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UltraViolet Attracts More Than 750,000 Households in First Three Months
Jan 10, 2012 (06:01 PM EST)


Hollywood Studios Announce Expansion of Titles Coming to Market

UltraViolet coming to the Living Room with New Applications on Hardware Devices

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW -- The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) LLC -- a cross-industry consortium dedicated to creating a consumer-friendly open market for digital content distribution -- today provided an update on the roll-out of UltraViolet™ at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Following the launch of an initial 19 UltraViolet-enabled titles, more than 750,000 households have registered with UltraViolet to create and start using personal digital libraries.

Hollywood Studios Plan Significant Expansion of Titles

The audience of registered users is expected to grow exponentially in the year ahead, as Hollywood studios offering UltraViolet films and TV shows, through UltraViolet-enabled DVDs and Blu-rays as well as electronic sell through (EST), plan to dramatically expand the scope and scale of UltraViolet. Collectively, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will release hundreds of additional UltraViolet-enabled titles in 2012, including new releases, catalog and TV titles.

Release plans include most theatrical new release titles in 2012, such as Moneyball, J. Edgar, Happy Feet 2, Tower Heist and Hop, along with theatrical catalog and TV titles, including The Town, The Smurfs and One Tree Hill Season 9, Chuck Season 5 and The Big Bang Theory, Seasons 1 and 2. Also, a sampling of additional UltraViolet-enabled titles planned for the UK in 2012 includes, Crazy Stupid Love, Midnight in Paris and Dolphin Tale.

UltraViolet-enabled DVDs and Blu-rays are currently for sale in thousands of retail locations across the U.S. and UK. Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. estimate that hundreds of millions of their DVDs and Blu-rays bundled with UltraViolet rights will hit U.S. shelves in 2012.

Additionally, Paramount Home Media Distribution recently announced that the January 24th U.S. release of "Paranormal Activity 3" will be UltraViolet-enabled. Additional studios are expected to begin offering UltraViolet-enabled titles in the near future as well.

Content Accessibility Continuing to Expand via Web sites, Apps and Devices

Through Flixster, as well as Sony Pictures' and Universal's dedicated UltraViolet Web sites, UltraViolet users are currently able to access titles in their libraries on a wide range of Android/iOS devices, as well as PCs and Macs. In total, UltraViolet users can already stream and download to hundreds of millions of devices.

In addition, major device manufacturers have started to introduce products that work with UltraViolet in several ways. Samsung announced that its Smart Blu-ray™ players will stream movies and TV shows stored in the cloud through a new Flixster application coming this year. In addition, these players will offer a "Disc to Digital" feature, developed in conjunction with Rovi, that will allow consumers to add their existing DVDs and Blu-rays from participating studios to their UltraViolet digital libraries, making them accessible via download and streaming on a wide range of devices. The Smart Blu-ray players will also enable consumers to easily activate UltraViolet digital titles through the insertion of UltraViolet-enabled discs and will also utilize Flixster to allow consumers to access and stream their UltraViolet titles directly on their televisions. Additional device manufacturers are expected to announce new products that deliver UltraViolet benefits at the CES show and later this year.

Mark Teitell, General Manager and Executive Director, DECE, commented: "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."

Substantial Technology Support Paving the Way for Accelerated Roll-out

To help enable the pipeline of consumer-facing launches, additional companies have announced technology products and services that will support the UltraViolet ecosystem by making it easier, faster and less costly for consumer-oriented companies to deploy UltraViolet. These business-to-business enablers include cloud platform and distribution white-labeling providers such as Akamai, CSG Systems, Neustar Media, and Rovi; companies developing media players and related technologies for the forthcoming UltraViolet Common File Format, including castLabs; and content authoring/playback technology providers like DTS.

In the first half of 2012, DECE will introduce a Common File Format for downloads, making download functionality consistent across all UltraViolet retailers. This will further increase consumer convenience by making repeated downloads of different file types unnecessary, even when using different brands of UltraViolet-compatible media player apps or devices.

International Expansion

UltraViolet became available to UK consumers with the marketing of Warner Bros.' "Final Destination 5" on December 26, 2011. Numerous other companies have become UltraViolet licensees for the UK market, and further announcements on UltraViolet products and services for the UK are expected soon. Additionally, DECE plans to begin UltraViolet roll-out in Canada in the coming months, with specific details on timing to be announced, as well as a number of other territories in 2012 and 2013.

"The collaboration among leading multi-industry companies in developing UltraViolet has been exceptional," Teitell continued. "As the roll-out expands globally, additional geographic launches will benefit from the experience and data we are gathering through our U.S. and UK deployments."

DECE Membership and UltraViolet Licensing Continue to Grow

DECE is comprised of approximately 75 members spanning ten countries. A broad range of companies became members in the past year, including most recently BBC Worldwide, Deutsche Telekom AG, Elemental Technologies, LodgeNet Interactive Corporation, NCR Corporation and Rogers Communications. In addition, approximately 30 companies have also signed on as UltraViolet licensees, enabling them to implement technical specifications; market content, services and products with the UltraViolet name; and make use of the open UltraViolet account management and digital rights library system.

For more information about UltraViolet at CES, visit www.uvvu.com/ces2012.

About UltraViolet

UltraViolet™ is a groundbreaking new way to enjoy home video entertainment. Centered around a shared, cloud-based account and open industry platform, UltraViolet will allow consumers to create personal digital libraries, with the freedom to access movies and TV shows both at home and on-the-go, across multiple devices.

