Hollywood firms have developed UltraViolet, a new service for digitally streaming movies and TV shows to multiple devices. Sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately it's just a new DRM scheme that lets you pay once more (or several times more) for content you already own. Full details at CNET.
Let's start with UltraViolet via Wal-Mart. The plan is that you can bring in old DVDs you own and, for a fee of between $2 and $5 per DVD, you can buy yourself digital streaming rights to those movies.
The streaming happens through Wal-Mart's Vudu service, which is available on only about 300 devices--and zero Android devices. It's available on iPad, but if you stood in line for a new iPad with an amazing Retina Display, prepare for disappointment. Vudu on iPad is not in high-def.
You'll need to sign up for a free Vudu account for access, and you might end up needing to buy a new Blu-ray player, one of a handful of connected TVs that support the Vudu app, a Microsoft Xbox 360, or a PlayStation 3 to stream the content to your TV. Oh, and if the Vudu catalog doesn't have a license to the movie, you might be out of luck, in which case you'd have to go find and stream your new digital copy of your DVD from a separate UltraViolet library, which requires a second sign-up process. Oh, and TV shows are excluded...