Television & Film

To the Cloud! with UltraViolet?


Lionsgate Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment,
Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. to Offer UltraViolet Content in 2011

LAS VEGAS, January 6, 2011 – Six of Hollywood’s largest studios including Lionsgate Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. today announced their support for the UltraViolet service and format created by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).  Complementing the physical DVD and Blu-ray home entertainment markets, studios will begin offering UltraViolet content this year through digital online retailers and digital rights that come with packaged media, giving consumers the ability to watch digital entertainment across multiple platforms such as connected TVs, PCs, game consoles and smartphones.

Through UltraViolet, consumers now have greater choice and freedom to purchase, manage and watch digital movies, TV shows and other entertainment. The UltraViolet experience is powered by a cloud-based UltraViolet Account, which includes a Digital Rights Locker and account management functionality. Consumers can create an UltraViolet account, free of charge, via one of the many participating UltraViolet service providers or through the UltraViolet website. Once created, this account will allow consumers to easily access and manage all of their UltraViolet entertainment, regardless of where it was purchased.

Consumers will also be able to register up to 12 devices so UltraViolet content can be easily downloaded or shared between them.  In addition, UltraViolet streaming access will enable consumers to enjoy their collections via set-top boxes and the Internet including computers, Internet-connected home video devices such as Blu-ray players and Internet TVs, and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.  The UltraViolet Account will also enable retailers to provide consumers with a copy to use on DVD players or other physical media such as portable flash memory.

“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,”  said Mark Teitell, General Manager of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).  “In 2011, UltraViolet will substantially raise the bar on the electronic home entertainment experiences in-market today.”

UltraViolet titles will be announced by individual studios as they become available and will feature the distinct UltraViolet logo, making it easy for consumers to identify entertainment products and services designed to work together seamlessly.

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JPH: Sounds like the studios are realizing that we’re now in a completely digital age, and the old adage “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” applies here. It will be interesting to see just how this works out for consumers. Personally, I have issues with the whole notion of “the cloud” in the first place. I think there are security questions about that, and other friends & colleagues have expressed similar concerns. But I can see the benefits to having a central location for your content, which can then be loaded into whichever device you want to use. Similar to the old days of putting your LPs on cassette. Or CD. Or mp3. Or … wait, what tech do we use now?

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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