back to article What is UltraViolet™ and why should you care?

UltraViolet is the most important media service you've probably never heard of – a grand plan for Hollywood to get everything right that the music business has got wrong. All the major studios are members of the DECE consortium behind UV, apart from Disney (You can probably guess why). Cable companies and telcos are already …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    DVD Media of all kinds... dying. E-formats are taking hold of the market and in 5 years downloads will account for 95% of the market.

    If you invest in media now it will just lose more and more money over time.

    1. Richard Willetts


      I don't buy media as an investment, I buy it for entertainment, the only way I will stop buying physical DVD's or Blu Rays is if a system like this becomes the norm!

      It sounds only fair to me, I would imagine the companies involved like the fact that they will have a direct line to those watching their product! It is an extension of the Triple-Play packs offered by various companies and an excellent idea. Here's hoping it succeeds and soon.

      Lets face it the only way they were going to combat the pirates was with a system like this.

      Big Brother

      Media investments.

      Media is useful for as long as it is functional. Even after that, it's a useful token of ownership that does not depend on any overly centralized service that may suddenly go offline.

      Physical media also eclipses e-media in terms of what's available for purchase. Some stuff just isn't available in any e-format anywhere. It's hard to buy something that doesn't exist.

      I can liberate stuff now or later and strip any DRM off of it and have no limitations or be under the watchful eye of some digital Big Brother gatekeeper.

    3. BenR


      A bloody good idea, and signs that some industries *DO* seem to be capable of learning and embracing new technologies!!

      Now all we need is for the various telly companies to do something similar and to bin the idiotic geographical restrictions they currently have, and throw their lot in with this UV mob so you don't need several different accounts, and they might actually make a decent dent in piracy!

      It'd certainly blunt my needs for going to! Also, eventually, when Disney are getting pwned by all the people refusing to use iTunes, hence not able to get their films, they'll soon come around.

      My only lingering concern will be the number of profiled adverts that'll be inserted into the stream before the film - Pearl & Dean and DCM must be rubbing their hands in glee.

      1. Adam Foxton
        Thumb Up

        You know what? That'd make a welcome change.

        Being able to tag those PPI adverts as spam- or at least 'not interested' would be good. Same with perfume and those godawful "1 million" adverts. Or Tampon adverts- I've nothing against them, but I'm a single male. I live alone. I have absolutely no interest in such things- why not run the Bombadier advert past me again?

        So aside from the privacy issues, targetted advertising is probably a god thing!

    4. Bod

      Hence why Blu Ray was always doomed

      All along during the format wars with HD DVD, I've said Blu Ray was doomed anyway. HD DVD was still doomed, but the cheaper option for studios, distributors and the punter in the short term until downloads take over.

      The negative side of all of this is having to yet again buy more equipment to be compatible with UV. Will this include a new TV again or can they cope with just using HDCP as the media protection element to a TV? All those TVs with Internet services built in would need replacing though.

      I need to replace my faulty TV but it makes it a problem now as do I have to wait until UV is up and running?

  2. Marky W


    Film Industry + Technology = Consumer Friendly Product

    Does not compute. Does not comp...kzzzzzrrrrt....fssssss....

    <----- My brain

    1. Anonymous Coward

      All Komfrused here too

      A little voice in the back of my head keeps telling me it's bullshit, but then it looks legit, but then my "too good to be true - it can't be true - you're missing an angle" radar goes off again.

      If you've never seen or heard of Three Card Monte before then it looks pretty cool too until you're walking away with an empty wallet saying "WTF just happened?"

      We must have missed the part about the required RFID implant where you have to be physically present for the movie to play... or something.

      This makes too much sense - it can't be real!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    That actually sounds...

    ...almost sensible. They may actually have come up with a model I'm prepared to buy into. Fingers crossed.

  4. Caff

    sounds promising

    Now which publisher/label/tech company will be the first to throw a strop and ruin the whole thing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm betting.....


      1. Richard 116
        Thumb Up

        A certainty...

        Got to be Sony.

