kids with an ultraviolet copy. I can see why people would not be happy to have it on their chosen platform but who cares, deal with it.

Its like we complain about the movie industry and time it takes to get to DVD then the whole system changes and we get a glimpse of progress and all of a sudden it was enough. What makes it worse is the complaining is about it not being enough do too simple things like sign in that you're only going to do once.

If you're having streaming problems then just download the movie to your device and watch the movie straight from your device vs streaming, ultraviolet allows for it. The whole "I'm entitled" mentality is ridiculous.

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They couldn't have made ultraviolet more complicated and awkward if they tried. I've set up the accounts and used the codes but never actually watched anything on it.

Ultraviolet is so awful as to be unusable on iPad. I learned my lesson the hard way with a different Kickstarter. I won't back any more video Kickstarters unless they state very clearly that it's an iTunes code or a DRM-fee digital download.

I have an Ultraviolet account however purchased it from Google Play store. I have both an AppleTV and a Chromecast. It makes more sense for me to watch via Chromecast since that is more accessible to me for viewing options outside of the TV.

The article is looking at the issue backwards.

The problem is that Apple refuses to play with the other kids, and instead pushes it's customers to only use their preferred services. Why can't UltraViolet be played on AppleTV? Because Apple won't allow Vudu or Flixter or other vendors to have apps there. You can use an iPad or iPhone to get UltraViolet flicks, but Apple won't allow it on the Apple TV box so you have no choice but to have the iTunes version or else.

UltraViolet vendors like Vudu and Flixter are great services and available on a wide variety of devices - just not AppleTV, because Apple won't let them.

Most digital copies these days are UltraViolet - it's rare for there to be an iTunes one, and if there is it's in addition to UltraViolet, not instead of.

It also isn't that difficult a system to figure out. You have one main UV account which houses all of your owned titles. You access them through your choice of a variety of vendors - Vudu and Flixter being the most common. When you get a new code, you enter it in - though often depending on the manufacturer the website may vary (some do Vudu, some do Flixter). Regardless, once you register the title wherever you are directed, you can then access it through your preferred vendor. I always watch everything on Vudu because it runs great through my Bluray player.

So yeah, not the most straight forward, but not impossible to figure out either. Basically the UltraViolet service holds your keys, you pick which car you use. What UltraViolet does is make sure that if you switch cars, all your old keys are still with you. Unlike iTunes, which marries you to Apple devices.

In any case, Apple is the one who won't play with the other kids on the playground when it comes to Apple TV - not the other kids not wanting to play with Apple. You wonder why AppleTV doesn't have an App Store yet? Because Apple wants you stuck on them like glue - and if they did, they would have no excuse to keep competing services off of their box. It's really non-consequential, though, because every other smart device (or your smart TV itself should you have one) plays just wonderfully with UV content. I can play mine on Xbox 360, my Bluray player, or directly to my TV. It's why for the most part my AppleTV collects dust, though I do use it for HBO Go since I find the AppleTV app runs the best.

Maybe I'm missing something but if the Ultraviolet players on iOS simply enabled AirPlay they'd work on the Apple TV like hundreds of other apps do.

That has nothing to do with Apple; the Ultraviolet apps have chosen not to allow AirPlay, right?

You're missing something. The Apple TV can only, by design, play videos over HTTP streaming. If the source isn't HTTP streaming then it has to *make it* HTTP streaming and serve it from the iOS device. This is why Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon didn't do Airplay initially (not just the rights holders being asses, but that, too.).

I don't know, but I would assume it would have to do with the fact that one can purchase films directly from these vendors - you would know more than I, but I believe there are AirPlay restrictions regarding that. I almost never use AirPlay (I hate occupying my iPad to watch TV, especially since I like to use it when I am watching TV), so I can't attest either way to it's workability - but it seems from what I gather that while there are quite a few apps that allow you to access services which work with UltraViolet, there must be some reason why folks find it so difficult. AirPlay at it's core is a work-around anyway, simply an excuse to keep the AppleTV garden walled.

Regardless, what I do know is: sitting here, I can play my UV library on my television through Vudu on a variety of devices made by Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung - oh, and my Dell laptop, too, via HDMI - yet not through my AppleTV. My game player, my BD player, and even my TV all by itself can access it. Yet AppleTV cannot. That's why whatever the technicalities are, this seems to me like an Apple problem, not a problem with everyone else.

Horizontal vs. vertical lock-ins are often perceived differently but that doesn't make them different.

You can play Apple stuff on Apple stuff and Ultraviolet stuff on Ultraviolet stuff.

Only DRM-free is really different.

Not really, because UV does not make stuff - I suspect the UV consortium would be deliriously happy to have a native Apple TV app.

