By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS – Celebrating the evolving, interconnected world of handheld and home-based digital entertainment, International CES became the launch platform by content and hardware interests to promote the expansion the UltraViolet Cloud-based virtual content locker system.
And to get consumers better connected with the approach, Consumer Electronics Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro introduced at an opening-day keynote representatives from most of Hollywood’s largest studios to send off the “Get Connected Ultra- Violet Movie Starter Pack” promotion. The effort presents coupons redeemable for UltraViolet video titles to consumers who buy certain CE devices, including Blu-ray players and smart TVs.
UltraViolet is a system allowing consumers to collect, access and enjoy digital movies and TV shows in the Cloud. People who purchase a Blu-ray Disc, DVD or digital video with the UltraViolet logo can then stream or download the movie or TV show to an Ultra- Violet-compatible device. Consumers get lifelong access to that purchased content across multiple device platforms.
UltraViolet is currently available in retail locations in the U.S, U.K. and Canada bundled with DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, and with UltraViolet digital sellthrough and disc-to-digital options also available via select U.S. retailers.
According to multi-industry promotions association The Digital Entertainment Group, UltraViolet household accounts in the U.S. recently surpassed 9 million registrations.
The Starter Pack promotion is being launched with the help of major retailers across the country and offers consumers who purchase eligible connected Bluray Disc players the ability to redeem codes for five UltraViolet-enabled titles, while those who purchase eligible connected TVs will receive redemption codes for 10 UltraViolet-enabled titles.
Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. are participating in the initiative. Allied manufacturers include LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio.
Involved streaming content providers include Best Buy’s CinemaNow, Flixster, Nook Video and Walmart’s Vudu.
“It is terrific to see leading companies in content and hardware come together and agree on a standard allowing more content, more options and more products to consumers,” said Shapiro.
Meanwhile, Walmart revealed immediately prior to International CES that Vudu will be expanding its UltraViolet- enabled Disc-to-Digital activations from the store to the home.
Starting this month, Vudu will allow users to convert previously purchased DVD/Blu-ray movies to UltraViolet digital copies without the need to bring their discs into the store.
Customers now can go to Vudu.com and download the Vudu To Go app for Macs and PCs; search for previously purchased movies from participating studio partners; select how they would like the movies converted and convert them from a standard DVD or Bluray movie to a standard digital file for $2; or upgrade a standard DVD to an HD digital copy for $5.
Walmart said the Vudu To Go app will authorize the digital UltraViolet copies and place them in a user’s Vudu account without the need to upload anything.
Walmart said it also recently enhanced the Vudu service to make it accessible from a growing list of select Android tablets as well as iOS devices.
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