Fox, Warner in Project Phenix digital content initiative
February 28, 2012
By Colin Mann
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group are teaming up with flash memory card specialist SanDisk and hard disk drive manufacturer Western Digital to launch an initiative designed to give consumers an easier and faster way to organise, store and move their HD digital movies and TV shows – including new releases in up to full 1080p quality – across multiple devices. In addition to local storage, the content will also be backed up via the UltraViolet (UV) industry standard as well as other cloud-based services.
The project – which has the current working title ‘Project Phenix’ – is being developed by the newly formed Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA), which will create and license solutions that secure high definition and other premium copyright-protected content on local and portable hard drives, and flash memory products such as USB flash drives, SD cards and solid state disk drives (SSDs).
Once content is downloaded to a hard drive or flash memory product, it could then be accessed, online or offline, on any SCSA-enabled device such as a connected TV, laptop, Blu-ray player, tablet, mobile phone or game console. The optimised content will be made easily available for purchase via digital download, digital files bundled with physical media, kiosks in retail stores, or other means of secure digital delivery.
“Developing solutions that will allow consumers to easily access and store true HD digital content is a critical component supporting digital media and entertainment consumption,” said Darcy Antonellis, President, Warner Bros. Technical Operations. “Through the SCSA, we will accelerate the development of products that will make it easy for the consumer to download, store and playback their high definition digital movies and TV shows, in full 1080p, on any SCSA-optimised device at home and on the go.”
“The vision for this new product is to store, play and back up in the cloud personal and professional content,” said Mike Dunn, President, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “The device renders content up to 10 times faster than over-the-top Internet. We see Project Phenix as a key component of the emerging digital ecosystem.”
The SCSA’s solutions will be designed to work with the industry-backed UltraViolet ecosystem and aimed to complement other next-generation high definition content protection technologies already in the market such as Intel Insider. The SCSA expects to make its solutions widely available for licensing this year.
“The SCSA will provide consumers with a digital solution for movies and TV shows that is as simple to use as DVD and Blu-ray discs,” said Bert Hesselink, CTO of Western Digital Branded Products. “The SCSA solution will allow the consumer to store high definition purchased content, including copies of certain DVD content, in a secure, consumer-owned digital home library on a hard drive, along with their personal photos, music, and videos. Digital library content can be easily viewed inside the home on a TV, PC or tablet, or when owners are on the move with a portable library copy, providing mobile viewing even when a reliable Internet connection is not available, such as a plane, car, train or remote location.”
“Consumers around the world will finally be able to enjoy locally stored premium Hollywood content in up to 1080p quality anywhere they desire on a broad range of electronic devices,” said Sumit Sadana, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at SanDisk. “With the involvement of major Hollywood studios and leaders in the HDD and Flash memory industries, the SCSA alliance’s openly licensable security standard holds the promise of fostering new device capabilities, new business models and ultimately improved value for consumers. SanDisk is very pleased to participate in this ground breaking alliance.”