UltraViolet, or ‘UV’ is a cloud-based digital rights authentication system that will allow consumers to play downloaded digital files of movies and shows on any device. UltraViolet uses a “buy once, play anywhere” approach and lets users save proof of purchase under a single account to enable playback of digital content regardless of platform and point-of-sale method.
UltraViolet is supported by members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium whose members include film studios, manufacturers of consumer electronics, cable companies, retailers, network hosting providers, ISPs, and other Internet systems and security vendors. Although iTunes is not part of the UltraViolet platform, streaming and downloading on iPhone and iPad is possible through Flixster and other systems that allow streaming. Windows, Mac OS and Android also allow streaming and downloading of digital content purchased through UltraViolet. Disney, however, is developing a competing format called Keychest.
Creating an UltraViolet account
Consumers need to create a free UltraViolet account through UltraViolet’s own website or through a participating provider. Six accounts are allowed for every household. Access to a Digital Rights Locker is provided for an UltraViolet account where digital rights are stored regardless of where the rights were purchased. Each account holder may register up to twelve devices for downloading for transferring to a physical media like DVDs, flash memory or SD cards. An UltraViolet file can be played on any player registered to the household account once it is downloaded. An UltraViolet file can also be streamed (up to three streams are allowed at the same time) over broadband services. Devices compatible to play UltraViolet files include computers, tablets, game consoles, Internet TVs, smartphones, and BluRay players.
UltraViolet Digital Rights Storage Platform
UltraViolet is a storage platform for digital rights. It is not a cloud storage platform for digital files. What UltraViolet manages is digital rights for their account holders, not the digital files themselves. Digital content can be obtained in different ways. Because it only manages rights to digital content, UltraViolet avoids the cost of maintaining storage and bandwidth. It is also not required to adapt to the ever-changing technology used to access and store digital content.
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem group includes the “Big Six” major film studios Sony Pictures Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Fox Entertainment Group, Paramount Motion Pictures Group, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Lionsgate. Walt Disney is not a part of the consortium and is supporting Keychest digital file service. Apple, another major player in providing digital content, is also not currently part of the consortium.
The aim of UltraViolet is to attract consumers to buy media rather than renting them from different outlets. The idea of sharing rights to digital files in one household is a good way to convince consumers to make the switch to UltraViolet.