        And the comparison with the music industry approach is interesting. I've recently had the misfortune to deal with Sonicstage again to use an old Hi-MD Walkman. What a dreadful POS that was. Designed from day one with DRM and other restrictions on the user at it's core. Usability a badly designed afterthought.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        its gonna be sony

        Sony are in a world of hurt, one of the many reasons Sony pushed BD so much was because it was theirs, they sell the licence for every disk made, they had the CDs as well, DVDs was not one of theirs neither was HD-DVDs, the battle of those formats was largely won because of the stake Sony had in its success, it couldnt lose or rather it must not lose

        Doing this will help completely cut out Sony who has managed to get pretty much everything it has ever done so badly wrong, im loving the idea :)

        1. Old Tom

          Lazy Sony poking?

          But Sony appear to be heavily involved in this - the Chief Technology Officer of Sony Pictures - Mitch Singer - is also President of the DECE.

          R116- you may be right about Sonicstage, but that's history; if we're including history, don't forget Sony vs Universal over Betamax.

          Dazzza - "one of the many reasons Sony pushed BD so much was because it was theirs" - err, yes. don't you think that's logical?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            missed point

            you missed the point, taken in to context with what i said next it made sense...i think.

            They had to push it because CD sales stopped making them money, DVD/HD-DVD wasnt making them any money, they had to replace what was a very big money maker the humble CD

          2. Bod

            Re: Lazy Sony poking?

            "But Sony appear to be heavily involved in this - the Chief Technology Officer of Sony Pictures - Mitch Singer - is also President of the DECE"

            Sony were and are one of the founding members of the DVD Forum that were behind HD DVD.

            "Dazzza - "one of the many reasons Sony pushed BD so much was because it was theirs" - err, yes. don't you think that's logical?"

            Logical, but desirable? The whole lot, including Sony stated at the outset that they wanted to avoid a destructive costly format war again like Betamax vs VHS.

            The DVD Forum members worked as a consortium to develop something that everyone would be happy with. Sony decided to back an alternate format, but they were all happy to work with each other and at one point even merge in Blu Ray developments.

            But Sony saw dollar signs instead and wanted to push Blu Ray as exclusive format for the PS3 and saw that the PS3 was the way to make Blu Ray all theirs, with royalties for all discs sold going to them.

            So they ended up pushing the destruct button. They have probably been responsible for the push towards downloads as everyone got fed up with the whole thing.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: its gonna be sony

          Sony may be in a "world of hurt", but if they're into "BD" then they must like that kind of thing.

    2. Oninoshiko

      as much as you all like bashing on sony....

      I'm fairly sure the article mentioned Disney.

  5. PerfectBlue


    Too good to be true, you just know that there's going to be a catch.

    I'm wondering what it is going to be.

    There's probably going to be a two teir system with a free version that lets you do less than you currently can with a DVD (Like locking it down to set devices), and a premium version that has the features that are listed above, but where you have to give up some of you content if you stop subscribing (making this a long rental rather than an ownership deal).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Catch?

      >long rental

      Doesn't even sound like that. "You pay only for what you use" makes it sound like you watch five times you pay five times. Not, you pay once and can watch whenever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        dont think so

        The system they are talking about would suggest that its quite possible that you could "rent" a movie just as much as you could buy one, perhaps the model would be something like, you pay x to rent and get the film, or you pay xx to buy the film when its released and get x y and z plus the film as well

        actually thinking about it the idea is almost limitless, its a direct clone of Valves "Steam" and they are doing very very well out of it, they could offer DLC, imagin you buy the film, and along comes a 10th aniversery addition with a special 30min cut put back in, why buy the whole film again, when you could buy it as a DLC.

        No seriously, the more i think about this the more it makes sence, if they can pull it off it would take the movie industry in to the 21st centry they key is not to be too greedy, if they do then that will fuck it up.

        The only downside i see and perhaps this is just me being old is that i like to have something physical, especially special editions, although in saying all of that, whats to stop them allowing us to buy that as well, and all you would be paying for is the physical materials, shipping and a profit margin....

        looks like a new dawn to me, lets hope Sony goes in to liquidation before it can ruin this one as well

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: dont think so

          I should have pointed out that UltraViolet is originally Sony's idea. They want it to work.

          1. Anonymous Coward


            Whoops! Minor oversight!

            still, the point is valid, perhaps they did think of it, but given their track record i hope they dont screw it up.

            Speak to valve, hell they could perhaps even team up with vavle, after all, they have done all the hardwork

        2. ArmanX

          Actually... that sounds awesome.

