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UltraViolet Gets Studio Support

5 Jan, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

Six major studios said Jan. 6 they would begin offering UltraViolet content this year, complementing DVD and Blu-ray Discs with the cloud-based digital format and service created by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).

“We’re blowing the starter’s gun,” said Mark Teitell, general manager of DECE. “These six major Hollywood studios were a driving force in creating UltraViolet, and their plans to make films and television shows available through the UltraViolet ecosystem cements a milestone union among the content, technology and retail services industries.

“In 2011, UltraViolet will substantially raise the bar on the electronic home entertainment experiences in-market today.”

Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. will include UltraViolet with discs and through digital online retailers possibly as soon as this summer, giving consumers the ability to watch their entertainment across multiple platforms and multiple devices. Disney runs its own Keychest digital file service and has yet to join DECE.

“They’re doing things their own way so far,” Teitell said of Disney, noting that neither DVD nor Blu-ray had full studio support when they launched.

Powered by a free, cloud-based UltraViolet account, uvvu.com, which includes a digital-rights locker, the service allows consumers to register up to a dozen devices where UltraViolet content can be downloaded or streamed. Content can be viewed on set-tops, computers, smartphones, game consoles, tablets and connected HDTVs. Retailers, including Best Buy, can provide UltraViolet to consumers via flash cards as well.

Discs that include UltraViolet will feature a logo.

“Today’s announcement that UltraViolet is ready shows that the entertainment and technology communities have made good on their promise to give the world a new, user-friendly digital standard for collecting movies and TV shows in the digital age,” Teitell said. “In the coming months, consumers will hear exciting news from DECE member companies and other UltraViolet licensees about a host of interoperable products and services, ushering in a new era of choice, confidence and freedom in digital entertainment.”

DECE has finalized technical specifications for UltraViolet and its licensing program. The DECE Common File Format allows for video files to be coded and encrypted once, but still usable by multiple, compliant DRMs. The licensing program will allow companies to use the specifications, interact with the online account infrastructure, and use the logo for products and marketing.

DECE aims to expand UltraViolet to the United Kingdom and Canada later this year, and by early 2012 designed-for-UltraViolet consumer electronics devices are expected to hit the market.

DECE also announced it has added several new members to its ranks, including Akamai Technologies, Fujitsu, Arxan Technologies, BSkyB, Dell and Fanhattan. DECE now includes more than 60 members.

Akamai is demonstrating a prototype device that uses UltraViolet at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

“Over the last decade, Akamai has had the privilege of working with the top retailers, consumer electronic manufacturers and media and entertainment companies to accelerate their websites and enable high-quality digital media experiences,” said Steven Chester, Akamai VP of film. “Akamai believes that our distributed global network is uniquely able to provide the scale, security and quality required for the industry’s next phase of business model innovation.

“Akamai’s goal is to enable retailers and content providers to take advantage of the incredible opportunity presented by UltraViolet, and be a part of bringing the next generation of premium home entertainment services to the market.”


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