Summary:

By Jemima Kiss: A new cross-industry video initiative announced yesterday in the US aims to help improve interoperability between different…

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By Jemima Kiss: A new cross-industry video initiative announced yesterday in the US aims to help improve interoperability between different retailers.

UltraViolet is being adopted by more than 60 consumer electronics firms and entertainment firms including Toshiba, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures, Paramount and Netflix.

It’s a technical standard that all these firms have agreed on, which means you could buy a film from one service, store it in what is effectively a digital locker and watch it on a different games console or through a cable service – even sharing content with a small group.

Notably, Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) aren’t included. Apple, being the mother of proprietary content systems, will be keeping everyone within the iTunes Store, thank you very much. Disney, meanwhile, has its own content store system called KeyChest, though Ultraviolet overshadows that somewhat.

UltraViolet is a nod to the ‘BluRay’ brand. The cloud-based service will begin testing this autumn, and though it is focusing on TV and film now, it is likely to extend into music – which will step competition up a level. The launch is planned for the end of this year.

Given the numbers of members in this consortium, it’s astonishing they managed to get enough momentum to get this far. This kind of service is long overdue, particularly because DVDs are likely to be the last physical media format – which menas consumers deserve a transferable digital video format.

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..

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