TECH

Convert some of those old DVDs to Digital

When was the last time you actually watched a movie on DVD? Maybe like, 2014?

You probably still have a dusty stack of plastic boxes sitting on a shelf somewhere, though, doing little more than taking up space as you flip through multiple streaming services for your TV time.

Walmart-owned Vudu has offered disc-rich movie fans the ability to convert their DVDs and Blu-rays to digital files in-store and at home for some time through its Disc-to-Digital program. Starting today, the app’s new Mobile Disc-to-Digital service should make the process even easier: All you’ll need is your smartphone and the barcodes on your old DVD boxes to bolster your personal digital library.

The Mobile Disc-to-Digital service gives users another option to convert their movie collections to digital formats, rather than repurchasing every title at full price.

“The average movie collector owns nearly 100 DVDs and Blu-rays,” Vudu’s general manager, Jeremy Verba, said in a statement. “We know these customers have invested a lot into building their physical movie collections.”

The new service will save movie fans with those big physical collections some money to go digital, but it’s not free. You’ll still have to pony up $2 per conversion, which includes DVD to SD (480p) or Blu-Ray to HDX (1080p) transfers. Upgrading standard DVDs to HDX format will cost $5 a pop. Once you pay the fees, you’ll have access to an UltraViolet digital copy, which can be streamed through the Vudu app and accessed offline.

Around 8,000 titles will be available for conversion at launch from major studios like Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. Vudu says even more movies will be added in the near future, so hopefully no part of your collection will be left in digital limbo.

Using the service is simple: just download the Vudu app to your phone (it’s compatible for Android and iOS) and grab those old DVD and Blu-ray cases. Scan the barcode on the case, select the resolution for the conversion, and the app will do the rest. You can convert one title at a time or upload your entire collection in one shot.

Just make sure you’re at home—the service only works when you’re physically in the location you list as your home or billing address on your Vudu account. We’re guessing that’s a precaution to keep people from trying to upload movies they don’t own, but it doesn’t seem like a very effective safeguard.

The service does have some limitations, but it’s definitely more convenient than some of the other conversion options available. To tempt you to check it out, Vudu’s offering one free conversion just for giving the service a shot.

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