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You can play Apple stuff on Apple stuff and UV stuff on UV stuff. But Apple stuff is only Apple stuff while UV stuff is pretty much everything. Including Apple stuff.

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I commented on the article when I first saw it under the Macworld banner. I'm sitting here in New Zealand, where we have movies on iTunes and no TV shows. We have apps on iOS for the 2 major TV channels to watch TV programs that have been on air and neither of those apps will allow you to stream the program to your Apple TV. Both sites (as does Flixster with Veronica Mars) say it is due to I don't believe it's a fault of the app, I believe it's a fault of licensing.

There is also a movie-on-demand company in NZ and I noted that some of their movies (that I could watch on my iMac) could not be found on their playstation app...when I asked why...licensing. For whatever reason, the makers of the film had limited how you could view a certain movie.

It would have been great to watch VM on my large TV, but as I stated on the Macworld article, I didn't have an issue with downloading VM to either my Mac or iPad. Registration etc all went swimmingly. However I have no intention of using Flixster the same way I don't buy my movies on iTunes. I consider all to be restrictive. I'd much rather buy the physical disc and rip it if I want to access the movie some other way.

Ha! In Canada we have several TV networks.

Global's app does proper AirPlay to Apple TV, beautifully and with no problems.

CTV only does AirPlay mirroring, heavily cropped, and stuttery. Really annoying.

City TV blocks all AirPlay for "licensing" reasons.

Apparently the licenses vary even within countries. Sigh.

Your exactly right. Master Editor in Chief is butt hurt over this whole debacle. Well he won because their offering itune codes now

I bought the iTunes pre-order the minute it was announced because I wanted to support the project beyond my Kickstarter backing. So I we all "won".

But how does being personally insulting and rude help you make your point?

I am not a fan of ultraviolet. I would either just buy it on iTunes or rip a copy from the DVD myself.

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I've got about 20 BDs that came with iTunes Digital Copies and with UltraViolet. Guess which one was a pain to redeem?

Sounds entitled to me. According to the ultraviolet website you can watch ultraviolet movies on xbox, playstation and google tv thru free apps from vudu, flixter, cinema now. And apparently any hdtv or bluray player with the vudu. They show a host of other methods.

Seems the problem is Apple TV doesn't have adequate apps. Looks like Roku can access the movies on the MGo app and i'm according to the vudu page you can access ultraviolet through the vudu app on roku. Problem isn't the format the problem is the lack of apps. try a ps3, 360, roku, desktop, or going to the theater. Yeah it's an apple centric problem.

That's your choice. Every device i have has Netflix. But i don't use Netflix. I'm not whining because House of Cards isn't available on cable tv.


Just about every device BUT Apple TV plays very nicely with the various UV services.

I have four devices in front of me that can do Vudu, for example, devices from Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, and Dell, and one that cannot (Apple TV). Six devices if you include I can watch Vudu on my iPhone and iPad, as well.

I think this is really a lot of folks first experiences with digital copies, as well - and I admit, the whole UV thing feels a bit too complex. But it's definitely not impossible and once you get the concept it's really easy. You go to whatever site you have to redeem the code at, and then log in to your preferred vendor, and BOOM - your movie is there. Switch vendors? BOOM - your movie is there. That's the whole point of it. And precisely why Apple (and Amazon) don't play ball with them - because they don't want you to be able to purchase movies from whatever vendor you want and be able to watch them through...whatever vendor you want. They want your whole library to live with them, so they keep you coming them.

And it seems to me if Ultraviolet is on all these other platforms but NOT Apple then likely It's Apple that prevented it. BLAME APPLE for neutered apps.

This whole issue is now moot.

The team has gone back to the studio and they're providing alternative options for those who don't want to use Flixter/UV/Etc.

I just saw that and am very glad. I don't want this to mar what has been a phenomenal production and release where you can actually feel good about something that has to do with a movie again.

I buy almost all my movies via iTunes, unless I want a 3D version. Getting home to find out the digital copy is UV is supremely aggravating. I don't want to spread my digital copies over multiple services. I want them all in iTunes where they're convenient to use over Apple TV and easy to sync to my iPad where they're all in the video app. I'm not saying scrap UV because I suppose it's "convenient" for people with Android devices or who aren't in the Apple ecosystem, but don't limit digital copies to UV only. UV only digital copies is one reason why people torrent.

Movie watchers are NOT entitled to anything. Nothing. It's the creator of the work of art that has rights. the guy that wants to watch the film has none. If you want rights take your own money and make a movie then you can distribute it as you want.

