Friday This ‘n’ That – Vudu

I am lazy. I don’t mind admitting it.

Vudu

While blu-ray picture and sound quality are unsurpassed (at least until 4K becomes established), if I’m going to put on a random movie to watch, I’ll turn on Vudu (or Netflix or Amazon or Hulu) rather than get my lazy butt up and find the blu-ray. This is made easier by having most new movies come with digital copies that work on Vudu.

Wal-Mart has a program where some percentage of the films they sell will automatically come with a copy if you enter your receipt into their savings catcher. This has never worked for me personally but perhaps I’m not purchasing the right films.

What does work is that you can download VUDU togo on your computer and convert DVDs and Blu-Rays (if you have a drive). They charge $2 per movie for blu-ray to HD or DVD to standard. They charge $5 for DVD to HD. This is fine for a movie or two but gets pricy if you have more.

Thankfully, Wal-Mart will give you half-price if you convert ten or more titles. Conversion is easy if a bit time consuming. The time consuming portion is that there are a ton of titles not supported. Still it is a nice tool when it works.

Vudu also makes it easier to watch a marathon without getting up.

Alien

Pardon me but I’m queueing up the first Alien movie.

Lots of FREE Movies at the Theater – Jurassic World

Vudu

Haven’t shelled out the bucks for Jurassic World yet? Buy one of the original three films on Vudu ($9.99) and score a FREE ticket ($7 Fandango promo code) to Jurassic World (offer ends 6/26).

Avengers Age of Ultron

Wal-Mart still has specially marked boxes of Eggos that will score you a FREE movie ticket. Ignore the Avengers: Age of Ultron packaging – the FREE ticket is good for any movie. Wal-Mart also has an endcap with varios movie moneys attached to DVDs and Blu-Rays.

Jurassic World

I’m not sure how long this offer will last but Amazon is offering the Jurassic World Premiere Pack for $29.99 and you will a $15 Fandango promo code to see Jurassic World, the original Jurassic Park in digital format, and the pre-order for the Blu-Ray combo pack of Jurassic World.

Regal doesn’t understand what BOGO is supposed to mean. They currently have a Father’s Day promotion where if you buy someone (that someone can be you) a $50 gift card, they will send you, the buyer, an additional $10 gift card.

FREE movie tickets for Terminator Genisys have started popping up on Blu-Rays in Target. Unfortunately list on the Blu-Rays is a little high at the moment ($14.99 and up). Expect those prices to come down when they get featured in an ad at the end of June.

Goodbye Target Ticket, We Hardly Knew Ye

Target Ticket

Bizarrely, Target entered the UV/video on demand realm excessively late. Vudu (backed by Wal-Mart) is clearly the 800-lb gorilla in the UV market. Unfortunately iTunes, which is rapidly becoming irrelevant, refuses to sign on with UV. Same with Amazon which, adding insult to injury, has discontinued their download ability for those who “own” titles through them.

Target’s service was pretty terrible from the start. It didn’t have an ability to sort through owned films if you owned more than a couple dozen. This made the interface a nightmare for heavy users. They tried a handful of very half-hearted promotions and, predicatably, have now abandoned their service.

This still leaves plenty of UV providers (Vudu, M Go, Flixster, CinemaNow). Best Buy’s CinemaNow has never been much of a competitor to Vudu. They suffer from many of the same problems that plagued Target Ticket. Naturally Target has chosen them to carry on the films people owned on Ticket.

CinemaNow

I followed Target’s instructions and migrated my movies to CinemaNow and linked up with UV. They were unable to transfer one of the films so they issued me a $24 credit with CinemaNow.

Thank you for choosing Target Ticket for your digital entertainment. We hope that you’ve enjoyed your movies and TV shows with us. Target has made the difficult decision to end the services offered on Target Ticket effective March 7, 2015. After that time, Target Ticket will no longer be accessible on any device applications, gaming consoles, tablets, smartphones or the web.
If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, we have partnered with CinemaNow and Disney Movies Anywhere, leading providers of premium digital entertainment, to ensure a smooth and easy transition. Both services are available at no cost to you.
Your eligible Target Ticket titles and credit are available to transfer to CinemaNow on March 7, 2015.
  • If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, you may access your eligible purchased movies/TV shows on CinemaNow. For any purchased content that is not available or eligible to be transferred to CinemaNow, you will receive credit in your CinemaNow account in the amount that was paid for that content when you transfer your account from Target Ticket to CinemaNow.
  • If you choose to register with CinemaNow, you must agree to have your library of purchased titles and existing account credit transferred from Target Ticket to CinemaNow in order to maintain access to your titles purchased through Target Ticket.
  • UltraViolet movies purchased through Target Ticket can also be accessed through several other digital movie services.
Your eligible Disney, Pixar, and Marvel Target Ticket titles will be available to transfer to Disney Movies Anywhere.
  • If you have purchased eligible Disney, Pixar, and/or Marvel movies from Target Ticket, you will be able to unlock your eligible content with Disney Movies Anywhere codes that will be sent to you directly via email next week.
For additional information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions.
Thank you,
The Target Ticket Team

