Vudu video conversion exists beta, launches on OS X
Vudu's previously PC-only movie conversion program has exited closed beta, and is now available on OS X. The conversion of a first disc, either Blu-Ray or standard DVD is free, with a $2 per title fee assessed on future disks. SD DVDs may be "upgraded" to HDX for a one-time fee of $5. Users who convert more than 10 movies receive a 50 percent discount through August 31. Titles "converted" are available on the UltraViolet streaming service on various set top boxes, smart TVs, and mobile devices.
Streaming service first to offer UltraViolet purchasing in UK
Literary retail chain Barnes & Noble has opened its Nook Video movie and TV store in the United Kingdom. The video service is also the first digital retailer in the UK to offer UltraViolet titles for sale, allowing customers to buy films through the system as well as registering codes from purchased DVDs and Blu-Ray discs bought in stores.
Doctor Who, Top Gear first to get downloadable treatment
The BBC will be releasing its first UltraViolet-enabled DVD and Blu-ray titles in time for Christmas. The corporation is working with Flixster in order to offer the downloadable versions of the shows, which will include a stand-up comedy title from John Bishop, as well as the first part of Doctor Who Series 7.
Movie service includes UltraViolet account linking
Bookseller chain Barnes & Noble will be creating its own downloadable video store in the fall, the company announced. Nook Video will allow users to buy movies and TV shows, and watch them on TVs and smartphones, as well as other handhelds such as the Nook Tablet. The move brings it in line with competitor Amazon's own Instant Video offering, complete with soon-to-launch free Nook Video apps.
Walmart kicks of UltraViolet service, now in beta
Walmart has officially announced its UltraViolet conversion service, letting users digitize their existing DVD and Blu-ray movies. Viewers will have the ability to bring a movie into one of the more than 3,500 participating stores in the US and have their movies added to a Vudu account, after which they can stream it at any time.
DVDs stamped to avoid multiple licenses
Walmart is reportedly set to formally announce its UltraViolet services sometime tomorrow, after the endeavor has been detailed by several recent leaks. The retailer is said to be allowing customers to bring in their existing DVD collections and pay between $2 and $4 per disc to gain access to corresponding digital copies.
Warner exec hints at UltraViolet movie conversion
Warner Bros.' home entertainment president Kevin Tsujihara used time at a Morgan Stanley technology conference to outline in more detail how his studio would steer viewers towards converting their videos from DVD and Blu-ray discs to the UltraViolet format and cloud video access. It would start with in-store conversion like that planned by Walmart, he said, but stores would eventually automate this and provide digital copies automatically. The discs themselves would eventually provide the option, which he implied would be like ripping a CD and would upload the movie itself.
Media on multiple devices, supports UltraViolet
Some of the same studios that developed the the UltraViolet digital standard are launching a new initiative to make content available across multiple devices. SanDisk, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Western Digital
have formed a new working group dubbed the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) to develop a new digital rights management (DRM) protocol that would make digital media available across multiple devices and through the cloud. The group will develop the system under the working title "Project Phenix."
Customers will be able to access digital content
Walmart is reportedly preparing to launch in-store UltraViolet service, in an attempt to assist customers who want to take advantage of the digital licensing system. The company is said to be involved in discussions with UltraViolet partners to work out the final details.
Digital versions offer limited viewing options
Paramount has become the first movie distributor to sell movies using the UltraViolet digital distribution system directly to customers. Up until now, UltraViolet digital downloads were available only as part of a DVD/Blu-Ray disc
package deal or from a retailer such as Amazon.
First major retailer to embrace the digital format
Sources for CNET are reporting that Amazon has reached agreement with Warner Bros. to become the first major retailer to offer films in the the UltraViolet digital format. Yesterday, Amazon VP Bill Carr had announced at a CES panel discussion that the company had reached a deal with a major Hollywood studio but would not identify which. When he made the announcement, Carr was onstage with members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), including executives from Sony, Warner Bros., Fox, and Universal, all of which support the new format.
Amazon may put Instant Video on UltraViolet
Movie studios are trying to get Amazon Instant Video on to the new UltraViolet cross-platform movie rights system, insiders divulged Wednesday. At least Sony and Warner Bros. were said by Bloomberg sources to be negotiating a deal. In ideal circumstances, a viewer could buy a Blu-ray or a digital format movie and have rights to play it on the Kindle Fire or another Amazon-friendly device.
