Is the Future.... UltraViolet?


Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem LLC (a company propped up apparently by Sony) has launched its brainchild “UltraViolet”. This “consortium supported digital distribution brand” promises to revolutionize the distribution of Movies and TV shows because buying one copy (online, streaming, Bluray, DVD, etc.) entitles you, supposedly, to a special “access anywhere play anywhere” version/format of the content.

By using an UltraViolet compliant device you can then play a copy of , for example, that Bluray movie you bought at a retailer on another device you have at home through the “rights” granted in your UltraViolet account when you bought the Bluray by having your purchase “linked” to your UltraViolet account.

There are more details here:

Now, personally I’m all for paradigm shift… But will it work?

Also, DECE LLC has not exactly explained their relationship with the 60 members of the UltraViolet consortium… or how they convinced all of them to band together (Microsoft and Sony for example have apparently signed on and UltraViolet claims “game consoles” will soon by “UltraViolet enabled”.

It’s all a bit mysterious if you ask me.

There has also been no mention of any pricing for an UltraViolet account, only that the account can be linked to any existing purchase account (online or physical) that you are using.

Technologically, while the website exerts effort to go into hyperbole. I think what this really does it assigns rights-management over an online shared drive where commonly shared “gates” and “filters” allow you a “granted” copy of a movie or TV show on your “online shared drive”. It follows that any device you own that can go online to access this account can then play the movie or TV show on this device. It appears like an evolution of online sharing folders with DRM added in.

Sounds good… But I’d still like to know what these 60 companies are paying to get on (or are they the ones being paid?).


My general take on DRM and Digital Distribution is that it should make things easier for me to use their product, not treat everyone like a potential criminal/mighty pirate.

Netflix is already starting to go that route with their streaming video content. I’ve been watching stuff through that on my PS3 for a while now, and it’s recently become compatible with the Wii. Hulu is getting interested in that route as well. I’m all for letting them both have some healthy competition.

I’m also perfectly happy with the Valve handles digital distribution through Steam. Definitely beats resorting to No-CD cracks when you want to play an old game and you don’t know where the disk went.

One of the biggest recent DRM failures I’ve seen was what Ubisoft did with the PC version of Assassian’s Creed 2. It required a constant internet connection for single player mode, which if lost at any point would kick you off. I think they may have made it less draconian after everyone rightfully complained. Don’t know - I played the console version.


Trust Sony to keep pounding the DRuM.

These idiots keep trying to force their proprietary formats on the world in the hopes that one will eventually stick. BluRay won. Fine. But I’ll be begrudgingly using the format. As for future Sony ‘formats’, I’ll do my best to avoid them based on sheer principle alone.


Well supposedly the vision is: UltraViolet is an Account…that lives in a Cloud (ie: the Internet). And instead of having to have DRM clearances per device… you only need to be cleared by your UltraViolet Account. So basically if you got the clearance to play it on your PS3, you should get the same clearance to play it on your PC, Western Digital device, etc. etc.

So it’s supposed to make things easier to access while allowing content distributors control.

Not that I’m supporting UVVU mind you… Just really on the fence with it all.

P.S.: Supposedly, UltraViolet is missing two key supporters who have already said “No.”

Apple is pressing on with “FairPlay” which is their “access and rights management system” for i-Tunes (and I guess that inclues all the i-whatever devices).

Disney has also said “No”… and is actually developing “KeyChest”… a direct competitor to UltraViolet.


No surprise Apple and Disney said no. If this works, then it could be a good thing. But I would like to know some more details like watching stuff offline and if there is pricing (there shouldn’t be, this should be free).


If, and it’s a big if, they manage to roll this out with the bare minimum of device/ software conflicts and make it completely hassle free, secure and above all else good value for money, that is, not charging the customers extortionate prices for products, then it could very well work and make for a simpler and highly enjoyable media experience.

I cannot see this happening though, simply because history will repeat itself, there will be clauses, conditions and lots of issues that will effect the customer and make it a nightmare to deal with.

What happens when the ultravoilet servers go down, does everyone have to wait until they are back on-line to access their content? what’s the licensing agreement like, do the production companies have the right to remove content once a contract period is up(If it’s streamed that is)? Will there be a monthly subscription as well as having to pay for each download/ purchase?


Somewhere, Bonedaddy read the title of this thread & jumped out of a window.

On topic - I think the principle of accessing the same content on all of your devices is a good one & every time I try to imagine the next step of content delivery it’s always along those lines - i.e. buying a license, rather than just a disc. However the logistics of everyone getting on board & it actually working makes my head bleed.