          First, sell the movie. Then... Commentary? DLC. Extras? DLC. Widescreen? DLC. Blooper reel? DLC. 10th Anniversary special edition? DLC. Movie-without-previews? DLC. Even a "You bought this online; add a DVD/Bluray/SuperFutureDisc" DLC! (Ok, so DLC stands for downloadable content... still, you know what I mean)

          And imagine that, only with a suggestion box: "Like Science Fiction? Here's more you might like!" "Eh, it's only a dollar, sure. And that. And that..."

          It's like putting the Wal-Mart bargain bucket-'o-movies online; instead of $2 for a cheap DVD, you can get an even more stripped down streamable version for $0.99.

          If the movie companies don't/can't see the money they would make with this... there is no hope for them. Seriously.

  6. Neil Hoskins

    Just one little problem:

    The titles that they actually release in this way will be crap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Then they picked the right name alright

      Futuristic + Jovovich + vampires So ought to be good film - not in my experience alas.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I preferred the one that was

        Late 90's + Idris Elba + vampires.

  7. William Boyle
    Thumb Down

    What can possibly go wrong?

    How long until their servers are hacked, and a gazillion people have their private bits exposed to the black hats? :-)

    But that aside; what kind of surcharges will our mobile and home ISP's add for this service (not to mention the so-prevalent data caps most are applying now)? In my opinion, it is a scheme to lock in viewers who will see their internet and media costs rising, and rising, and rising... The term "ad infinitum" comes to mind.

  8. James 17


    "When you buy a music CD you're not supposed to rip it, you're actually breaking copyright by doing that. - Rob Salter

    Not here in the US! It's a fair use backup.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I assume they're talking about here in the UK it being their main base of operations.

    2. Damion

      RE: Wrong

      You may consider it to be a fair use backup. However, it is still in violation of copyright laws (including in the US) if you are not making that backup to the same medium and format.

      Copying an audio CD to a CD-R, as a raw to raw copy could be classed as a backup. Ripping that music to your hard drive/memory card/CD-R as an MP3/WMV etc is a breach of copyright as you are changing the format the content which you are not licensed to do. It is these little bits of copyright law that go un-noticed by many.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Copy madness.

        ANY use of digital media requires multiple copies.

        That's just the way it is.

        Trying to criminalize incidental copies in such an environment is absurd.

        As long as I am not a publisher, Disney should have no ability to interfere with my rights with respect to my own personal property (including copies of something from Disney).

    3. Tom Chiverton 1

      Never mind...

      NEver mind... soon you can be charged for doing what you do already for free, go UltraViolet !

  9. Subliteratus
    Thumb Up

    As long as George Lucas gets told to take a hike...

    This sounds like a pretty good idea - one licence to rent or buy the content with a number of ways of getting hold of the data. The only fly I could see in the ointment is some dick like Lucas coming along, selling a version of Star Wars, then coming back next year and superceding it with the Double-Secret Probation Edition and removing the earlier version from the servers (cos you know he would). Disney, with their limited-time releases of their animated features, aren't going to play cos anything that sounds like it might give their customers a fair deal brings their execs out in hives (probably).

    The two questions I'd ask are: when you "buy" a film what are your rights if the distributor goes into receivership (i.e. is your licence held in escrow and whoever picks up the copyright has to honour your licence)? And do you buy licences separately for SD and HD content, or is it one price for every version?

  10. jonathanb Silver badge

    Must be a scam

    My local trading standards always tells me that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

    1. wayward4now

      I don't get it either

      I've got a nickel that says everything that you possess, including your pR0n collection, will be reported to the servers, since they need to keep track of what you are receiving. And, all of that will be accessible by law enforcement.

      On top of everything, the general public will think that the Internet is a large truck! Well, it's not. It's a series of tubes and this movie scheme will jam up the Internet like no one's business, and a public service that was originally envisioned to spread knowledge and understanding amongst the people on this planet, will now become the new Teamster's Union. With that, it will become regulated and then the quest for the "right Thing" will be dead and gone, in favor of the media industry's perception of what life ought to be like, zombies in front of glowing screens being bombarded with ads. Who needs email? "This will only end in tears."

  11. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Can guarantee

    that there will be no way of using this from Linux!

    And I hope you will be able to un-register devices from accounts for when, say, a young person leaves to set up their own dwelling.

    Even if this is a positive spin on DRM, I don't trust the industry.

