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UltraViolet Just Got Smarter — and Easier

17 Apr, 2013 By: Thomas K. Arnold

At last, some action on the UltraViolet front.

What I consider the best idea to come out of Hollywood in years has been stalled of late, mired by a complicated operational structure.

The concept — buy a movie once, then access it from the cloud anywhere, at any time, on any device — is marvelous.

The execution — navigate through a maze of proprietary websites and registration requests — is marvelously flawed.

But as Mark Teitell, GM of UltraViolet’s Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), tells us in our April 15 6Q feature, we shall soon have a new mechanism that strips away the complexity of UltraViolet and actually makes it simple and easy for consumers to use.

The UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF) will make downloading functionality consistent across all UltraViolet retailers and service providers. As Teitell told our senior reporter, Chris Tribbey, “It empowers consumers to transfer or copy downloaded files on any UltraViolet-compliant device or app, without re-downloading or using bandwidth.”

DECE is currently in a beta and interoperability testing stage for CFF deployments, and the final product is expected to become available in the United States later this year.

That’s a critically important development — even more important to the mainstream success of UltraViolet than the stepped-up marketing push Teitell promises also is around the corner.

Years ago, colleagues used to joke about what they called the “People magazine” syndrome. What was hot one week was not the next.

Since then, our attention spans have gotten even shorter. It truly is the “one click” era, where we expect new worlds to open to us with a single click of a button.

We don’t want to be told that for this movie we have to go to this website, while for this movie we have to go to another.

We want it simple, and we want it now.

Once CFF is available, there’s only one more sticking point left for UltraViolet: Get Disney on board. It’s high time the studio joined the consortium and made its movies available through UltraViolet.

Sitting out on a transformational opportunity such as the one presented by UltraViolet makes no sense, and I sincerely hope Disney comes around and joins the party.

It will be good for Disney, and it will be good for the industry.

Even more importantly, it will be good for the consumer.

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