New 'Enabling Technology' Expected to Give Boost to 4K Ultra HD Movie Ownership26 Aug, 2015 By: Thomas K. Arnold
In a major development in the drive to get consumers to buy 4K Ultra HD movies, TV shows and other filmed content online, the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) announced the availability of specs for “Vidity,” an enabling technology that allows consumers to move their high-quality content easily around to virtually all their devices.
SCSA was founded by 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros Home Entertainment, SanDisk and Western Digital. It now has more than 50 industry-leading companies as contributors, including Samsung, Qualcomm Technologies, LG, Xiaomi, Comcast, Intel, Sky UK, Cisco, Sprint, Broadcom, ARM, Seagate, Akamai, DTS, Dolby and Walmart.
Vidity should make consumers much more comfortable with buying and collecting 4K UHD movies, and other filmed content, knowing they will have full control of managing and moving their high-quality digital movie libraries. Movies will play on any device, at any time, without the need for an account, device activations or connection to the Internet for playback.
Licensing specs are being released today (Aug. 26). Vidity, its backers say, will enable the secure delivery of premium digital entertainment experiences, including unparalleled and locally stored playback of 4K Ultra HD, with support for High Dynamic Range, and HD movies across multiple devices.
Samsung, 20th Century Fox, Seagate, Western Digital and MGO already have Vidity-compatible products available in the market. Additional products are on the horizon.
“The single most significant aspect of this announcement is that for the first time, there will be a solution that will enable the highest-quality-possible content to be made available to consumers in the most robust and flexible way,” said David Huerta, GM of the SCSA. “We’re all familiar with the challenges, restrictions and limitations in today’s digital world — you buy a movie and it will only work on one system or a particular set of systems. As a result, consumers have often been confused about what can be played back, on what device, and when — and, more often than not, this content is not the latest out there, or of the highest quality. These kinds of limitations often lead to frustration limiting the potential for wide spread digital sellthrough.
“Now, due to the robust and flexible design of our system, we have a solution that can be enabled on all device platforms from set-top boxes to game consoles to 4K TVs and mobile devices — a complete solution to allow consumers to experience their purchased content across all their devices, with no need for an online account, no need for device activation and no need for an Internet connection. Once you buy the title, you have full control over that purchase. Vidity content plays on any Vidity device at any time. It’s that simple.”
Huerta noted that Vidity can be enabled to play on the kinds of devices consumers use today — and is designed to be compatible with the devices they will own in the future, as well. He likens it to the “digital combo packs” of the physical media world — when consumers buy a Vidity digital movie the package will contain multiple versions of the title that can be used on multiple devices simultaneously, from the highest-quality 4K UHD HDR to play on the living room home theater system to SD or HD on a tablet or phone.
“You can copy it freely, and move it around from one device to another,” Huerta added. “We know people use multiple devices in their household and are constantly upgrading their TVs, tablets, phones and storage, and this gives them the freedom access their content and move it around, just as though it were on a disc.”
To make things even easier and simpler for consumers, Huerta said, Vidity has no requirement to log into accounts or connect to the Internet for playback. “With Vidity, the file is downloaded and yours to keep forever, on your own local storage device like you would with a Blu-ray Disc or DVD, only in digital file form,” Huerta said. “Vidity also provides unparalleled security, flexibility and control for content publishers to enable new distribution and business models allowing them new and creative ways to monetize their content.”
He noted that Vidity is also complementary to streaming entertainment platforms such as UltraViolet and others.
Licensing of Vidity specifications is now available to all relevant companies who sign the SCSA adopter agreement.
“The Vidity solution represents the collaboration of over 50 key industry leaders across the content, technology, device and security industries,” Huerta said. “Our founders and contributors are aligned in the goal of bringing the consumer the highest-quality digital entertainment experience possible through the implementation of the Vidity specifications. We all look forward to Vidity-compliant products establishing a durable and future-proof marketplace for consumers later this year.”