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UltraViolet Q&A: The Buy Once, Play Anywhere Initiative
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July 27, 2010

UltraViolet Q&A: The Buy Once, Play Anywhere Initiative

By Isaac Chacon, TMCnet Contributor

Last week Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or “DECE,” announced they started testing a new entertainment system, named “UltraViolet.”

The new offering allows a user to purchase a movie and then watch it anywhere and anytime, on different platforms supported by DECE - or on any device with Internet capabilities.

The name UltraViolet was created, Matt Singer, chief technology officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment and President of DECE, told Ryan Nakashima of Yahoo News, because “it’s outside the visible spectrum, but it’s all around you and it’s ubiquitous.”

DECE is a made up of a group leading technology and media companies including Sony, Comcast, Microsoft, Warner Brothers, Nokia (News - Alert), and more.

Two powerhouses, Apple and Disney however, are not included in the ecosystem of vendors.

While Apple declined comment, Disney did say it isn’t taking part in this intiative because it is working to create a movie locker called, “KeyChest.”

I had the chance to catch up with Mark Teitell, general manager of DECE to learn more about UltraViolet.

Our exchange follows:

Will the UltraViolet project help make up for the decline in DVD sales this past year?

By creating a common framework that any company can use to help expand consumers’ choices of where to buy and what devices to use, Ultraviolet’s open market vision will drive growth. One reason for the slower than expected growth of today’s digital market, is that consumers don’t have choice or predictability.  That's what UltraViolet is designed to address. For example, with mobile companies, texting used to be siloed by mobile operator; however, after agreeing on a common framework that would allow people to send texts to anyone, usage skyrocketed 30-fold.

Would purchasing a video through UltraViolet allow the consumer to only view a certain amount of times or would the purchase be for life?

Once consumers purchase UltraViolet entertainment it is theirs to watch for life, as many times as they want.  With the UltraViolet Account, consumers will have a single place, online, where they can view all of their UltraViolet entertainment regardless of where or when it was purchased. At this time we are announcing the brand name, details on services will be made available at launch.

I know that Apple (News - Alert) does not want to participate in this project so purchasing movies on their platforms would not transfer over but would that be vice versa as well?

The door is always open for Apple to join UltraViolet. UltraViolet entertainment will play on all UltraViolet devices as well as Internet capable devices.

Isaac Chacon is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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