Ultraviolet DRM is terrible and I wish it would die

What is ultraviolet?
UltraViolet is a free, cloud-based digital rights collection that gives you greater flexibility with how and where you watch the movies and TV shows that you purchase. When you buy a movie or TV show from a participating retailer, it's automatically added to your UltraViolet Collection and you have options to stream it over the Internet and/or download it for offline viewing to a variety of connected devices. Because UltraViolet offers so many viewing choices, you have greater freedom to choose where you want to watch - on a mobile device, computer, television, game console, etc.

What was it intended for?
Uhm ... to replace iTunes (it is headed by Warner Bros) as another means to distribute movies digitally legally. Probably was meant as a way to avoid paying Apple more money and to torture customers with yet another DRM system.

What is good about UV?
Three things only - your movies are "in the cloud" and accessible anywhere (not really), movies are available online through streaming (broadband required to stream) or offline through downloads and content can be shared with friends and family. Thats it. Nothing else. Nothing else they advertised really works.

Why does it SUCK SO BAD?
Hmmm ... how do I put this as clear as possible ...
  1. You need multiple accounts to access your content
    First you need to sign up for an Ultraviolet account. You do that here. Once you have a UV account, you need to create ANOTHER account at EACH AND EVERY respective studio that is distributing using UV - e.g. I now have accounts created in the Sony Pictures Store, Universal Hi-Def, Flixster and Warner Bros ... so in total 5 new totally unnecessary accounts just to download my digital 'copies'
  2. It is difficult to view content
    It is IMPOSSIBLE to view any of your content without downloading their software or apps. To watch on your PC/Mac you download Flixster. Same goes with tablets, phones, phablets and whatnots. The downside of this? There is no way to show your content onto your living room TV or audio visual system short of connecting your computer to your display. At least with iTunes you can still get an Apple TV to view your content on the TV or use any iDevice with the proper av adaptor (hdmi/component/etc) to display content. Using a tablet/phone/PC as your player means you actually need to mirror the content onto the TV.
  3. Quality of UV is poor
    Overall video quality of UV distributed films ranges from good to really poor. Compression is noticeably higher than iTunes digital downloads and detail is often lost. Worst thing is that UV downloads are 2-channel STEREO only. Supporters may claim that this was intended because the digital downloads are meant for portable devices which is true but if iTunes digital downloads can provide both 2-channel stereo AND 5.1 channel surround, then I'd go for iTunes anytime because I like knowing that I can still pipe the full surround experience if necessary.
  4. UV tablet/phone applications suck
    The Flixster tablet app sucks on all the platforms I've tried it on. On the iPad, the app integrates with Rotten Tomatoes and shows current/upcoming/past movies which is actually rather cool. The movie download/streaming section though leaves a lot to be desired. Movies download with no problems but often remain in processing mode indefinitely. This means that the downloaded version can never play and if you attempt playback it will revert to the streaming version instead. In some cases, movies that were successfully downloaded, processed and can be viewed offline can suddenly revert back to its undownloaded state and will no longer work thus forcing you to delete the file and redownload. On android tablets, I've had even less success with the app crashing often and movies suddenly stopping for no reason.
  5. UV desktop applications suck more
    The PC desktop application is probably the weakest. I though iTunes was bad - UV is worse. Unlike tablet apps, the desktop PC version of flixster has no links and is purely for playback only. The software is not optimized and cannot playback video content unless the app is made full screen. In a window, the content jerks and frame rate drops dramatically thus making it impossible for you to have multiple applications open on your desktop so you can't watch a movie whilst check your facebook status at the same time.
  6. There is no easy way to backup files
    Unlike what the support website says here, there is no easy way to backup your UV digital movies. Digital content is downloaded as a binary file with no extension and a random string of alphanumeric characters (it is actually an mp4 file wrapped in their own DRM encoding). You can't really transfer this file anywhere because the target app you copy it into will not recognise the file. For every device you own and activate with UV, the file downloads with a different filename so it is impossible to map files between devices. D-U-M-B. They should have done it like iTunes where downloads happen as M4V files. Backup? Just copy the file out. Move to another PC/Mac/iPad/iPhone? Just copy the file in. No nonsense. No fuss. Compared to UV where I have had to download the exact same movie 4 times on 4 different devices just because their files are different.
  7. You can only buy/redeem movies on the PC
    Yup. STOOPID. For a distribution method supposedly meant for portable devices, there is NO WAY to get new content without going back to your desktop and logging into individual websites. Some of you might think that you can browse websites on the portable device so why not do it there? Nope. Impossible. Most websites I've been too won't work with tablet browsers. Either the pages won't load or your code won't work (even though the same code works when used in desktop)
So as much as possible, try to avoid UV like the plague until they give up trying to force consumers with another doomed format.