UltraViolet - what studio managers hope will replace the DVD (not Blu-ray) - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:25 AM
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Default UltraViolet - what studio managers hope will replace the DVD (not Blu-ray)

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-57...l-off-the-dvd/

Can the Smurfs help UltraViolet kill off the DVD

Quote:
Hollywood continues to try and lay the foundation for UltraViolet (UV), the technology that studio managers hope will replace the DVD.

Sony Pictures on Friday issued Blu-ray versions of "The Smurfs" and "Friends With Benefits" and also provided disc buyers with access to UV copies of the films.

In addition, Variety, a film-industry trade publication, is reporting that Sony Pictures will release a UV version of the Brad Pitt hit movie, "Moneyball" on December 22. Universal, the studio owned by Comcast, is due to release the horror pic, "The Thing" on UV in January and Paramount is also planning its first UV release.

Back in October, Warner Bros., was the first studio to release UV-compatible titles with "The Green Lantern" and "Horrible Bosses."

UltraViolet is a set of standards designed to help make movies compatible with any Web retailer, cloud service or device. Five of the six top studios, along with more than 70 other companies connected to the entertainment industry, banded together to look for the next-generation format in home video. The DVD appears to be in its death throes with sales plunging for years now.

One of the major problems with online film distribution is that movies are available in different formats or with different digital rights management and that means a movie purchased from online store A often won't play on device from electronics maker B. UV is supposed to end all that.

The first step in the studios' roll-out strategy is to make video content available for UV and to make sure that the movies are indeed compatible across different services. Sony said they do.

It works like this: Buyers of "The Smurfs" on Blu-ray disc (the UV copy is not offered with DVDs) will also receive a code that enables them to retrieve a streaming version of the movie, as well as the ability to download a digital copy to a PC, from Sony Pictures' Web site.

To do that, buyers must create a Sony Pictures account and then also must create a separate UV account. The movie would be stored in the person's UV locker. If the user wants to watch the "The Smurfs" at, say, Flixster, the online store owned by Warner Bros., they can but they have to create an account there as well.

Note to studios: creating this many accounts is a pain and these rough spots will be smoothed or else nobody's going to use the service.

The knock on UV, created by a consortium of over 70 companies, is that history has shown us that it's often very difficult to get numerous competitors, with their separate and often conflicting agendas, to cooperate.

In addition to limiting the number of accounts, for UV to be a success a major distributor, say Walmart or Internet seervice provider, must adopt the format and getting some big device manufacturers on board couldn't hurt either. Expect to see some announcements about that at CES next month.

Sony's effort with its UV releases shows that some headway is being made. The studio's UV titles will be offered on high definition. Warner Bros., titles are offered only on standard def.

Hollywood continues to try and lay the foundation for UltraViolet (UV), the technology that studio managers hope will replace the DVD.

Sony Pictures on Friday issued Blu-ray versions of "The Smurfs" and "Friends With Benefits" and also provided disc buyers with access to UV copies of the films.

In addition, Variety, a film-industry trade publication, is reporting that Sony Pictures will release a UV version of the Brad Pitt hit movie, "Moneyball" on December 22. Universal, the studio owned by Comcast, is due to release the horror pic, "The Thing" on UV in January and Paramount is also planning its first UV release.

Back in October, Warner Bros., was the first studio to release UV-compatible titles with "The Green Lantern" and "Horrible Bosses."

UltraViolet is a set of standards designed to help make movies compatible with any Web retailer, cloud service or device. Five of the six top studios, along with more than 70 other companies connected to the entertainment industry, banded together to look for the next-generation format in home video. The DVD appears to be in its death throes with sales plunging for years now.

One of the major problems with online film distribution is that movies are available in different formats or with different digital rights management and that means a movie purchased from online store A often won't play on device from electronics maker B. UV is supposed to end all that.

The first step in the studios' roll-out strategy is to make video content available for UV and to make sure that the movies are indeed compatible across different services. Sony said they do.

It works like this: Buyers of "The Smurfs" on Blu-ray disc (the UV copy is not offered with DVDs) will also receive a code that enables them to retrieve a streaming version of the movie, as well as the ability to download a digital copy to a PC, from Sony Pictures' Web site.

To do that, buyers must create a Sony Pictures account and then also must create a separate UV account. The movie would be stored in the person's UV locker. If the user wants to watch the "The Smurfs" at, say, Flixster, the online store owned by Warner Bros., they can but they have to create an account there as well.

Note to studios: creating this many accounts is a pain and these rough spots will be smoothed or else nobody's going to use the service.

The knock on UV, created by a consortium of over 70 companies, is that history has shown us that it's often very difficult to get numerous competitors, with their separate and often conflicting agendas, to cooperate.

In addition to limiting the number of accounts, for UV to be a success a major distributor, say Walmart or Internet seervice provider, must adopt the format and getting some big device manufacturers on board couldn't hurt either. Expect to see some announcements about that at CES next month.

