UltraViolet licensing scheme has been launched this week, as The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) group, responsible for managing UltraViolet, also begins beta testing of the service widely tipped to change the digital movie landscape.
The "not-just-another-DRM" UltraViolet system aims to tie together the physical and digital versions of the same movie by allowing users to pay for the content, rather than just the format the content comes from. Buyers of the Blu-ray UltraViolet enabled version of the movie, for example, could get instant access to the digital streaming version of the same movie.
The licensing program will allow content providers, along with technology and service providers, to officially offer UltraViolet enabled services based on an existing technical framework, and six studios are set to launch UltraViolet enabled Blu-ray's and DVDs.
UltraViolet is unprecedented in that it is the collaboration of more than 70 companies, from movie studios, to computer firms, to service providers. It's always hard to get companies with such diverse interest to get together to accomplish anything, and it has been revealed in the past that there was a lot of arm twisting involved to get some companies on-board.
If it succeeds, UltraViolet can change the way we buy movies. If it fails, it will be defined as just another DRM ecosystem that we could do without.
"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," said UltraViolet's General Manager Mark Teitell.