UltraViolet digital locker gets nod from six studios

LAS VEGAS--Six Hollywood studios say they'll begin using the UltraViolet format this summer, allowing consumers to store purchased digital movies in the cloud to be viewed on any device with an Internet connection, including tablet, computers, TVs, gaming consoles, STBs, DVD players and smartphones.

The format, developed by a consortium of some 60 companies, is a major step forward in the industry's fight against piracy, and has been in the works for more than 2-1/2 years.

Lionsgate Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., today said they'll start offering UltraViolet content this year through digital online retailers and digital rights that come with packaged media, giving consumers the ability to watch digital entertainment across multiple platforms such as connected TVs, PCs, game consoles and smartphones.

Consumers can create a free UltraViolet account, via one of the many participating UltraViolet service providers or through the UltraViolet website. Once created, this account will allow consumers to easily access and manage all of their UltraViolet entertainment, regardless of where it was purchased.

Consumers will also be able to register up to 12 devices so UltraViolet content can be easily downloaded or shared between them.  In addition, UltraViolet streaming access will enable consumers to enjoy their collections via set-top boxes and the Internet including computers, Internet-connected home video devices such as Blu-ray players and Internet TVs, and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.  The UltraViolet Account will also enable retailers to provide consumers with a copy to use on DVD players or other physical media such as portable flash memory.    

"These six major Hollywood studios were a driving force in creating UltraViolet, and their plans to make films and television shows available through the UltraViolet ecosystem cements a milestone union among the content, technology and retail services industries,"  said Mark Teitell, General Manager of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem.  "In 2011, UltraViolet will substantially raise the bar on the electronic home entertainment experiences in-market today."