Hollywood stumbles on next big step in home video - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:25 PM
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Default Hollywood stumbles on next big step in home video

Some interesting comments in there. Even after 5 years of development it seems UV was still a mess when it was released late last year and some studios (Fox) are not jumping in until late this year when they feel UV is more stable and meets their demands. The question is will it by the end of this year?

I will say it again. The studios are in for a rude awakening if they think UV can restore the glory years of sales that we saw with DVD. The times have changed.

Also note that Netflix is no longer a UV supporter and has decided to let its membership lapse. Which is a blow to UV IMHO.


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...,7221629.story

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By Ben Fritz and Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times

January 11, 2012
Reporting from Los Angeles and Las Vegasó

When Jason Mockford bought a DVD of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" with the words "digital copy" on the box, he assumed that he would be able to watch it on his iPad.

But the digital version of the film was accessible only through a new technology called UltraViolet. It required him to register on two different websites and download new software. It wasn't compatible with the iTunes application he uses for all his other music and video.

Finding the process too difficult, the 30-year-old San Luis Obispo resident said, "I just stopped at some point because it asked me to do too much."


If UltraViolet were just a new tech demo for geeks, a rocky start might not matter. But the new format is Hollywood's next big thing, an ambitious attempt to drive consumers to keep buying movies as they abandon discs in favor of tablets, smartphones and Internet-connected TVs.

"Getting UltraViolet right is the single most important strategic issue for studios in 2012," said Spencer Wang, head of Internet and media research at Credit Suisse. "All CEOs for the major entertainment consortiums need to be focused on getting it right."

The stakes are enormous. Film studios derive about half of their total revenues from home entertainment sales. Yet overall consumer spending on home entertainment dropped 2% in 2011, the seventh consecutive annual decline, according to Digital Entertainment Group, which collates digital media sales. More notably for UltraViolet, revenue from consumer movie sales, as opposed to rentals, dropped 12%.

B]At a standing-room-only press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday, backers admitted that things hadn't gone quite as smoothly as hoped. "The best way to describe the launch is we built this great house, it had an incredible foundation, and in our excitement to move in there was some finished carpentry that still needed to be done," said Sony Pictures Chief Technology Officer Mitch Singer.
[/B]
UltraViolet has been in the works for more than five years, as more than 70 movie studios, electronics makers and retailers have tried to build a unified ecosystem for selling and storing movies online. This consortium of members whose interests are not always aligned has experienced difficulty developing and launching its new product.

The first UltraViolet movies became available last year, their access codes sold with the discs for films including "Green Lantern," "The Smurfs" and "Cowboys and Aliens."

To watch a movie via UltraViolet, consumers have to use a code that comes with compatible discs to register on two different websites. They then need to install two new pieces of software on a PC and a new application on a mobile phone or tablet to download the film.

About 750,000 people have bought compatible DVDs and registered for UltraViolet. But chatter on message boards, tech blogs and Twitter has been largely negative as consumers found it confusing and buggy.

Even within Hollywood, there have been fissures among the studios backing the technology.

Some home entertainment executives who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly said the launch, which was led by Warner Bros., happened prematurely. It would have been better to wait, these insiders said, until the technology worked smoothly and more retailers were selling UltraViolet-compatible digital copies online.

"We felt it was important to take a leadership position and show our firm commitment to this new industry standard by beginning to make these new rights and benefits available and to help drive momentum around this initiative," said a Warner spokesman.

Warner includes UltraViolet copies on all of its DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Sony, Universal and Paramount are including it only with selected movies. But the latter two also include iTunes copies of their movies for those who prefer Apple's technology.

Executives at 20th Century Fox, meanwhile, are waiting to get aboard UltraViolet until there are more places to buy and store UltraViolet movies online, more devices on which to watch them, and a common file format in which titles can be downloaded and utilized.

"We think that mass consumer adoption starts to have a tipping point when all of these pillars are built," said 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment President Mike Dunn, whose studio is officially behind UltraViolet but doesn't expect to launch its first title until late 2012.


At the Consumer Electronics Show event, UltraViolet supporters cited the large number of people who have signed up in less than three months and the debut at the show of new Blu-ray players from manufacturers Panasonic and Samsung that connect directly to UltraViolet.

"Studios are going to be making hundreds of titles available, at a minimum, throughout 2012," said Mark Teitell, general manager of the UltraViolet industry consortium known as the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem. "By the time we're having a conversation like this [next year], we'll have grown exponentially."

Amazon.com also announced that it would be the first independent retailer to sell UltraViolet movies directly online, without a disc. Executive Vice President of Digital Content Bill Carr said the Web retail giant just signed a partnership with one studio, which it declined to identify.

Previously, the only digital service that works with UltraViolet was Flixster, a movie rating website that Warner Bros. acquired last year as part of its plans to stimulate digital movie sales. Flixster makes an UltraViolet-compatible application for Apple and Android phones, tablets and PCs.

