Wal-Mart to Begin Offering DVD-to-Digital Conversion Service

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 8th, 2012 at 7:02 am,

wal mart dvd to digital conversion Wal Mart to Begin Offering DVD to Digital Conversion Service

Have you ever wanted to take an old DVD from your collection and transfer it to your laptop, phone or tablet, but had neither the time or know-how to make that happen? Typically, your only choices would be to lug a portable DVD player around and a stack of DVDs with you or use an online service like Netflix, Hulu Plus, iTunes or the Android Marketplace. The antiquated way requires the hauling around of bulky equipment while the newer ways to watch movies require a great internet connection for an enjoyable experience.

Wal-Mart aims to offer a solution to that dilemma next month when they begin rolling out a new DVD-to-digital service at their 3500+ store locations. Wal-Mart worked out a deal with five of the biggest studios in Hollywood – 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. – to allow customers to bring in their own DVDs and have them stored digitally on an internet “cloud.”

Starting on April 16th, for the modest sum of $2, anyone can bring a DVD to a Wal-Mart Photo Center and have it transferred digitally to a Vudu account (Wal-Mart’s online streaming movie service). Or for $5, users can have a standard DVD upgraded to a High Definition copy. Either way, Wal-Mart will stamp each DVD to ensure that none are uploaded more than once. Rented DVDs from Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster or other types of rental services are not eligible for transfer.

Customers will then be able to access their newly uploaded films through their Vudu account, which will now be part of the UltraViolet online movie network. Previously, Vudu allowed customers to rent movies – including new movies on the same day they are released – which gave it a leg up on companies like Netflix who has to wait 28 days for new releases. UltraViolet provides a slightly different service by allowing customers to download, stream or transfer movies between devices once purchased but those movies must be part of the UltraViolet library. One notable and major drawback to the service UltraViolet provides is the obvious lack of older titles available for purchase, but this new DVD-to-digital service offered by Wal-Mart should change all that.


laptop cellphone tablet with fletch Wal Mart to Begin Offering DVD to Digital Conversion Service

While at first glance this seems like a win-win situation, there are limitations – namely the number of titles available for digital conversion. Only movies produced and previously converted by those five studios will be eligible for transfer. So, that copy of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four you bought on VHS at WonderCon in 1995 cannot be transferred digitally to your tablet – sorry. Also, most of these studios have not yet converted all their titles to a digital format – Universal still has around 700 films from its 1300 film library yet to convert. In addition, access to your films will require that UltraViolet’s cloud stay up and running with very few interruptions. It also assumes the company won’t eventually go belly up leaving all your copies drifting through cyberspace.

However, the upsides to this new service seem to outweigh the potentially bad, not the least of which is being able to transfer the movie between multiple devices. Let’s say you are waiting in line (for days) to purchase tickets to see The Hunger Games or The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and want to pass the time watching Fletch on your tablet but the battery dies – no worries, just stream or download the film to your phone or laptop. This new service will be a great option for parents who usually have to drag every one of their kids’ DVDs along on a road trip. Now they can just download all those digital copies to their laptop and let the good (and quiet) times roll.

[poll id=”284″]

Follow me on Twitter (@Walwus) and tell me what DVD I should convert first – Out for Justice or The Towering Inferno?

Source: L.A. Times

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  1. Question,

    What’s all this cloud talk I always read about? I read about it all the time and I’m yet to find an answer on what it is/does…

    Isn’t this basically an over glorified DVD ripping service? Or does it somehow convert the whole DVD(With Special Features) into a viewable file?..

    • A “cloud” is basically anywhere that stores your files that is accessible through the internet (i.e. on a remote server) and not stored locally on your computer. Email is an example of your files being stored on a cloud.

      In effect, wal mart will transfer your movies onto their server (cloud) and make the files available to download onto separate devices (your laptop, cell phone, etc.)

      • Good looking out, I could do this myself if that’s the case.

  2. Meeeeh… I can do this myself and I’d rather not have my dvds stamped, thank you wal mart.

  3. I didn’t want to participate in the poll because it didn’t contain an option that I felt accurately represented my feelings on this.

