JB Hi-Fi Launches New Cloud Streaming Movie And TV Service

JB Hi-Fi Launches New Cloud Streaming Movie And TV Service

Earlier this week, JB Hi-Fi hinted at a new direction for the company: a more digital focused future that would (eventually) encompass video games. Is JB Hi-Fi planning to open up its own online store ala Steam? It’s clear that ideas are being explored, but there’s nothing concrete as of yet. Today, however, JB H-Fi has launched an Ultraviolet driven storefront in Australia, allowing users to stream video content they’ve paid for to any device they own.

The service is called JB Hi-Fi NOW Video. a service that allows consumers to redeem codes found inside Blu-rays or DVDs bought in-store, and stream that content to their tablet, mobile, laptop or desktop. It means that if you buy a product in-store you are also able to watch that product in a fairly seamless manner on mobile devices, if there’s a stable enough internet connection. You can see the service in action here.

But what does that mean for JB Hi-Fi’s future in digital gaming? Very little really, but in the context of the news that JB Hi-Fi is exploring online solutions it shows a level of commitment and follow through. Earlier this week we were informed that JB was set to launch a service like this and now it has. With relation to games, JB Hi-Fi informed us that it was still considering a number of different models, but this move into streaming video proves, to a certain extent, that JB is serious about digital.


      • Are you sharing the rips and are they from DVDs you purchased? If not, I think that counts as having a backup.

        It all depends how one interprets the DMCA and any other law regarding digital home media.

        • Actually according to my understanding, ripping legally purchased DVDs, Blu-ray etc is indeed a violation of Copyright law. It’s known as Format Shifting and although some media is exempt from it for personal use, such as CD music, books, images, recorded TV and Radio, DVDs and Blu-rays are not.

          It’s an idiotic law (just like the other 99% of current Copyright law) and one that they have no hope of enforcing, but it exists none-the-less.

          • Hold on based on what you just said:
            * If a movie is broadcast on TV (like on Channel 9 or SBS) it is OK for me to capture it and keep it in a shifted format, but
            * If the movie is distributed on a BluRay or DVD it is illegal.

            That doesn’t make sense: both arrive at the same outcome. You have shifted a movie from one format to another.

          • How can the law be upheld, if there is a current precedent countering it? That is the thing about law: sometimes a ruling is limited or canceled because of precedent under the same or similar circumstances.

            To use my example again, if I rip a DVD and am brought before the courts how can the judge hand down a penalty if the same process is legal for broadcasts? It is still ripping (from a transmission which technologically contains a multimedia data stream) and then shifting into another format (say an MKV or MPEG container using h.264 and MP3 instead of MPEG2).

            If Judge Hypothetical handed me a jail term, I could point this out and put the validity of the ruling to question.

            I’m gonna stop here: my head is starting to hurt from this broken, circular logic.

          • Not sure quite what’s confusing you. I don’t know what is in the legislation, but it’s entirely possible that it differentiates between recording a transmission and duplicating a source (e.g. ripping a DVD).

            The two concepts are at least technically distinct.

            “How can the law be upheld, if there is a current precedent countering it?”

            What exactly do you mean by this?

            “if I rip a DVD and am brought before the courts how can the judge hand down a penalty if the same process is legal for broadcasts?”

            The legislation could differentiate between the two.

            I’m not saying it’s particularly logical, just that it’s legally possible.

          • I think the problem is that the law is that you can’t shift medium unless it is initially distributed in format X. The outcome is the same, but that’s basically irrelevant.

          • From what I’ve heard (it may have been changed at some point), recording from TV or radio is technically illegal. Back in the days of magnetic storage though, it wasn’t such a problem because of the fact that the quality degraded over time. It’s only because digital storage is more permanent that it is now more likely to be classed as an illegal copy though recent exemptions apply depending on how you are using it, how many devices you copy it to and stuff like that. The Australian copyright law is still vastly outdated though and ignores a lot of how digital copying works and is used.

          • As far as I know, it’s been legal since the 70s and 80 when Sony won over Universal over their Betamax recorders.

            Universal argued that allowing people to record television broadcasts for home use was copyright infringement. It took three rulings before it fell in Sony’s favour (if Wikipedia is to be believed) and thus fund that recording is within fair use.

          • Ah, that’s correct. There are a lot of restrictions around it though as it’s classed as time shifting so you and only you can watch it, and then only once before you must delete it. You must also watch it from the machine that recorded it. As you said, the whole thing is stupid and headache inducing because technology has moved faster than the laws so an individual has no idea what falls within reasonable bounds or not. Though, you are allowed to make one backup only of digital media IIRC, so it is not entirely a case of you can’t copy DVDs but can record TV.

          • I think you’re talking about a US court case and US laws, which isn’t really relevant in Australia.

            In Australia, if you want to copy a work you aren’t the copyright holder for, you either need a license or it must fall under a defined exception. There is a law review considering the introduction of a general fair use allowance in place of specific exceptions, but there is opposition from some copyright holder groups:


  • JB Hi-Fi NOW has been out for ages. As has the ability to redeem the codes and watch from your device.

  • Lets face it, streaming sucks for most of us in Aus anyway
    Until we get decent infrastructure, I personally wont bother with streaming options

    • You can kiss any chances of that ever happening goodbye once the Coalition comes to power after September 7th.

    • Online can work, so long as you’re not streaming live.
      For example, I recently moved to watching movies online after our nearest Video-Ezy closed down. I do it though the Playstation Store. You’re presented with 2 options:
      1) Steam it live (which is a bad choice since we usually don’t have the bandwidth)
      2) Download it and watch it when it’s done
      If you choose option 2), it expires after 30 days, or 48 hours after you first start watching it, which ever comes first. It’s a pretty fair system. It means I can download movies in advance to when I actually want to watch it.

  • I haven’t read a single good thing about Ultraviolet. I even have some ultraviolet codes from Blu-ray films that I’ve purchased that I’ve never bothered to redeem.

    From everything I’ve read, it’s a good idea executed really poorly. Every studio wanted their own slant on the way the content works, and therefore you end up with a number of accounts (an Ultraviolet one, plus one for Warner Bros, one for Sony Entertainment, etc), with each behaving differently.

    And in the end, what started as a simple way of streaming you media became a convoluted mess.

    Again, that’s just based of what I’ve read.

  • Thanks for reminding me that I still need to find a spare three hours to watch Cloud Atlas… been meaning to do that for months…

  • Ahhhahhhhh. That Image. “Cloud Atlas” -> Cloud Streaming. I see what you did there.

    Also, Ultraviolet was a terrible movie. Equilibrium was ok, though. That whole gun kata thing was kinda neat….what’s the article about again?

  • This service has been out for well close to two months. Next you’ll post that Hitler just committed suicide.

  • The Purple! Ruining the Bluray covers! It’s too much purple! Put a sticker on it and get rid of it! We get it! This disc has Ultraviolet! Sucks for this who already have a iTunes or media player library already! PURPLE!!! Aaahhhh!!!! Rant over!

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