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Ultraviolet Format Close to Commercial Release

A report from Pocket-lint suggests that the Ultraviolet movie format is close to officially going commercial. For consumers, this means that for every Blu-ray and DVD they've purchased over the years, they'll also unlock a cloud-stored digital version that can be streamed on up to 12 registered Ultraviolet devices. All they need is the UPC symbol in order to register their movie.

But for those who don't want to purchase discs, there are plans to introduce a pay model that simply offers the rights to the digital Ultraviolet version. However both models are reportedly backed by all but one of the studios, almost every major consumer electronics manufacturer, several major retailers, and over 70 other technology companies.

Disney and Apple have yet to sign on.

"All but one [of the major studios] have signed on... And that doesn't mean that they won't," said Danny Kaye, executive vice president of Global Research & Technology Strategy at Fox. He was referring to Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment who he believes will ultimately offer UV versions of its catalog.

And what of Apple? Surely the company has nothing to lose given that it doesn't directly sell movie and TV episodes on physical discs. If anything, Apple would simply offer permanent cloud storage for its digital video so that users can stream anytime the want. Of course, we're talking about Apple who seemingly loves control over all aspects of its devices, software and the accompanying multimedia.

Unsurprisingly, Apple has resisted in shifting over to the UV side... possibly in favor of its own video cloud offering. "That also doesn't mean they won't," said Kaye. "From my perspective, when you're well established you sometimes take a 'wait and see.'"

He added that Apple may not wait for too long once its rivals start getting way ahead in the game. "If you just take smartphones as an example, Android now enjoys quite a market advantage," Kaye said. "And the same thing's going to happen in tablets. We also have all the other hardware that's a part of this ecosystem - the majority of hardware and software companies will create very strong competition, just like it has with Blu-ray. And we'll see what happens as we go forward."

"[Ultraviolet is] one of the largest consortia ever, especially across industries," he added. "And when that happens, you succeed."