More than 750,000 households have created an UltraViolet personal digital library, according to the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem cross-industry consortium behind the initiative. DECE further said that 19 UltraViolet-enabled movies have been released so far.
DECE’s hardware members are bringing players and other devices to market that are designed to increase UltraViolet’s usefulness. For example, Samsung was at the 2012 International CES with its Smart Blu-ray players, which will stream movies and TV shows through a new Flixster application coming this year.
Another intriguing feature of these players is what Samsung calls Disc to Digital. Developed in conjunction with Rovi, this feature enables consumers to take DVD and Blu-rays they already own and legally rip a digital copy into their UltraViolet lockers for downloading and streaming. This will only work with discs from participating studios and further details are not yet available, however, so it’s unclear exactly how consumers will know which titles from their collection of physical discs it will upload.
DECE also said it will introduce a Common File Format for downloads within the next few months, adding consistency across all UltraViolet digital experiences. This will help to clear up some of the confusion consumers are expressing and will eliminate the current need for repeated downloads to get different file types.
Many of the top titles will join the UltraViolet catalog in the next several months, including Moneyball, J. Edgar, Happy Feet 2, Tower Heist and Hop. Additionally, for the first time television titles will become available for the cloud locker system, starting with One Tree Hill Season 9, Chuck Season 5 and the first two seasons of The Big Bang Theory (pictured). Collectively, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group said they will release hundreds of UltraViolet-enabled titles in 2012, including new releases, catalog and TV titles.
Mark Teitell, general manager and executive director, DECE, said: “We have entered 2012 with significant momentum, thanks to a wide range of major companies, as well as innovative and fast-moving small ones, joining the list of UltraViolet implementers. In addition, the Hollywood studios have made a major commitment to expanding the list of UltraViolet titles coming to market in the year ahead. We believe the consumer value proposition will only strengthen as the availability of UltraViolet content expands and more retail outlets, apps and devices come on-board. As consumers begin to build digital libraries and take advantage of this open and interoperable platform, they will increasingly benefit from the convenience, choice and flexibility that UltraViolet will deliver to the home video market.”