UltraViolet launches in US
July 14, 2011
By Colin Mann
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), an open, cross-industry consortium of more than 70 companies dedicated to facilitating the development and operation of the UltraViolet ecosystem, has launched a licensing programme for content, technology and service providers. DECE expects that, beginning this autumn, consumers in the US will be able to purchase select movies and TV shows with UltraViolet rights.
Designed to address growing discontent with today’s siloed market for digital video, UltraViolet aims to provide consumers with a new, compelling way to collect and enjoy movies and TV shows from a wide array of outlets. This ecosystem will combine the benefits of cloud access with the power of an open, industry standard – empowering consumers to use multiple content services and device brands interchangeably, at home and on-the-go.
Becoming an UltraViolet licensee will enable companies to implement technical specs; market content, services and products with the UltraViolet name and logo; and make use of a centralised digital rights locker system for consumers’ management of their UltraViolet proofs-of-purchase. Licensing is available for companies to participate in UltraViolet through one or more of five defined roles: content provider, retailer, streaming service provider, app/device maker, and download infrastructure/services provider. Information on licensing can be found at www.uvvu.com.
Mark Teitell, UltraViolet’s General Manager, noted that consumers are looking for a better value proposition to own and collect digital movies and TV shows – a proposition that provides downloads, streaming and physical copy viewing options which are accessible on multiple platforms. “The initiation of UltraViolet’s business-to-business (B2B) licensing programme represents another key step in the development and roll-out of this new ecosystem designed to respond to this consumer demand. Interest in UltraViolet has been robust and we are excited about the number of companies seeking to play roles in the delivery of Ultraviolet to consumers in the coming months,” he said.
DECE also published its technical specifications that define how the various ecosystem roles work together to bring UltraViolet to consumers. The specifications are designed to ensure a consistent consumer experience, and ease the implementation process for participating companies. UltraViolet’s specifications include a universal Common File Format for downloads, which allows consumers to copy playable files directly among multiple brands of registered apps/devices, even as they may run different UltraViolet-compliant Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. With the Common File Format, titles intended for downloading will be encoded and encrypted by the entertainment content providers just once, but will play across multiple platforms, creating a highly efficient and streamlined alternative to today’s vertical distribution systems.
Initial UltraViolet licensees are now integrating with and beta testing the digital rights locker system, which DECE will operate as a shared cloud resource for all licensees. Neustar, a provider of network and digital media interconnectivity solutions, was selected by DECE as a key partner to build and operate the UltraViolet technology infrastructure.