Experiments with downloads
My UV library, for which I've paid nothing, started with three UV coupons tucked into Blu-rays, which I found while cleaning house: Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, and Gravity. I was directed to flixster.com to redeem them, which had me create an account, and created a parallel account with UV with the same login. All were marked as being "owned" by me in HDX (though what that means appears to be less than meets the eye), and downloadable in HDX as well.
Flixster also dumped an SD copy of Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery into my account. When I found that I couldn't watch them on my PC in other than SD, and l looked at the options for playing films, I saw VUDU and remembered that my Oppo has a Vudu app, so I created an account there as well, also linked to the UV account.
Bingo! VUDU immediately gave me my choice of five free films from a list of about 30, so i picked Rango, which I had watched on Amazon Prime and liked, Master and Commander which I haven't seen, Bean, which is fun, and, based on the previews, Mike Myers' So I Married an Ax Murderer and Sandra Bullock's Hope Floats.
I then went through the rest of my Blu-ray cases and found coupons for the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man 2, the Andrew Garfield The Amazing Spider-Man, the Robert Downey Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows, and Ghostbusters
They play well through my Oppo BDP-93, which is on a wired connection to my router.
Because of the controversy about long-term streaming availability, I tried doing a download. All of the HDX films I have are available for HDX dowload except Bean, which is limited to SD download. (What a tragedy!)
I decided to download Rango, which I know I like, from VUDU. It had me install VUDU To Go, but balked at downloading either the HDX or HD versions because my PC isn't using HDCP to connect to its display. SD only on that box.
Went down to my theater, where I have a laptop that has an HDMI connection to my projector. If the projector wasn't showing what was on the laptop's screen, it wouldn't start a better than SD download, but with the projector active it downloaded it in HDX.
Next came playback. Couldn't play my HDX download unless the projector was showing it - and there's no fallback to SD, which is a separate download.
Once the projector was activated, I could play the film on the projector and built-in display simultaneously, so I don't see what is gained by requiring an HDCP display to be in operation as well.
Even when I could play it, clicking on the icon to go fullscreen in the VUDU To Go player (a pair of diagonal arrows pointed outwards) simply blacked out both screens completely! (Same thing happened with only the projector active.) You can maximize the window in the area above the taskbar, but it's both letterboxed and pillarboxed. No fullscreen for you!
How about using the Oppo to play the download? Well, considerable poking around on the hard drive was needed to even find it, as neither the movie's name nor the word VUDU is used in the path. The name of the Rango movie file is 9000Seg1.f4f and from downloading another film, I found that only the four digit number was different.
My UPnP/DLNA server, oShare, wouldn't even show it as existing, since it was not a standard media file extension. I experimentally changed the extension to MP4. which let the Oppo see it and try to open it. It sat at 50% loaded for a while and had to be powered down to get out of that loop!
I clicked on the renamed file and Windows Media Player tried to play it but gave up. I also dragged the SD download into VLC on my desktop with the same result.
If anyone here has figured out how to play an HDX download on a laptop without an external HDMI display attached, I'd love to hear how.
Last edited by Philnick; 06-14-2014 at 09:10 PM.