    1. James Ashton
      Thumb Down

      No Blu-ray on Linux Anyway

      There's no way to play Blu-Rays on Linux anyway so at least we're no worse off. I know I could fritz about with VLC player and MakeMKV and get most titles sort-of working but the percentage of people who go that route is going to be extremely small.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        No BD on Linux. who uses physical media any more anyways?

        I haven't played physical media directly in years.

        It started with CDs and then moved to DVDs and later to BDs.

        BDs play great on ANY platform once you get rid of the DRM.

        Although you are correct. Most people "simply won't bother" and they will get their PC-ready copy from The Pirate Bay rather than going to the trouble of making their own.

  12. Kay Burley ate my hamster
    Thumb Up

    One Word...

    Anticompetitive! I'd love to see Rupert's face.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Sky could just as easily plug this system in to their own system, with HDDs in some models of Sky players its not impossible, the question is would they get a big enough cut out of it to compete with their own box office

      Given that they are already signed up my guess is that they will have something in place

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "with a US launch is expected this year"

    And presumably a Netflix style infinite wait in the UK.

    Presumably plenty of people will transfer content from UV to The Pirate Bay though.

  14. SteveMD

    Two tier market

    The plain truth is that the majority of people in the U.K. do not have a broadband service fast enough for this. The average U.K. download speed is still only 3.5meg, with many not even getting that. This is nowhere near enough to stream HD content, it cannot even handle the BBC iplayer on standard definition much of the time, so unless ISPs invest a huge amount in upgrading their services, and the network, we will have a large section of society in the U.K. which will be left out of the loop and will keep on going to the pirates.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So what? There's still a good proportion of people in the UK who do get decent connections so they can potentially enjoy the new potential service. Also it isn't the ISPs fault (for the most part) they get their connections from BT Wholesale.

    2. Number6

      Kick in the pants

      Perhaps it's exactly the sort of thing that is needed, because the level of complaints from those with substandard broadband will get louder and louder and may encourage a decent upgrade. I wish BT would do FTTC in my village. While our existing ADSL wet string isn't as long as some, it's still a bit too long for comfort.

  15. NickyD


    ..has been and always will be bad for the consumer - a logical fallacy to create use by adding restrictions.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    There's always the option...

    ... Of including UV in the DVD's in a similar fashion to Fox's DigitalCopy service which provides you with a movie download included in the DVD. Use the code included in the DVD booklet and you can download the movie onto your digital device. That adds value to the DVD, and that is worth my money.

    1. Adam Foxton
      Thumb Up

      It also

      gets rid of the problem mentioned above for those who don't have a fast internet connection! They just get a normal, bog-standard DVD that can be read in any DVD player (as well as what would otherwise be DLC thrown in), but can still register it to their UV account and watch the movie at better-internetted friends/relative's homes.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fly in the ointment ...

    ... broadband speeds...

    Until Offcom (and government) pulls finger out and allows further inroads into BT's networks by competitors, we'll be waiting for BT to lay all the fibre that's going to be required to allow for the reality of HD streaming content across the country.

    Right now, it's only cities and large towns which have that luxury.

    I've no idea what the percentages are of people currently unable to stream HD media, but I can bet it's a LOT.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      who are they? are they supposed to keep BT in check or something ;)

      your perfectly correct, BT has a crap network, even in the towns, i live in a large town but apparently 1-2Mbps is quite exceptable here, as its over 500Kbps its considered Broadband.

      We need compertition to force BT to compete with other better services, Cable would be good if it wasnt for the fact that almost no investment in to their network has been given for several decades, id love cable, and its right outside my door, but will they put a line in, nope, fresh out of luck again.

      1. Elmer Phud

        competition - old story

        They've tried that with cable TV and it didn't work. Gave access to all and sundry to dig up the roads. Thousands of miles of green pipe, dozens of different companies and it all ended up with just a few majors. Someone got Virgin installed next door yesterday, the footway box and ducting were both pretty much empty - and it's been like that for years. Where are all these customers?

        The infrastucture is already there - how about LLU on the green boxes -- Virgin? anyone?

        BT already invested in local infrastucture and it was 'liberalised', where are all those companies that were given free rein to provide cable?

        Why the fuck should BT do anymore when they actually were forced to give up local UG some time back and with that came all the redundancies and shit that went with it.

