A film industry consortium introduces a way to buy movies and watch them from multiple devices.
UltraViolet (UV) is a new cloud-based system where customers can store movies that can be accessed from multiple devices in various platforms. The system allows customers to create a household account where movies are stored in a digital locker. Customers are able to register six people per household; however, since the users do not have be at the same address, a household seems to a very ambiguously defined grouping at this point.
Each household can register 12 internet-capable devices to view the content. When a user wants to watch a video, the movie will be downloaded in a common file format to the different devices. This common file format is intended to institute a streamlined file format for downloadable video content. The UV site states “You’ll be able to download and play UltraViolet media on UltraViolet computers, tablets, game consoles, set top boxes, Blu-ray players, Internet TVs, smartphones and other mobile devices.”
The consortium behind the UltraViolet project is the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE). It is a cross-industry initiative that includes major film studios. Fifty five of the leading figures in the digital video market have joined forces to launch UltraViolet. The only companies missing from the UltraViolet consortium are Apple and Disney, and it isn’t obvious they plan to join any time soon.
Hollywood has been keen to set up an industry standard to cushion the blow as people move away from physical media such as DVDs. In the near future you can expect to see the UltraViolet logo on your digital downloads as well as DVDs and Blu-Rays with the organization saying it shows “that everything with the UltraViolet logo is designed to give consumers a consistent, easy and “just works” experience – no matter who makes it or where it’s purchased”.
Like other format evolutions in the past, previously bought DVDs do not work with the system.