Sunday, July 25, 2010

Never buy a new format, thanks to UltraViolet

UltraViolet is the newest brainchild of a large consortium of tech companies. By acting as a “digital movie locker,” UltraViolet wants to help customers see a movie they have purchased on multiple devices. A Disney-backed competitor is already on the horizon, despite the large list of supporters for UltraViolet. Source of article – UltraViolet aims to simplify movie ownership by Personal Money Store.

Cloud based computing with UltraViolet

With about 60 member companies, the digital consortium that has created UltraViolet is full of heavy hitters. The basic idea is that a cloud-based account at UltraViolet – — will track and record film purchases. Customers will then be able to use this “digital token” that will allow them to play the film on a wide variety of devices and services. You could rent or buy a movie on Netflix, then play it via Comcast. Buy a Blu-ray DVD, then play the film on your smartphone. The goal is ultimate cross-compatibility with minimal hassle.

Challenges facing UltraViolet

Though UltraViolet has a huge list of supporting companies, a format war is already shaping up. Disney is working on its own digital rights management system called KeyChest. Disney’s film library includes all the movies of Marvel Entertainment and Pixar Studios. The Walt Disney Business has Steve Jobs as a board member. Apple did not sign onto the UltraViolet system, and Apple’s iOS technology may not allow app developers to use their system.

Which Digital Management System will end up in use?

There could be a couple of years where both formats will exist, if we are to use indications of previous format wars. Eventually, whichever format the pornography industry sides with is likely to win. However, the music industry has long tried to create similar digital rights management systems, most of which have failed rather spectacularly because of lack of corporate support and customer backlash. The way to win for either Ultraviolet or KeyChest will be a compelling library, huge amounts of corporate support and also the ease of use that so many customers have come to expect.

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