        Anyway - which bit of BT do you mean, the 'liberalisation' that the rest of the industry cried out for gave us the split. Opensore doesn't have many workers left, Wholesale Chaos has been stripped of staff and subbed out to India. It's what 'the public' demanded and got.

        Now, how about going for the real leeches - those who demanded changes and failed to act once they got them?

        BT is a private company, it's what you all demanded, you've got it, now stop acting as if it's still part of HM.Gov 'cos it ain't.

        1. Number6

          A house too far

          NTL (or a predecessor) cabled my road many years ago. Except they stopped at the end, and the houses subsequently built further down can't get cable, and VM show no signs of wanting to expand their network to bring them within reach.

  18. G R Goslin

    Ultra Violet?

    How on earth did they manage to trade mark Ultra Violet? I'm sure that it's been in the Public Domain for years. Or is it that all you have to do is leave out the space?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ultra Violet?

      "How on earth did they manage to trade mark Ultra Violet? I'm sure that it's been in the Public Domain for years. Or is it that all you have to do is leave out the space?"

      Wrong way round, actually. The word "ultraviolet" is the common one, being as it is the descriptive term for a range of wavelengths of light (outside the range of human vision). The version with a space between the words doesn't actually mean anything. And yes, there are 'brands' based on colours or similar concepts, such as Pink, Blue, and so on. Since it's merely a general descriptive term for a 'colour', then I really don't see why not.

  19. G C M Roberts
    Black Helicopters

    So what's the deal

    with my existing vinyl, CD and DVD library?

    Will there be the option to UV-ize them to stop me buying everything again in this new forever format?

    1. JanMeijer
      Black Helicopters

      now why would they do that?

      First they'll make you pay to UV-ize your current content library. Then they will have full control over it as it is on their servers. Look at what Amazon managed to do with 1984: remotely triggered deletion.

      Once they have full control they can "invent" new and "improved" formats. What will happen then is you can move to a new format ... at a cost. The old format will be phased out, by making it impossible to use access your content with old software. Although they might not need that given the cloudification of most apps. Don't tell me the government will stop this, they're doing exactly the same with tv and radio, obsoleting pretty huge mountains of perfectly functioning equipment.

      When all this is in place, the phase-out rate will be determined by the need for content-exec bonuses.

      Don't come crying I didn't warn you ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Analogue Forever!

      I'll just stick to my record player and tape deck, it cant be digitally traced!

  20. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Hmmmmm, we'll see....

    I'd love to get on the streaming band-wagon but it's all still too flaky here in the UK, without even starting on the ISP bandwidth argument! So for the time being I will continue buying DVDs where I know I can bang a copy out in any format I need and store it on my own NAS ready for use anytime and on any device I choose without needing permission, as such.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Believe it or not but doing that is against the law in the UK, thanks to Europe

      It used to be legal to make personal copies of anything until they stuck their big stick in to screw it all up.

      Yes you can do it, yes many many people do do it, but that doesnt make it right in the eyes of the law. Of course it is just one of those uninforcable laws which begs the question of why they changed it in the first place....

      1. Goat Jam
        Paris Hilton


        "uninforcable laws which begs the question of why they changed it in the first place"

        Who says it's unenforceable? If PC plod decide that you don't quite look right and bash your front door in at 1 AM they will be quite pleased to discover a couple of hundred illegal DVD's in your lounge room.

        Breaking news! Major DVD piracy ring busted by our ever vigilant boys in blue! News at Eleven!

        Where the hell is the Guy Fawkes Mask icon I've seen other ppl using? I don't see it on my PC, I guess I'll just fall back on to Paris, aaaagh, comfy.

      2. Red Bren


        "Believe it or not but doing that [format shifting] is against the law in the UK, thanks to Europe"

        Can you point me in the direction of the EU directive enforcing this? I was under the impression the UK's stance of keeping format shifting illegal was out of step with the rest of Europe.

  21. Christian Berger

    I have recently bought my first movie online

    It was from a legit source. I was able to pay via PayPal among other things, what I got was a torrent file which I used to download the movie.

    The movie obviously was DRM free.

    The big point is that the music industry has shown that convenience only helps so far. Sales soared on iTunes once they removed the DRM, even though iTunes was already fairly usable.

    I will pay a reasonable price for content, provided it's DRM free and there is open source software to play and convert it into other formats.

