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DTS Posts UltraViolet Gain

Calabasas, Calif. — Paramount Pictures has become the first major movie studio to support the dts-HD 5.1 surround format on downloadable movies that use the UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF), DTS announced.

Paramount will release its first downloadable CFF-based UltraViolet titles in the second half, initially with surround sound encoded only in the dts-HD format, said DTS chairman/CEO Jon Kirchner. Over the next six to nine months, he said, a range of consumer devices will support UltraViolet’s CFF for video downloads. The devices will include PCS, Macs, Android and iOS mobile devices, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and TVs, Kirchner said.

DTS’s announcement follows a spring announcement by CinemaNow that it would become the first video-streaming service to support dts-HD, a low-bit-rate format that can be streamed and downloaded efficiently over the Internet. CinemaNow also supports Dolby Digital Plus 5.1.

Although thousands of UltraViolet movie titles and TV shows are available for streaming to devices, the launch later this year of downloadable CFF-based UltraViolet titles by multiple studios will enable users to view their UltraViolet content without an Internet connection. CFF titles will also enable consumers to move or copy an UltraViolet movie or TV show from one device to another, such as from PCs to tablets and smartphones. That will make it unnecessary to download a movie or TV show multiple times to multiple devices, as is the case with the current limited selection of downloadable UltraViolet movies.

In January, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced plans to deliver downloadable CFF movies and TV shows encoded in Dolby Digital Plus surround.

The CFF standard also mandates the use of two-channel AAC stereo on UltraViolet titles because of AAC’s widespread use in mobile devices.

 UltraViolet technology was designed to let purchasers of physical movie discs stream or download their Blu-ray titles to multiple devices, though some movies are also available for purchase without a disc purchase.

A total of 12 million UltraViolet accounts have been activated by consumers, and 9,100 movie titles are available to them, mostly through streaming, Kirchner said.