April 17, 2013
Mark Teitell, GM of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, spoke recently during a Home Media Magazine UltraViolet presentation. Teitell says we should expect a marketing push this year and suggests there will be increased transparency involving the number of titles within the 12 million-plus UltraViolet accounts. During a Q&A session, he also addressed the status of UltraViolet’s Common File Format and in-home disc-to-digital efforts.
“UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF) makes download functionality consistent across all UltraViolet retailers and service providers,” he explained. “It empowers consumers to transfer or copy downloaded files on any UltraViolet-compliant device or app, without re-downloading or using bandwidth. DECE, the industry consortium behind UltraViolet, is currently in a beta and interoperability testing stage for CFF deployments, and CFF is expected to become available in the United States in late 2013.”
Home Media Magazine asked how close we are to an MSO or satellite player authenticating an UltraViolet storefront. According to Teitell: “The door is always open for any of these companies to launch UltraViolet. What we can say is that several leading MSOs, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Liberty Global and Rogers, are members of DECE. Additionally, Sky in the United Kingdom is a DECE member, and several leading IPTV service providers have become part of DECE: Verizon, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom.”
“We continue to talk to a variety of companies we can’t name at this time about their future involvement,” he said, in response to a question noting that retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Xbox Video Store are not on board yet. “Regarding Apple, the most important thing from the standpoint of the consumer is that UltraViolet does work on iPads and iPhones via third-party apps.”
“In-home disc-to-digital is currently available through Walmart/Vudu, Best Buy/CinemaNow and Flixster (beta),” he explained. “Generally, software apps on CE devices and PCs/Macs recognize a disc and walk the consumer through a short series of in-home steps to obtain an UltraViolet right.”
“Marketing so far has been mainly at point-of-sale and via title-related advertising,” Teitell noted, in regards to outreach efforts. “But larger, standalone campaigns are coming, including broadcast, print, digital and social campaigns and a bold ‘Get Connected’ promotion between the consumer electronics industry and Hollywood announced at CES.”