 

Going to the Movies on the Cheap

As if it wasn’t obvious I LOVE LOVE LOVE going to the movies. I mostly gave that up while my kids were growing up as we were quite poor and the movies are certainly an extravagance. Now the kids have moved away and we are doing better financially so I can go to the movies whenever I wish/have time.

I still can’t get over when we were poor so I am always looking for ways to make the movies cheaper. Many areas offer FREE showings pretty consistently. A good place to look is often local libraries, independent theaters, and hipper bars/breweries. The Hendersonville Film Society shows theirs at a local retirement community.

Carolina Cinemas

I know some people sneak food into the movies but I believe there’s a sort of social contract entered into when going to the movies. Yes, they charge an outrageous price for concessions but theaters make essentially no money on tickets. My beloved Carolina Cinemas puts on FREE movies every Tuesday (Film Society) and Thursday (horror) and some people still sneak in their own food and drink. This does not encourage the theater to continue to offer this and, quite frankly, is rather ungrateful of the patrons but enough of my soapbox.

FREE movie ticket offers abound. Currently, Wal-Mart has movies that have FREE tickets on them for Insurgent, Fifty Shades of Gray, and Spongebob Squarepants. Target has ones for Fifty Shades of Gray, Spongebob, Taken 3, and The Longest Ride. Vudu has an offer where you buy one of a particular set of movies from them in order to get a ticket to Insurgent. Upcoming offers include Jurassic World, Furious 7, Home, and Pitch Perfect 2.

Dealflicks

Dealflicks continues to add new theaters and offers a decent discount price, though not usually close to the percentages they advertise. Strangely my aforementioned Carolina Cinemas has stopped accepting Dealflicks and the other various movie money promotions.

Moviepass

Moviepass is for those hardcore moviegoers. They charge a monthly fee ($30-35) and you can go see a movie every day for FREE but only one you have not already seen. They currently have over 3,700 theaters signed up.

Moviepass is the opposite of how I usually go to the movies. While they allow you to go to a single movie daily, I like to group all the movies into one marathon showing and go all day. This allows me to buy just one drink for several movies. I always get the refillable large. I am not much of a popcorn eater though I always get it for my wife and daughter as they are saltaholics (I am more of a diabeetus consumer).

Netflix & Vudu & Regal & Godzilla Oh My

Netflix

 

* After binging on the wonderful season two of House of Cards, I am looking forward to the second season of Orange is the New Black on June 6th.

Vudu

 

* I love my Vudu account and their disc-to-digital program but they always try to start the movie in HDX. My internet can’t handle that load at night so I often have to poke it down to HD and occasionally SD. I’d really like for them to take a page out of Netflix’ book and adjust settings on the fly.

* On the other hand, I have to give Vudu props because none of the other UV services appear to be able to handle over a hundred personal movies. Vudu also has the best sorting methods and interface.

Godzilla

 

* The new Godzilla will be released on May 16th. In anticipation of this, Rialto will be releasing a restored version of the original Japanese film to tour theaters starting April 12th. So far it is just the big cities but I’ll keep my fingers crossed and my eyes open.

Regal Cinemas

 

* On Thursday, March 6th, at 5:30 p.m., select Regal Cinemas (no list as of post) will be playing a double feature of 300 and 300 Rise of an Empire. The double feature is $18-$22. Regal Crown Club members will receive the usual coupon for a $5 medium soda and popcorn combo. Fingers crossed for my area and not having to babysit that night. Woohoo!

Beginning of November This ‘n’ That – Netflix, Vudu

Netflix

 

* Netflix has started adding an intermittent banner scroll of their top choices on the main page. This is essentially the same type of banner that Hulu has.

Vudu

 

* Sony and Vudu are partnering to bring owners of Sony films on Vudu extras like those that can be found on DVDs and Blu-Rays. The first title with these extras is District 9. If you already own the films on Vudu that have extras, you will receive the extras for FREE. This is part of their drive to promote and legitimize digital sales over physical ones.