Best Buy and Wal-Mart, which also sell movies online, have yet to take the leap into UltraViolet. Representatives for both companies declined to comment.

Later this year, the companies behind UltraViolet plan to develop a marketing campaign to explain the format's benefit and exactly how it works. Despite missteps out of the gate, backers say history proves that UltraViolet can overcome a troubled start.

"During the launch of the DVD there was a wave of negative comments, and people said it was a failed format," Sony Pictures Home Entertainment President David Bishop recalled. "In the end, DVD did extremely well
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:51 PM
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I agree with you Ack. Ultraviolet is too late to the game. People already found ways to rip thier DVDs. They can already do it to thier Blurays. Who needs Ultraviolet? It's not going to make me buy more movies that's for sure. I agree. Studios are in for a rude awakening.

I don't get that last comment. Was there a lot of negitive talk about DVD? I don't remember any. But I wasn't keeping up with it the way I have been here with Bluray.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Malanthius View Post
I agree with you Ack. Ultraviolet is too late to the game. People already found ways to rip thier DVDs. They can already do it to thier Blurays. Who needs Ultraviolet? It's not going to make me buy more movies that's for sure. I agree. Studios are in for a rude awakening.

I don't get that last comment. Was there a lot of negitive talk about DVD? I don't remember any. But I wasn't keeping up with it the way I have been here with Bluray.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10013891-1.html
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Malanthius View Post
I agree with you Ack. Ultraviolet is too late to the game. People already found ways to rip thier DVDs. They can already do it to thier Blurays. Who needs Ultraviolet? It's not going to make me buy more movies that's for sure. I agree. Studios are in for a rude awakening.

I don't get that last comment. Was there a lot of negitive talk about DVD? I don't remember any. But I wasn't keeping up with it the way I have been here with Bluray.
I honestly like the idea of UV as a rental platflorm. Rent a movie and it goes into your digital locker and you can stream it on any device you want. Or the studios could use it as a subscription service for access to catalog titles and newer releases. Like Netflix streaming only with much more content.

And I do think they should offer digital sales via UV, but I don't think it is going to be the next DVD from a sales perspective.

As for DVD, there were lots of folks that were negative on it when it was first released. Not me. As soon as I saw my first DVD, I bought my first player and movies on the year it was released in the US and never looked back.

Hopefully the studios will pull their collective heads out of their rear ends with UV and actually make it consumer friendly.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:01 PM
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Best Buy and Wal-Mart, which also sell movies online, have yet to take the leap into UltraViolet. Representatives for both companies declined to comment.
That's about 70% of the OD market share right?
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:10 PM
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Also note that Netflix is no longer a UV supporter and has decided to let its membership lapse. Which is a blow to UV IMHO.
Depends on what UV wants to be. I can't say Netflix support ever really made any sense, unless access to a netflix stream of, say Mars Attacks, would allow me to rent that "for free" via UV. Would UV really want to allow that?

They need to get apple on board. Let me convert my itunes videos into UV copies.

Last edited by h0mi; 01-11-2012 at 04:11 PM. Reason: adding scare quotes to "for free"
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post
That's about 70% of the OD market share right?
Probably. And it is interesting that there nothing from Walmart/Vudu at the CES show. I was expecting Vudu to be one of the frontrunners with UV and selling of movies.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by h0mi View Post
Depends on what UV wants to be. I can't say Netflix support ever really made any sense, unless access to a netflix stream of, say Mars Attacks, would allow me to rent that "for free" via UV. Would UV really want to allow that?

They need to get apple on board. Let me convert my itunes videos into UV copies.
My thought that if you rented or purchased a UV movie then Netflix could potentially be a digital stream you could leverage to play the movie. One stop shopping for the 20 million+ consumers who stream movies now in Netflix and are familiar with the interface and the Netflix app is on a ton of devices.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by h0mi View Post
Depends on what UV wants to be. I can't say Netflix support ever really made any sense, unless access to a netflix stream of, say Mars Attacks, would allow me to rent that "for free" via UV. Would UV really want to allow that?
IMO, it was the UV's hope that Netflix would start selling movie downloads. Netflix didn't want to and UV has nothing to do with rentals so they left UV.

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They need to get apple on board. Let me convert my itunes videos into UV copies.
How does Apple benefit from joining UV?
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ack_bak View Post
Probably. And it is interesting that there nothing from Walmart/Vudu at the CES show. I was expecting Vudu to be one of the frontrunners with UV and selling of movies.
I am taking this partial post from Mike Morel over at HDF as an explaination. He seems to be very knowledgeable and up to snuff on UV:

Quote:
From the UV Press Release:

Quote:
Quote:
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.
No Common File Format (CFF) = NOTHING TO SELL. Retailers didn't want to sign up for "Phased Retailer Service Provider" (see the documents on the UV web site).

"Phased Retailer Service Provider" = "Early Adopter" for retailers = PITA with no upside.
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