I like the old system of…well…buying a DVD, or a computer game, and watching it, or playing it. Then when I’m done, I put it in its box. And then when I want it again…I take it out of its box, and watch it (or play with it…or if its porn, both. gwadish!)

So retro.


So, if I understand this correctly, by signing up to Ultraviolet you’ll only be able to watch content through a device which is connected to the internet?

Want to watch a film on your ipod on the way to work?..unlucky, want to watch a film on a laptop on the train?..better make sure you’re in 1st class or have a decent wireless connection, reached your usage allowance on your broadband connection? films for you, phone company having problems with your line?..

I know that these companies like to assume that everyone is plugged into the net 24/7 but a lot of people aren’t and/or don’t want to be.


i guess the only solution is “entertainment as a service”, cloud it out!


If they include a free and stable 24/7 internet flatrate for everyone and everywhere I’ll give my current internet provider the boot.


there was a funny diagram of pirated movie vs bought movie and how they both start:

movie icon (pirated) -> double click -> movie starts

movie dvd (legal) -> anti piracy screen with punishment notice -> some company flying logo -> 3 to 7 movie previews -> movie menu -> movie starts -> fbi anti piracy blue screen -> another flying logo screen of sorts -> another few company screens -> movie starts

Now…i have over 400 blurays and roughly 200 DVDs and got to say, its not just easier to pirate but you get “treated” much more like a customer than actually legally buying stuff and then spending 10 minutes watching FBI piracy screens and logos while trying to just start the damn movie.

Currently whoever is in charge of streamlining all of this, is probably from back in the early 90’s and is stuck there. I mean, fbi warning screens…really? like pirates read or care about those? outdated ideas at work.

I like the “personalized cloud” idea though where i have a home server stacked with however many TB hard drives i feel like, and having a digital system store all my purchased movies onto there and be accessible by all my personal devices on command. Thats what im gonna do anyways within the next 5 years or so with my collection.Makes life a lot easier, but requires a pretty decent network setup.


You could use something like LiBox with that home media server set-up and have the ability to stream content to any internet capable device you have I.e. A mobile phone or tablet using 3G, or a handheld device using Wi-Fi.

You’ve legally bought the content so you might as well make the most of it with out having to jump through hoops to get some crappy service to work, which is what you’ll get if you want the likes of Sony to produce a media infrastructure like the above.


They shouldnt push people to become pirates because their fed up.


That’s what I would like to know. Right now, my Zune Pass gives every protected song a short portable license that works offline for something like 30 days. So, if my device never touches the internet after I download them, protected songs play just fine. Sure, after 30 days, I have to plug it in to re-issue those licenses, but most people can access the net at least once a month. UV needs something like that, cloud and local storage synced as much as possible.


if, and that´s a big if, work as intended/advertised, then it´s a good thing for everybody, in my opinion anyway.

But until i see it working as described by the op i wont hold my breath. Hopefuly tho that´s how it will end up working and i´m realy looking forward ´til the day where i can purchase iron man 3 on blu-ray and then not just watch the blu-ray in our livingroom on the ps3/ps4, but also access the same movie on my android 3.0 powered samsung galaxy SIII smartphone and in the hotelroom on the laptop/hp slate pad, or why not access it from the bedroom upstairs directly through the led tv´s lan/wifi connection.

All, without paying anything extra on top of what the blu-ray cost me of course, or let´s say, not more then 50us$ per year, total, for access to all my paid content (physical and digital) on all of my ultraviolet enabled devices.


Just want to clarify… I did say “the web site tends to go into hyperbole”.
You know… I’m not totally convinced myself, but 60 of the biggest names in media signing up is no joke. That’s quite a lots of chips at the poker table.


my concern is what happens if my internet is down? i can say this much if i have any sort of purchased media it better always work connection or not.

should that fail then out comes the google and i crack the DRM. its just like games requiring a CDrom in the drive. first thing i always did was a No CD crack to save on wear on my drive and so i could put the CD back in its box and some place safe. also allowed me to game on the laptop.

i should note that i am generally 100% against DRM because it makes life more painful for the customer and easier for the person who grabbed the torrent.


Hollywoods Desparate attempt to save its Distribution Market.



Sounds good, but what if you don’t have internet (yes there are still plenty of people who don’t)? Or what if for some weird reason you every get disconnected from the internet, or the internet stops (yes idiotic reasoning, but just for the sake of argument). Then you would not be able to play your movies/games anymore.