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Film initiative has soft launch

Wed., Oct. 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES – A Hollywood initiative that aims to revive home video sales by enabling you to watch purchased movies on multiple devices had a soft start Tuesday as Warner Bros. released “Horrible Bosses” without many of the hoped-for partnerships in place.

Several movie studios had intended to launch the UltraViolet system with an array of retailers and gadget makers to form an interconnected web of shared commerce. The concept was that you could buy a Blu-ray disc and have a digital version streamed to you by cable giant Comcast Corp. without even removing the shrink wrap.

Today, when you buy a digital movie, you are typically restricted to watching on specific devices. The idea behind UltraViolet is to unshackle movies from those constraints.

In reality, a back-end system to allow such seamless viewing across devices hasn’t been created. The early version of UltraViolet lives inside a walled garden that is owned entirely by one movie studio – in this case, Warner Bros.

The early trial is meant to familiarize people with the notion of owning something that doesn’t sit on a shelf – in part to jump-start sluggish sales of digital downloads of movies.


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