While I agree with you, the rights holder still gets to decide where and how their product will be sold. Not being as consumer friendly as some consumers would like doesn't automatically mean a company will fail; Apple has down pretty well despite being less consumer friendly than many people would like. You can go broke giving consumers everything they want so you he to pick where and how you will compete.

VM's producers may have thought not using iTunes might increase the popularity of UV or may not have been willing to give Apple a cut to distribute it; they have since decided that was a bad decision. The studios have a vested interest in UV succeeding so they may be willing to suffer in the short run if they think it will bring long term success; if it will be a successful strategy remains to be seen.

As a side note, I have been able to get iTunes codes for most of the stuff that was UV only; so I am surprised they didn't do that for VM as well from the start.

Absolutely. Apple isn't consumer friendly and they still sell lots of phones and their app store sells plenty of apps. Even when Itunes sold drm'd music well itunes sold music.

If a filmmaker decides to use a method that people don't like it's their choice and they'll have to live with it if people don't go see their film. Shoot they can say, "we're only releasing on betamax and laserdisc." It's be stupid but it's their choice. But nobody should expect people rightly or wrongly expending 10s of millions of dollars to want to totally relinquish control of a very lucrative right in a method that hurts their bottom line.

Wrong. That's the what the Copyright law is. If i create content, I own it and I own the distribution right. Me ALONE. It's not an "attitude" it's the reality of the law. You've confused an opinion you don't like with "attitude." The law is I made the content and I have the right to pick the method of distribution. The same as every single article you've written. That is copyrighted content and you alone have the right to pick it's method of distribution. The consumer doesn't have that right. You choose iMore, your imore app and possibly other methods. You control that. You decide if CNN is allowed to take your content and put it on their site with or without credit. That's how it works. The reader doesn't get to dictate how it will get distributed. The choice they have is to take their business elsewhere.The consumer either choose to agree and spend money or not agree and doesn't.

"My business" is to create content. I'm the movie maker in this case. I'm the one with the money. There is NO replacing me. There is NO more consumer friendly method of making movies. What you're failing to understand is the right of content distribution is held by the creator. It's not separate. As long as movie studios don't give it away like music labels did it's theirs. And unlike Music, movies aren't cheap and gonna get made in someone's basement studio.

If i make a Veronica Mars movie and only want to distribute by UV. Who is gonna replace me? Nobody. Because i'm the only one with the Veronica Mars movie. You see as long as i'm selling the high demand content you get it my way or no way. I'm not even claiming UV is good. I don't use it. I choose not to. I don't use Itunes either by the way. But point is it's my choice. It's my money. It's my movie. You're literally a customer. You either pay or don't.

If you agree to a "rental" or "temporary viewing" of the content that is a specific agreement and they rights to distribute this in any method they want.

However, with purchases I think we all are not fighting with our dollar enough. In the original Sony court case the court basically said that the consumer were able to make a copy of that content they purchased. Now these studios are paying off politicians to change law, but by rights the consumer is buying rights to view content NOT the medium. Yes a content maker has rights to determine distribution and medium. However, this should be up and to the point they prevent the consumer from their rights to view the content they paid for. This is obviously done to make consumers keep buying more copies, in more formats, wrappers, etc. And yes right now this is allowed, and given the political pay-off will probably will remain so. That said, IMHO it is WRONG. If I want something offered in that format only, fine, but when I only want to view the content in question, or the ability to convert it to a method I personally use I should be able to do that after I pay for it ONCE. The rest is exploitation of consumers, allowed by paying off politicians, and their monolithic size. And I don't care who is is delivering the content. PS for the record I am a content maker.

Jesus, its just more whining. No, UV is more accessible to everyone. Its a website that every computer can go on and sign up like everyone does for an email account. UV are downloadable, I downloaded Silver Linings Playbook for my plane trip to New York earlier this year. This is like saying I bought an Xbox and I should be able to play uncharted because I spent money. I do not use primary itunes so I would be pissed if the digital copy was exclusive for itunes. I rather be able to watch the UV on my iphone, kindle, xbox, and let my wife access the account on her lumia then be restricted to just my phone. If you have enough money for an apple tv, I think you can drop $40 on a roku, Mr. Editor-In-Chief.

Yeah, exactly. That is exactly what everybody wants: a dedicated box, remote, power and HDMI cables for every stinking service out there... And, not to forget, Kickstarter projects receive international funding – pretty much nobody in my country even knows what a Roku is (I just googled it, too).

The problem here is actually extremely simple. They asked people's money and promised a digital download without further specification. Then, instead of supporting the best selling TV box and the most used media ecosystem... they chose something else. Sounds like a guarantee to receive complaints. Not supporting everything, fine. Not even supporting the market leader, recipe for disaster.

