Tesco: UltraViolet ‘too complicated’

Despite an upbeat note being sounded by an earlier panel debate at the Future of Entertainment Summit in London, Rob Salter, Category Director of Entertainment for UK supermarket giant Tesco, has suggested that the UltraViolet digital locker ecosystem will not be implemented any time soon by his company, describing the ecosystem as “too complicated” for the average consumer. It had been suggested that two or three UK retailers would offer UltraViolet products and services during 2012.

Tesco is a member of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) consortium, which includes film studios, retailers, consumer electronics manufacturers, cable companies, ISPs, network-hosting vendors, and other Internet systems and security vendors. DECE is promoting the UltraViolet digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system that allows consumers of digital home entertainment content to stream and download purchased content to multiple platforms and devices.

In December 2011, Tesco and its online video-on-demand subsidiary blinkbox announced a new service where customers who purchase a DVD or Blu-ray will also own the movie online. The new service is exclusive to customers enrolled in the store’s Clubcard loyalty scheme.

Salter told delegates that for the time being, Tesco will concentrate on its existing ‘digital extra’ service, which brings together the sale of a physical DVD product with a digital version bundled with the purchase, meaning that customers no longer have to worry about transporting discs with them.

When a physical film or TV show has been purchased, customers are able to view the film from their blinkbox account at any time from multiple devices. Salter confirmed that in-store movie purchases at Tesco would automatically be added to a customer’s blinkbox account.

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