updated 03:35 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Walmart kicks of UltraViolet service, now in beta
Walmart has officially announced its UltraViolet conversion service, letting users digitize their existing DVD and Blu-ray movies. Viewers will have the ability to bring a movie into one of the more than 3,500 participating stores in the US and have their movies added to a Vudu account, after which they can stream it at any time.
The service will go live on April 16. To convert a Blu-ray movie, Walmart will charge $2, while going from a DVD to an HD UltraViolet copy will cost $5. Standard-def conversions will cost $2 and are only available from DVDs. As expected, owners get to keep their original movies on disc.
Walmart has partnered with a number of major Hollywood studios, including Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. Only movies from these studios can be upgraded, however, and Walmart representative will help users create a free Vudu account in-store if they don't have one or know how.
UltraViolet is now in the beta phase as well following early tests. It's designed to give users permanent or long-term rights to access a video online without necessarily being tied to a particular device or even service.