The difference is that roku is just an example. Most people have a box of some sort (ps3, xbox, PC, mac, android tablet, etc.) so they went with what MOST people have, not just you. I haven't bought a movie in a long time that had a digital copy for JUST itunes, its always been vudu or flixter (which I have been able to redeem interchangeably without going on just one site.) Seems like its a problem with Apple TV if they can't create a dedicated app for flixter like they do HBOGO and the like.

Ultraviolet itself to me seems largely irrelevant as most UV movies are served through Vudu, which for me has worked brilliantly and has become my preferred digital service. Since I can download those movies to whatever computer or device I have and the Vudu app is on my BR player and on my TV, Vudu has made iTunes my last choice service.

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I used to buy stuff from iTunes. Now, hah!! I'll go Ultraviolet Thank you!! After realizing how much deeper I was getting myself into an ecosystem of Apple, I stopped!!! I have a friend who buys Blu-rays all the time but is not into technology (Just isn't his thing). He is always giving me his UV codes because he only wants the Blu-ray, so essentially, I have gotten most of UV movies between the price of free and $5.00 (I no longer want Physical copies to begin with).

I used my Roku to watch my UV movies. In some instances I can only get a Digital copy of movie which results in redemption through iTunes, which I am find with. How do I watch my iTunes content on TV? simple, spent only $20 on a HDMI adapter and plug in my Mac to TV, not by spending a $100 and further trapping myself into the Apple ecosystem, and without the option of watching UV movies on it.

I like both ecosystems.

I have 113 UV movies, mostly from digitally converting my Blu-Rays & purchase codes. I think I've actually purchased 1 movie from Vudu (Hunger Games, when it was discounted).

I have 61 movies under my purchased iTunes tab. Maybe 50% of them I've actually bought from iTunes. But I have far more that I've ripped myself (over 200).

Their are pros and cons to both systems. It's very confusing. But I just go with whatever system I can redeem my movie's digital copy on. Usually it's UV. I have ways of viewing both on my main TV, via the Apple TV or Roku box. My mom even has a smart TV I can view my UV movies on via a Vudu app.

I can play both on my computers via iTunes or VuduToGo.

My biggest beef with iTunes redemption codes (when they are provided, which isn't often) is that often they'll be an SD version of the movie. UV movies are almost always HD these days.

Anyway, I didn't back the VM move so I have no horse in the race, but I wouldn't have had any problems redeeming the movie through Flixster.

A lot of people here are completely missing the point. I was disappointed that I had to use Flixter/UV to play this movie but I gave in and after jumping through their hoops to register I couldn't play the movie on my TV because it was set as a dual/monitor. So fine, I figured I would install Flixter on my phone and air play it to my Apple TV. So after that didn't work I finally gave up and went to TPB downloaded a pirated copy and managed to play it on my TV on HD. So no, I didn't get the product that I was expecting, and yes in my case an iTunes version would've been better.

I have both, using Vudu for the Ultraviolet platform. While ultraviolet has gotten easier, the only thing I own, that plays it on my TV, is my Xbox 360, which sounds like a jet engine while powered. Also, the image quality pales, in comparison to iTunes, so I usually prefer the Apple ecosystem for purchases.

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I think I'm just confused where this "mixup" occurred, exactly. From day one, I knew I'd be getting my copy of Veronica Mars via Flixster, which meant Ultraviolet. I don't think, at any point, I was told, "Guess what! You get to choose your video service!" I know people certainly WANTED iTunes, and I would have liked it too, but I was 100% certain I was getting a UV code.
I'm not debating one service or another, I just feel the crux of people's displeasure (and, indeed, this article's cornerstone) is based on hearsay and wishful thinking.

If you want to watch UV videos on your tv, VUDU is available on Chromecast, a number of blu-ray players, and various other streaming devices you can hook-up to your tv.

I prefer iTunes, UV is ok, but I'm fairly invested in my iTunes collection. It looks like, however, Warner is backing the UV format. I don't know if I'll continue to buy discs that have UV codes, it depends on how well my blu-ray player handles VUDU. (Haven't had a chance to use it on the player.) I have used Flixter on my iPad and it's fine. Man of Steel plays great, and I have a few free movies I got for free with I signed up on VUDU.

Although I agree the initial registration was a pain, Ultraviolet options for movies and TV far exceeds iTunes. All new smart TVs and Blue Ray players support VUDU, one of the major streaming "linked to Ultraviolet" providers. No need to buy an Apple TV. Plus new hardware including Google Chromecast that only costs $35 work with Netflix, VUDU, HBO to go, Disney Anywhere, TED Talks, and many others. Apple may have a strong hold on a demographic of people, but so did BlackBerry if you get what I mean.