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) LLC is an open, cross-industry consortium formed to develop and operate UltraViolet. DECE is currently made up of approximately 75 members, including the majority of the world's top film studios and technology providers, as well as major consumer device manufacturers, entertainment retailers and video service providers. A list of consortium members can be found at http://www.uvvu.com/alliance-members.php. For more information on UltraViolet / DECE, please visit http://www.uvvu.com.


UltraViolet Partners

Here is a list of some of the key players that are announcing their plans to develop and deploy Ultraviolet. Several partners will also be on the CES show floor to showcase their role in UltraViolet. Look for the UltraViolet logo and stop by to learn more.

Akamai

Developed to assist content providers and entertainment retailers in meeting consumers' demands for accessing content on multiple devices, Akamai's UltraViolet solution is designed to support the ecosystem's library-style entitlement models through a simplified workflow. The Akamai HD Network provides high quality video streaming of UltraViolet content using the latest adaptive bitrate technologies, and Akamai SecureHD secures content streamed to PCs, tablets and other Internet connected devices. Akamai's cloud-based UltraViolet solution also streamlines access code redemption, account management and stream management with the UltraViolet Coordinator.

castLabs

At CES, castLabs will share information on its UltraViolet-compliant cloud service, which can be tailored to the requirements of content providers and retailers. The service provides the necessary features to enable business customers to set up their own UltraViolet content business, including authoring tools for the UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF), a download service (DSP) and DASH-based streaming service (LASP). castLabs will also launch the world's first Android-based video player compatible with the forthcoming UltraViolet CFF for downloads. This player application will support full HD playback on Android smartphones and tablet devices.

Catch Media

Catch Media will help expand the UltraViolet ecosystem by offering technical services and expertise as a partner developer and client implementer. Catch Media was founded on the vision of providing consumers with anytime, anywhere access to content while ensuring rights holders maintain control over distribution and are compensated on consumption. Naturally, the work Catch Media has done in music, books, and video services, complements the goals and achievements to date of the UltraViolet alliance. Catch Media looks forward to enabling UltraViolet's continued growth.

CSG International

CSG International will unveil a real-world UltraViolet demonstration based on solutions currently implemented for market leading customers. CSG, leveraging its Content Direct solution, will demonstrate how to deliver a complete digital content storefront that enables content purchase, redemption and management with complete integration of the UltraViolet Coordinator. CSG will expand the market's perspective of what a true UltraViolet-based digital content experience can offer. For a demonstration please email contentdirectinfo@csgi.com.

DTS | C9443 (Central Hall)

DTS, a leader in high-definition audio, is introducing DTS-HD MediaPlayer, the first professional quality control tool that enables premium QC playback of DTS-enabled content for UltraViolet. Key Features include support for multiplexed UltraViolet files and streams for broadcast, IPTV and over-the-top (OTT) markets, up to 7.1 audio, soloing and audio level metering, quick keyboard shortcuts navigation and looping with assignable In & Out points.

DTS has partnered with Digital Rapids, the leading provider of tools and solutions for television, movie and web content to include encoding and multiplexing of a wide array of DTS codecs, from lossless DTS-HD Master Audio down to low bit-rate DTS Express into their Transcode Manager 2.0, powered by Digital Rapids' groundbreaking new Kayak™ application platform.

At CES, DTS will be showcasing new audio technologies, demos and exhibits in the new Central Hall location C9443. DTS senior executives will be there to discuss digital delivery workflow to connected TVs, set-top boxes and other platforms that ultimately impact the developing entertainment consumption model. Experts will also provide insight into how industry associations, like the DECE Consortium that is powering UltraViolet, are addressing these content needs at the consumer level.

Neustar Media | C14132 (Central Hall)

Neustar Media, a provider of market-leading, innovative network and digital media interconnectivity solutions, was selected by DECE as a key partner to build and operate the UltraViolet technology infrastructure. The company invites attendees to preview its next generation digital distribution technology at CES. At its booth, Neustar will be demonstrating the UltraViolet digital media library and Coordinator, along with solutions to move physical DVDs to the UltraViolet digital library, an end-to-end, modular, scalable and "white label" solution for UltraViolet licensees and the Common File Format download solution -- an interoperable, DRM-agnostic solution for movie download and access.

Rovi Corporation | Caesars Palace

Rovi Entertainment store, a white-label solution for over-the-top storefront creation that's currently supporting third-party services on a multi-manufacturer ecosystem of connected devices, is providing support for companies that wish to introduce UltraViolet compatible products and services. Specifically, through its Rovi Entertainment Store, Rovi is enabling UltraViolet digital library support within existing and future customers' storefronts; therefore, allowing consumers to buy UltraViolet-enabled content and/or access those entertainment purchases from a broad range of devices. Furthermore, the Rovi Digital Copy Solution will work with the UltraViolet digital library, allowing devices and apps to recognize a movie on a physical disc, authenticate its origin, and trigger access to a copy from the UltraViolet digital library. At CES, Rovi will be hosting appointment-only demonstrations of Rovi Entertainment Store at Caesars Palace.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Executives from the abovementioned studios will be speaking at Variety's Entertainment Summit on the "Masters of Film and Technology Breakthroughs" on Wednesday, January 11th at 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the North Hall, Room 258 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. John Calkins, EVP of Global Digital and Commercial Innovation at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution will talk about how they are seizing upon opportunities that technology offers for content production, promotion and distribution.

Verimatrix

Verimatrix continues to support the UltraViolet rollout through enabling technologies for DSP implementations through its MultiRights™ approach, including strong support of Marlin, PlayReady based security. As an approved solution for LASP streaming, Verimatrix also offers its current and future VCAS customers the option to integrate with the UltraViolet ecosystem via its Operator Management Interface entitlement mechanisms.

SOURCE Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem LLC