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I thought it would no doubt involve some horrible DRM and playback system, no doubt dropped or outdated a year from now.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 drmlicense.one.microsoft.com 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.
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 640×352, 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.