Nook Color update goes live
Barnes & Noble as promised has rolled out the 1.4 update to the Nook Color. The upgrade is key to switching on content made available first on the Nook Tablet and lets users get the Netflix video app as well as watch UltraViolet-linked movies through the Flixster app. Readers can also browse Nook Comics from Marvel, IDW, Dynamite, and others.
Download now available via Flixster
Warner Brothers is ready to offer copies of its Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 movie to download or stream on the UltraViolet platform. People who buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo, which goes on sale tomorrow, will be able to download an additional copy via Flixster apps for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.
Apple near deals with movie studios for cloud movi
Apple is getting close to a deal that would let it serve its iTunes movies from the cloud rather than locally, sources claimed Thursday. The terms understood by the LA Times and backed by the WSJ would let Apple stream any movie a user buys or rents. Access would apply across any iTunes device, including the Apple TV, where the lack of permanent storage makes streaming its only real option.
UltraViolet has wide but potentially vague rights
The long in the making UltraViolet platform will get its formal launch this week. Starting with the October 11 Blu-ray release of Horrible Bosses and the October 14 release of The Green Lantern, viewers who prove ownership of a UV-aware title will have access to it across computers, mobile apps on Android, BlackBerry, and iOS, and even across services. The rights include five major movie studios and, for an extra fee, can sometimes involve getting a physical copy for something they only own digitally.
Walmart setting up to carry UltraViolet media
Walmart is in negotiations to carry the UltraViolet cloud-video platform, CNET learned from sources. UV is a number of standards and specifications that will allow movies and TV shows to play on many devices. Customers would purchase a UV movie, for example, and have access to it from servers and view them on multiple UV-licensed devices.
Claims big sales boost from Final Cut refugees
Adobe today announced upgrades to two of its behind-the-scenes Flash components, used by content publishers rather the public. The first, Flash Media Server, has been updated to v4.5, gaining adaptive bitrate streams viewable by both iOS and Flash-equipped platforms. Content protection has been integrated into the software; this includes on-demand stream packaging, meaning that preparation and protection of video can be done on the fly, for different platforms and with less storage space.
Fox hints, doesn't know Apple will use UltraViolet
Fox's executive VP of Global Research and Technology Strategy Danny Kaye was hopeful Apple and Disney would both use the new UltraViolet media locker copy protection system. He noted in an interview that all but Disney among the studios had signed on, and that just that it was holding out "doesn't mean that [Disney] won't." He was also convinced in speaking to Pocket-lint that Apple was going to sign onboard and that it was just being conservative before leaping in.
Warner Bros. buys Flixster for digital everywhere
Warner Bros. started off Wednesday with a deal to buy Flixster. The takeover will use the site's movie discovery service and overall technical experience to push its Digital Everywhere initiative, which will eventually provide a "studio-agnostic" way of finding, loading, and managing their media collections regardless of where they are. Flixster would run independently and keep Rotten Tomatoes at arm's length from Warner to avoid bias towards the studio.
UltraViolet may use DVD scans to get movie rights
The UltraViolet digital media standard could use a customer's own DVDs as a way of giving them permanent access to a movie, insiders said Monday. Partners in the group are mulling an option for users to scan in their DVDs and get access to any movie that matches up with the UV library. The approach described to CNET would be a way of encouraging viewers to get into the UV system without forcing them to give up an existing catalog.
Court says cracking DRM OK if purpose is legal
A new court ruling on Friday could set a legal precedent that allows bypassing digital rights management (DRM) for fair use purposes. New Orleans circuit Judge Emilio Garza found that GE hadn't violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by using hacked security dongles to repair uninterruptible power supplies from MGE UPS Systems as the goal itself was legal. While a jury fined GE $4.6 million for breaking copyright and misusing trade secrets, Judge Garza determined the DMCA hadn't been broken, as using hacked items by itself didn't constitute violating protection at the same time.
DECE gets closer to launch with name, new partners
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem edged closer to an actual launch today by settling on a new name for its copy protection scheme, UltraViolet (UV), and unveiling new partners. In addition roughly 60 major electronics, content and software firms, the Internet media locker standard now has support from Korea's LG as well as the ARM chip designer Marvell and LOVEFiLM. The group now expects UV to enter the test phase later in the year.