Technology. Dissected, discredited.

Nice - Star Trek BluRay comes with free Digital Copy that is actually useful

, posted: 14-Nov-2009 17:35

Star Trek BluRay - with digital copy.I, along with the many people, found JJ Abhrams reinventing of Star Trek a great time. So much so I felt it more than worthy to be added to my small physical media collection. To my surprise, the pictures studio, Paramount Pictures, has started including a digital copy of the their films free. Each BluRay copy comes with a third DVD and note with a unique key printed on it.

I thought it would no doubt involve some horrible DRM and playback system, no doubt dropped or outdated a year from now. You can no doubt believe my surprise that the code really is really just a redeem code for iTunes Store. If you brought the movie in iTunes separately you'd be looking at $24.99.

The DVD contains an autoplay menu which offers links to either to copy the film in Windows Media or iTunes, by choosing iTunes you are taken straight into the Store and where you enter your code. You'll need to download for that copy but the disc does include necessary WMV files - strangely there are 2. I can't tell you much more with Windows being Windows just before copying the file I am told that I require security component update and it was required before installing. I clicked the link and sent to a page on the domain which offered little information and a single button that couldn't be pressed. Shortly after Internet Explorer crashed. Good one. I spent a few minutes trying to find the update I'm looking for but its never stated and MS don't really promote the DRM side of things too loudly.

Star Trek BluRay - Menu...Star Trek BluRay - DRM Windows Media Errors

As far as the iTunes side goes, iTunes downloads as a 1.96GB M4V file, and uses FairPlay3 DRM which allows for syncing to up to 5 iPhones, iPods, AppleTV's and the other computers linked to your iTunes account. Video wise, the file has a frame size of 640x352, 2052kbps H264 and audio comes in 5.1 AC3 (strangely QuicktimeX lists only 2 channels though). The file also includes chapter marks with thumbnails and can be played in Quicktime or iTunes.

It's disappointing to not be a more standard 720 frame width, and of course no one likes DRM - but lets be honest, offering the movie in the first place is a good sign. Instantly I can use the film in a usable way outside of my PS3 and couch. I doubt I will ever watch it on my phone, but offering it in more than one format, shows the studio trying to be far more inclusive in the end usage process.

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Comment by dacraka, on 15-Nov-2009 11:54

Yea, I got a digital copy with the Transformers 2 Blu-Ray disc - synced it to my iPhone and works a treat :)

Just note that when it is "downloading" the movie in iTunes - it may look like it is downloading from the internet but rest assured it is actually downloading from the DVD digital copy.

Comment by paradoxsm, on 16-Nov-2009 14:22

How about the movie companies just including WMV, a MOV and MP4  files all without encryption at say, "mobile format" 576 lines resolution.

Until then, I'll just stick to ripping DVD's.

Comment by DWG, on 17-Nov-2009 14:26

I watch the Blu-Ray version on my 120" Projector Screen and the digital copy on my laptop.  I enjoy this version of Star Trek and Digital copies for portable devices.

Comment by AeroTITAN, on 18-Nov-2009 00:22

Where can I find the redeem code to my 3 Disk Special? There was no paper insert - the only paper was outside the cardboard "wrapper". And I don't see a code on that paper or the cardboard.

Author's note by lotech, on 18-Nov-2009 10:26

@AeroTITAN - There should have been a piece of paper with a unqiue code printed on it - inside the BluRay case (along with a pamphlet/brochure). If you didn't get one, you should return your copy and get another.

@paradoxsm - Yeah that would be great but I think we have to be realistic, this is a step in the right direction - I doubt I'll ever watch this on any portable device but having the option makes it easier than if I ripped a DVD and reencoded it to watch on my phone.

Comment by Chris, on 29-Nov-2009 09:19

I have Star Trek on BluRay but cannot get the digital copy to play on my Motorola droid because it appears that it is only in .wmv format. Is there a way for me to get this in .mp4 format or convert it (considering that it is protected media)?

lotech's profile

New Zealand

I run a post production company specialising mainly in TV & Commercials. I also do graphic and motion design when it's there to be done. I've used Windows my whole life, but am now run Macs exclusively in our office and at home. Few issues. It just works.

My current setup is a Early 2008 17" Macbook Pro (C2D 2.5Ghz, 4gb, 320Gb, UWXGA Screen).