Hollywood Rallies behind UltraViolet for Digital Movie Distribution

ultraviolet wants to revolutionize digital movies logo  july 2010

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) is getting ready to roll out what it hopes will become a new paradigm for digital movie ownership: UltraViolet. The idea behind UltraViolet is that users will have individual accounts, and any DVDs, Blu-ray discs, or digital movie downloads the user owns will be accessible via the service—on any compatible computer, portable device, set-top box, tablet, or even phone.

“The introduction of the UltraViolet brand is another important step towards the consumer launch of UltraViolet products and services,” said DECE president and Sony Pictures Entertainment CTO Mitch Singer, in a statement (PDF). “Our goal is to firmly establish UltraViolet as the symbol for digital entertainment—one that gives consumers the freedom of access wherever they are, the confidence of knowing how it will work, and the broadest choice of content, stores, and devices.”

DVDs and Blu-ray media would bear UltraViolet logos—to let consumers know the media works with the UltraViolet system—and come with proof-of-purchase tokens. Once those are registered with the UltaViolet service, users would be able to tap into streaming and downloadable versions of the same content. A user’s UltraViolet account will be a cloud-based service, including account management tools as well as a “Digital Rights Locker.” Accounts will be available for free via UltraViolet service providers, or through the UltraViolet Web site.

UltraViolet plans to start with movies and TV shows, but could eventually expand out into other media like music and e-books. UltraViolet has the backing of many movie studios and consumer electronics manufacturers—although some major players are still sitting on the fence. On board: studios Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate, and tech companies like LG, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, HP, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic, retailers like Best Buy, as well as movie distributors like Netflix and Comcast. Not on board: Disney and Apple.

For better or worse, that’s about all there is to know about UltraViolet. Except, of course, that it’s coming soon and studios want consumers to be excited about it. Many questions about the UltraViolet service remain unanswered, including whether UltraViolet discs cost more than standard versions of movies, how purchases will be registered with the UltraViolet service, whether old DVDs and Blu-ray discs (or downloads) can be brought into the system, what platforms and devices will be supported, how streaming services will be hosted and distributed, and when the service might launch (licensing details for companies are expected “later this year”). For now, it’s just “wait and see”—and admire the shiny new logo.

[Update: Expanded list of partner/non-partner companies.]

Movies & TV

An Obi-Wan TV series? 10 things we’d love to see on Disney’s streaming service

While we know the upcoming Disney Plus streaming service will have tons of great content, we put together a wish list of projects from across Disney's properties we'd like to see on the service in the near future.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Deals

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for April 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Gaming

The best zombie games of all time, from Resident Evil to The Last of Us

Zombies are a longtime media staple, from movies to literature to TV to video games. Plenty of zombie games are bland and boring, but a good number offer tangible reasons to care about the undead. These are the best zombie games.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Mid90s, BlacKkKlansman, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Jonah Hill's Mid90s, vampire action movie Blade, and more.
Home Theater

Sony’s 2019 TV lineup includes a 98-inch 8K OLED that costs more than a Corvette

Sony's 2019 TV lineup is revealed, including 8K and 4K models ranging in size from 43- to 98-inches and in price from $650 to a number much, much larger. The models will be available between May and June.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now (April 2019)

Amazon Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be a major undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

Google brings ad-supported YouTube Music to its Google Home speakers

Hot on the heels of Amazon's announcement that it's adding a free version of its Amazon Music service to Alexa-powered speakers, Google is adding a free, ad-supported version of YouTube Music to Google Home smart speakers.
Home Theater

Bowers & Wilkins’ Formation Suite is a stylish, high-end Sonos competitor

With high-end audio specs, and gorgeous designs, B&W's Formation Suite is the company's first foray into wireless home audio. Starting at $700, B&W hopes to outclass Sonos, by offering high-res audio and "perfect" synchronization.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2019, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR and much more.
Home Theater

No car? SiriusXM’s $8 a month streaming plan has everything but Howard Stern

SiriusXM is stepping into the streaming music ring with an $8 per month plan designed specifically for people who get their music via smartphones and smart speakers. It doesn't work on SiriusXM radios, and Howard Stern is extra.
Movies & TV

Want to make Netflix browsing even easier? Try this useful trick

If you know exactly what category of film you're looking for on Netflix, you'll find this hack for the streaming service useful. It allows you to manually browse genres and subgenres of interest.