UK bookseller Barnes & Noble has become the first retailer in the UK to support UltraViolet, the online film library that’s the closest thing we have to a universal digital content format - and which Tesco reckons is "too complicated" for Brits.
Enter Nook Video, a B&N service with makes movie and TV show downloads available to owners of the bookseller’s Nook HD and HD+ tablets, and soon to owners of smartphones and other slates through a series of incoming Nook Video apps.
That’s not so very far from other such offerings from Apple, Amazon and others. However, by tying Nook Video to UltraViolet, B&N is making it possible for its users to buy a UV-branded DVD or Blu-ray and to gain copies of the discs’ content for downloading and streaming.
Likewise, content bought from Nook Video and tied to a UV account will become accessible through other UV-compatible apps, websites and players.
The BBC and Warner Home Video, both companies committed to releasing UV-linked discs in the UK, each praised the arrival of Nook Video’s support for UV. Nook Video will be offering BBC and Warner content, along with material from HBO, Sony and NBC Universal.
Warner has a UV service of its own, Flixster, which currently lists some 117 discs available in the UK - there are almost 8000 in the US - which contain the code you need to key in to gain a gratis online copy. Up to five family members can be granted access to a single UV account.
Flixster is an alternative to Nook Video in the US but over here acts solely as an online repository for content you've bought first on disc.
Of course, not all of Nook Video’s content partners are also UV supporters, and with UV’s universal file format yet to be sufficiently ready to implement, it may be some time yet before any given film bought through Nook Video will be playable through, say, the Flixster app. ®