Sony's effort with its UV releases shows that some headway is being made. The studio's UV titles will be offered on high definition. Warner Bros., titles are offered only on standard def.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:05 PM
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I don't see UV killing off OD, but supplementing/complementing it. It may become the dominant format but won't replace BD and DVD.

The dramatic description of death throes LOL over what 10-15 years?
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:47 PM
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Oh boy.

Coming from CNET.com which of course has no bias toward the cloud or physical based media as its of course a technology website.

Of course the studios hope that digital offerings will eventually replace the large DVD revenue stream that has been their cash cow over the last decade or more.

But as the article opens UltraViolet is still in the foundation building stages and most of the revenues generated
from sell through digital offerings has been modest so far.

In the meantime as those options grow and get better DVD and Blu-ray will continue to be the largest revenue stream and source of revenues for home video sales for a while yet.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:50 PM
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The article is of course from The Media Maverick Greg Sandoval the reporter who covers digital entertainment for CNET so its hardly unexpected that is his point of view and spin.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:53 PM
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One of the ending statements even though its been noted before is that Sony's HD offerings with UV is a welcome sign. Even if its not Blu-ray quality its substantially better than anything in SD and if it becomes standard fare and if Sony can raise the quality bar for cloud based content its better for all of us that enjoy movies.

Quote:
Sony's effort with its UV releases shows that some headway is being made. The studio's UV titles will be offered on high definition. Warner Bros. titles are offered only on standard def.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:58 PM
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As for the editorial choice of saying "DVD (not Blu-ray), its pretty common in the industry to talk DVD and Blu-ray together as "DVD" as a shorthand for optical disc packaged media sales.

By the time that UltraViolet or digital based cloud based EST becomes larger than physical media Blu-ray will be a large part or larger than any residual DVD revenue streams.

DVD is the revenue stream that the studios have relied upon and Blu-ray although by itself is growing faster than any new alternatives its never in the long run by itself totally replace DVD or ever reach the heights that DVD achieved.

Overall I'm sure the studios will hope that UltraViolet will replace Blu-ray as well but in the near term Blu-ray and UV will coexist for many years to come.

Blu-ray does not need replacing right now as its a market success and growing right now and will for a few years to come and then be around for many years after that. Its the declining DVD revenue stream that right now needs to be replaced and right now Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D is part of the solution to that problem as well as UltraViolet.

Last edited by Kosty; 12-05-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:04 PM
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DVD in its "death throws" even though its still millions and millions of sales and rental transactions per week and billions and billions of revenues is aging but its hardly dead yet and its "death throws" will last longer and has lasted longer than Sandoval has predicted for years now.

Blu-ray as the next generation high definition DVD successor is growing and hardly is in its death throws as well. Overall a nice article with solid information so the red meat hyperbole there that he includes is forgiven.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
It works like this: Buyers of "The Smurfs" on Blu-ray disc (the UV copy is not offered with DVDs) will also receive a code that enables them to retrieve a streaming version of the movie, as well as the ability to download a digital copy to a PC, from Sony Pictures' Web site.
In the near term, as we have stated many times before UV will be promoted as a bonus feature to entice consumers to buy the physical disc version as that's still where most of the new release home video sales occur.

By Sony placing UV as a bonus to the premium Blu-ray sku on The Smurfs its showing how far UV and other digital options have to go before replacing DVD and Blu-ray.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:33 PM
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I thought Bluray was the successor for DVD? Since sales are so poor compared to what DVD did I guess the studios are looking for something else to pin its hopes on. After all the writing is on the wall for Bluray seeing its going to peak soon at such low yearly numbers. Especially when you look at what the industry was used to bringing in.

I did get a laugh at Kostys questioning of the author and calling him biased. Like Viking said. Funny how that works one way and not the other. I'm sure he will chime in to agree with me at any moment!
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:44 PM
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From the article:
Quote:
Note to studios: creating this many accounts is a pain and these rough spots will be smoothed or else nobody's going to use the service.
I could not agree more. The studios need to make UV seamless. The end user should not be required to maintain all these different accounts just to watch a movie. One account. Seamless integration. And UV needs to get Apple, Amazon, and Disney fully onboard. ASAP. I honestly don't know if the studios really get it or really care. UV is a huge step in the right direction but is still pretty clunky.

Aside from that, it will be at least 5 years before the studios could even consider getting rid of DVD. Just some perspective:
Digital made $2.5B last year (this includes rental, sales, cable/sat, etc).
DVD (this number does not include Blu-Ray) made $14B last year

At the current rate of growth, we are looking well into the future for digital to ever replace DVD (not even talking about Blu-Ray here).

And of course there is the issue of broadband users getting charged for usage. If the ISP's go down this path, it could actually extend DVD's life, by another 5+ years easy.
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