    1. Mike VandeVelde


      "I will pay a reasonable price for content, provided it's DRM free and there is open source software to play and convert it into other formats."

      This is the only possible way it can end, only question is how long.

  22. Chris Pollard
    Thumb Up

    £15 per month

    For all I can eat media and you've got yourself a sale.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    It'a ALL about the DRM

    They're NOT getting rid of it.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    If the RIAA is in favor of it....

    I should probably oppose it, shouldn't I??

  25. Battsman

    Sony Beta & <explitive> Disney

    The commentary above saying Sony would be first to try and throw a wrench in the works is probably fair. My hope is that rather than chosing not to participate they chose to release a competitive solution that ends up on the BETA (vs. VHS) side of the compeition (as opposed to them winning the Blu-Ray argument).

    RE: Disney they might end up having no choice, but to change their distribution practices if UltraViolet took off and became the defacto standard for distribution.

    I'm cautiously optimistic that some of the media companies have finally figured out that not screwing the customer af every turn leaves them more amenable to you turning a profit....

    On second thought, nah they've got a secret plan to screw us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm going to say this quietly

      But Disney are one of the more enlightened DVD distributors. A recent Blu Ray not only came with a DVD, but a download licence through iTunes for only a quid or more than the bare bones DVD. And then, it had the rarest of things - skippable ads and trailers.

      Compare that to Momentum who put a completely unstoppable Maltesers ad on their disk.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        You're joking...

        Disney an "enlightened" DVD distributor. They are they reason I started ripping all of my DVDs. Their alleged no-ad approach to DVD menus was anything but. Just about any generic non-blockbuster movie is a lot more "enlightened" in this respect.

        Disney is not "enlightened". They practice artificial scarcity with their whole "vaulting" thing and are always screwing around with the formats on their DVDs and adding out-of-spec forms of copy protection.

        An iTunes download is just more DRM forcing me to deal with a vendor I don't want any part of.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Sony Beta & Disney

      See below: DECE originated at Sony.

  26. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Blurays you say?

    Will it mean that I can play my Blurays in my Bluray player? Will I be able to play them on my Bluray laptop connected to my TV and actually have sound too?

    Apart from that, I'm speachless. WTF happened?

  27. Combat Wombat

    Yeah... no

    Yeah... no.

    Here is what will happen;

    Already its locked to X number of devices.

    X will be shrunk down to a pathetically useless number over time.

    You will be able to watch it X amount of times, before you have to pay more again.

    Sooner rather than later, adverts will be added into the stream.

    All streams will be Standard Def, you will have to pay more if you want to watch high def... every time you want to watch high def.

    Servers will be hacked, and services will be taken down, rendering all disks useless in the mean time.

    Yeah..... DO NOT WANT !

  28. Anonymous Coward

    This is all very well...

    But what about my Chinese cartoons?

    (Pieces of eight? Just One Piece for you, young Jim me lad)

  29. Petrea Mitchell

    Bundle of rights?

    I too am having enormous trouble believing the large media companies could be this sensible. Casting about for something to find wrong with it, how about this from the linked interview:

    “I have suggested that in music we come up with a package where what we are actually selling is a licence – a bundle of rights – and the disc we are putting it with is an incidental free gift."

    I wonder how this affects the consumer-protection laws that people will assume apply when they "buy" the CD. Can you return a "free gift"? What happens if it doesn't work, or they aren't able to use the service?

  30. Haku

    I've got a bad feeling about this

    Companies giving us what WE want, not what THEY want?

    What is it they're not telling us...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So I did bother and read the interview.

    “I have suggested that in music we come up with a package where what we are actually selling is a licence – a bundle of rights – and the disc we are putting it with is an incidental free gift. And I think that might prolong the life of the CD.”

    And a very, very smart cop-out because it justifies having kept CDs Far Too Expensive for, well, decades.

    Also interesting what he doesn't say: The suggestion that this buy-once-play-everywhere regardless of platform should be done for games too triggered a memory. I do recall certain people complaining and casting resales of games to be worse than outright not paying for the game at all but copying it. Well, this can be looped back to music and movies too.

    Since you're no longer owning any actual product but bought a licence, which will indubitably be legally locked to only you and be not resalable, that handily kills of the second hand market. So yeah, if this comes through your CD collection becomes effectively worthless.

    It's smart and it's got a good & glossy veneer. But it's not /all/ "customer focused", no.