    If I could really have digital copies of my old dvd’s for $2 I would be all over it. If I have to use the UV digital copy streaming service then I am not interested and will not pay a cent.

    I really dislike the way some Blu-rays now only give you the Ultra Violet digital copy. It irks me.

  4. I’m not paying Walmart for something I’m able to do on my own for some time now. :)

  5. If you own a Mac All you need is:
    Mac the Ripper and Handbrake. And you’re done.

    • What does Mac the Ripper provide? I just use Handbrake 2 and libdvdcss.

  6. Thanks but NO THANKS!

  7. I think that people who care about that stuff have enough nous to rip their own DVDs, and to convert the to whatever format suits their purpose.

  8. If this is actually making a “cloud” copy of a film from someone’s DVD
    this has to be one of the dumbest approaches to achieve the end result.

    If studios had any sense they would already have their films available online.
    Someone who buys a DVD or Blu-ray could get access rights to those
    downloads with their purchase or for a fee added on later.

    Anyone who has does not have a DVD or Blu-ray should be
    able to buy access rights too and all of this should be a
    lot easier than driving your disc to Walmart which
    takes time, effort, gas, etc. all unnecessarily.

    • Well said.

  9. Wal-Mart STINKS! I’ll never do ANYTHING to give those scumbags money!

  10. Come on, man. How ridiculous.

    If somebody BOUGHT their DVD, from ANY studio, they can digitize it and transfer it to the cloud themselves. lol

    • The plus here is that I can stream from the cloud, using a service (Vudu) that is available as an app on most devices, including XBox, Boxee, and Roku.

      That doesn’t mean I am going to do it, mind you. But to have my ENTIRE (or most of it, anyway) video collection at my fingertips without having to use space on my computer or iPhone to do so is definitely attractive.

  11. Taking my DVDs in for conversion seems like an unnecessary step. Why can’t I just have a Vudu account that allows me to purchase movies for $2/each?

    For that matter, if 10,000 people take in their copy of The Dark Knight to get converted, isn’t it copying the movie approx. 99,999 more times than necessary? Provide the file on the server to all people who have spent $2 to “own” it. …because you don’t really own it, you’re just paying to have access to it from a remote location.

    I would still prefer a Netflix with 100,000’s of titles available to stream over Internet and Wi-Fi enabled devices for a flat rate each month. I don’t need to own anything anymore.

  12. They do NOT copy your disc. They “stamp” your disc. They just want to verify that you own the disc and then they allow your account to stream the movie. That is all. Dumb service.

  13. There is no ripping going on at all. They are merely verifying ownership and then granting permission to view an already existing digital copy. If they don’t already have the movie in their catalog, they won’t “convert” your copy.

    I want to know about this stamping thing – will they be redering the DVDs unplayable, so now you will only be able to watch the VuDu/UltraViolet copy? or will you still be able to use the DVD?

  14. hi there i have a problem i have 3d blu-ray movie disc not 2d movie disc and last i have heard that walmart is not suporting 3d disc soo walmart is use less for me tell me when walmart suports 3d movie disc

  15. I got snookerd by the whole UltraViolet/ Flixster thing when the Green Lantern came out. I tried n tried to download it on to my iPad after
    uploading it on to their “cloud”. Well thats where it stays. You have to be able to stream the movie over a wireless or 3G connection. Totally useless if you want to watch on a flight. I suspect this will be exactly the same.
    I refuse to be sucked in by all this hoopla about “clouds” My two cents.

  16. So if I wanted to “rip” my dvds to a portable hard drive how would I do so? I hate carrying around dvds and worrying about scratching them. Can you rip only burnt dvds or can they be the actual dvd? PLEASE HELP. I dont know much about any of this stuff.

  17. Iv already signed up and have transferred
    Many of my DVDs.
    Q= is there a “list” by title of which DVDs
    Can NOT be converted? That would make
    Things easier!!!!

  18. This sounds great for all those DVD’s that the kids scratched and wont work anymore, are they only available for streaming or can they be downloaded to a hard drive?