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Digital Copy Review

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More and more Blu-rays and DVDs are including Digital Copies these days. While this has the potential to be a great bonus feature, it has been executed horribly thus far. I've done a bit of research on the subject, and have found several issues that prevent it from becoming all it could be.

Issue #1 - Selection

At the time of this review, I have managed to find only 96 movies that include Digital Copy, with an average rating of 2.9 out of 5. Of those 96 films, 22 are family and holiday movies, not something that the average adult will be watching on the go (Disney movies have been excluded from my list for the same reason). That leaves us with only 74. While there is some great stuff like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Office Space, there are also stinkers like Miss March and What Happens In Vegas.:roll: There is definitely room for improvement here.

Issue #2 - Compatability

If you actually manage to find something you like, this will be the next obstacle in your path. Some Digital Copies will only work with Windows Media, others will only work on PSP, others will work on everything but PSP, and some will have support for MAC, PC, iTunes, Windows Media, and PSP. It really depends on who releases the film. If you are not using iTunes, you will only be able to have one copy for your PC, and one for a portable device. If you decide to get a new PC or portable device, your Digital Copy will be gone forever. iTunes seems to be the best way to go, since the copy will be available for any device you have registered with your account.

Oh yeah, all Digital Copies are DRMed, wo you will be unable to "legally" convert or move the file. You will also need internet access to activate your frickin' code.

Issue #3 - Expiration Dates

Yeah, that's right, these things actually expire. So if you don't activate it before that date (usually about a year after the release), you will have a totally useless disc. This is something that definitely needs to be checked before purchasing a movie, since it is pretty common to buy one with an expired copy. Once it is activated though, it is yours forever, and will last as long as your PC/Mac/portable device/iTunes account.

Issue #4 - Pricing

You may not realize it, but you are actually being charged extra for that Digital Copy.:o While it generally is only a few dollars, it sucks that we are basically buying the same movie twice. That copy is only there to prevent piracy, not to give you a free bonus.

If you manage to overcome all that, you'll end up with a 1.5 - 3GB file that looks and plays great.:D

In order for Digital Copy to be useful, all these issues will need to be addressed. If movie companies aren't going to offer every movie for every device with no expiration date, they should just scrap the feature entirely. Consumers are currently better off using PSN and iTunes for movies and TV shows.

4 out of 10

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