    Interesting angle on the music industry, this time just how screwed up (and needlessly expensive) the logistics are done. Add the sue-the-customer attitude, the squeeze-the-artist contracts, the frankly fracked accounting, and so on, and so forth, I can indeed but wish I was rich enough to just buy out all those companies and blackball the executives, every single last one of them.

    Paris, because "None" doesn't do what it says on the tin.

  32. h4rm0ny
    Thumb Up

    So this Blinkbox...

    It's actually legit? I've been linked to it from time to time, saw a site offering me downloadable movies in return for my credit card details and thought: "how daft do they think I am?" Time to update my expectations, apparently!

    For the people saying it will fail because of poor bandwidth, that doesn't matter much if the movie or show actually downloads in some DRM'd format rather than has to stream with minimal buffering.

    A service like this will definitely increase my impulse buying - want to watch a movie this evening but not one I've already got? Click "buy" and I'm done. So long as I can still buy a movie and actually own it, as I do with purchased discs, and that doesn't become some super-high priced luxury option, I think this sounds great.

  33. mmiied

    steam model?

    I will admit I did not throuley understand what they where aiming at but it looks like a simular modle steam uses and that seames to be working well after a few teathing troubles

  34. Mystic Megabyte


    The abomination that was Microsoft Vista convinced me to have nothing to do with DRM encumbered media or systems. So I don't have Blu-ray or HD anything, why buy this stuff?

    And why do Sky viewers pay loads of money to watch...adverts? WTF

    I wouldn't touch UltraViolet with a bargepole, as mentioned above, it won't be long before someone hacks your UV account. There will be tears :(

    I chucked my TV out years ago, if I want soap opera I just go to the pub - it's called real life and I am in it.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not going to work out

    The biggest problems with all these media formats is the unreasonable regional lockouts. To you guys it's not a problem because UK is part of the "big 4" (North America, UK and Europe, Oceania and Japan). What about the rest of us? We can't have Zune, our iTunes Music Store stinks, and most streaming websites lock us out.

    Unless this issue is rectified and region locking is completely killed off, nothing will change.

  36. defiler

    Thoughts on this...

    How open will they be to developers of playback equipment. LoveFilm told XMBC to piss off quite succinctly, but would UV allow them to add this functionality?

    Would I be able to not only stream a movie, but download a copy to play locally? That way I could get full quality if I were prepared to wait for the download. Hell, I could be sitting at work, and request a movie to download to my machine at home.

    How about those of us with home servers? Yup, I've ripped my DVDs; nope, I don't see a problem with that because I'm keeping the discs in the attic. Could I take these UV downloads and keep them in the same pool to playback on any device on my network?

    I'd want a guarantee that whatever I bought could be downloaded in full, and could still be played on standard equipment even if/when the UV service was closed down.

  37. andy 45

    Re: Catch?

    The price...

  38. sisk

    Sounds like the got it right....

    hold on a second while I call the red man to inquire about the weather in his neck of the woods. I'm certain that either it's snowing and the streets are frozen over in Hell or we're being lied to about how great this is going to be.

  39. Matthew Collier

    RE: Catch?

    The price, the lock-in, the DRM, the central hosting/management, presumably, the lack of wide platform support, etc. etc.

    Glad to be proven wrong, but, I doubt I need to worry about that! ;) :(

  40. NemoWho

    Well, I for one... a stupid American, and let me sidestep the whole Ultra-Violet discussion and wholeheartedly thank you for just introducing me to the term "All and sundry". I'll be establishing this idiom here in the States from this day forward, and I promise to send you recurring updates on how it is taking root.

    And, with obvious apologies, "The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-VIOLET!"


      Clockwork silliness

      I recently bought that disk. Ripped it too. Plays quite well on my Linux boxes. Now I have this little digital copy certificate so I decided "what the h*ll, lets try this out". So I went rummaging around for these things. Turns out I have 3 of them. I redeemed the first 2 and got stuck with the last one.


      So much for that "digital copy" thing. Gotta wonder if Ultra-Violent will have the same issues.

      ...wonder how that 1.75G digital copy will stack up to the real thing weighing in at 27G.

  41. thecakeis(not)alie

    Device limits

    Well, back in the bin for this attempt. I own more than 12 devices on my sweet very lonesome.

    Unlimited devices or GTFO.

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