* If you want to know where you can stream a particular movie, try Can I Stream It? They have various filters for Netflix, Redbox, Amazon and such. Do take their results with a grain of salt though as they currently list Sinister (2012) with Ethan Hawke as available with Prime and it’s not. A different Sinister movie is and some of their Disney results are wonky. Still it can be useful and the site is bound to improve.

October This ‘n’ That – Vudu Edition

 

Vudu

 

* Vudu has changed their new customer sign up offer. Instead of 10 standard definition movies, you get 5 HDX movies for FREE. Available selections include: Star Trek, Independence Day, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Mona Lisa Smile, Death Race 2, Last Action Hero, Great Day of the Fliers, There’s Something About Mary, and Cold Light of Day.

* Vudu has also extended their in-home disc-to-digital sale. Converting a Blu-Ray to HDX is $2, DVD to HDX is $5, DVD to standard is $2. If you convert 10 or more titles at a time then your total is half-price. It is an excellent, almost painless program.

There are some drawbacks however. As it is in Beta, there are many discs it doesn’t recognize, some it recognizes as incorrect title, and many Blu-rays that it thinks are DVDs. Also to convert Blu-rays, you have to have a Blu-ray drive which is a bit uncommon. Many movies are unavailable for conversion as well, particularly Disney titles.

* On a sad note Panasonic is shutting their plasma TV division. While they made awesome plasma televisions, ultimately I went for a TV half the price. I guess a lot of people did as Pansonic’s TV division lost $913 million last year.

* Netflix has released Super HD to all U.S. markets now, providing you have the bandwidth. I wonder how this will compare to Vudu’s wonderful HDX format.

FREE Movies, Target Ticket, Vudu, and UV

CinemaNow

I have previously described how you can get 10 FREE movies from Best Buy’s CinemaNow for your UV account. This option is still available – simply sign up for CinemaNow and link it to your UV account and Best Buy will let you select 10 FREE (standard definition) movies to own.

Target Ticket

Target is now jumping into the streaming game with Target Ticket and they will also give you 10 FREE (standard definition) movies for signing up and linking to your UV account. Target Ticket does require you to put a credit card on file though I used a Visa giftcard for that. In seconds, nine of the movies showed up in my linked Vudu account and I was ready to watch on TV (Mars Attacks didn’t show as yet).

Vudu

FREE Streaming Movies to Own

Vudu* Vudu is Wal-Mart’s version of Ultraviolet. Any Ultraviolet movies you have redeemed, usually through DVD or Blu-Ray purchases, may be played through this service. It is available on the PC, Roku, Xbox 360, PS3, and many smart TVs and Blu-Ray players. I have previously reported on Vudu’s offer of 10 FREE movies if you start a new account and that offer is still good.

Cinema Now* CinemaNow is Best Buy’s version of Ultraviolet. They have joined Vudu in offering ten FREE movies for signing up and linking your account to your Ultraviolet account. You can use both offers.

The movies from both offers are linked to your Ultraviolet account so not only would you own 20 movies for FREE but you could play them on either service.

Through the end of this month, Vudu is offering to convert one of your movies for FREE in their disc-to-digital program. Disc-to-digital conversions are done simply at your home computer. If you order more than 10 conversions at a time in August, Vudu will charge you half-price. This amounts (after the half off) to $1 for DVD to Standard or Blu-Ray (assuming you have a Blu-Ray drive, I don’t) to High Definition conversions and $2.50 for DVD to High Definition conversions.

I have used this program and it works fairly well. The copies are in good condition and play well BUT many movies are not available for this service and often it won’t read a disc correctly (especially if this disc is part of a set like the Die Hard Collection).

More FREE Movies at the Mart of Wal

FREE is such a compelling price point. Yesterday I described various FREE movie ticket offers. Here are some more movie related offers.

vudu

* Wal-Mart has $4 Vudu credit coupons on their 6-pk., mega roll of Scott Towels ($6 at my store) and their 24 pk. of Scott Extra Soft Bath Tissue.

Redbox

* Also at Wal-Mart, they had one FREE Redbox rental with purchase of Dr. Pepper 12-packs, some of which had dollar coupons attached.

* Of course you can get 4 FREE DVD credits at Redbox simply by signing up for a FREE trial month of Redbox Instant. Just remember to cancel the service in 30 days if it isn’t worth $8 a month to you.

Red Baron* Wal-Mart still has plenty of Iron Man pizzas (specially marked boxes of Freschetta, Red Baron, and Tony’s). Entering the codes from four of them nets you a FREE movie ticket to any movie (you do NOT have to go see Iron Man 3).