DECE, The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem,
is the consortium of major Hollywood studios
, consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers, network hardware vendors, systems integrators and Digital Rights Management
(DRM) vendors that created UV (UltraViolet)
which is a digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system that allows consumers of digital home entertainment content to stream and download purchased content to multiple platforms and devices. UltraViolet adheres to a 'buy once, play anywhere' approach that allows users to store digital proof-of-purchases under one account to enable playback of content that is platform- and point-of-sale-agnostic.
Personally, I thought that this system would be a boon to what I considered the confusing "triple play" packaging that Blu-Ray discs had been including. The value proposition for UV was something that I wanted:
- Ability to stream a movie from a browser
- Ability to download a HD near replica of the BD optical disc to play in a distributed system in your home (i.e. Kaleidescape - but for DIY's)
- Ability to download a portable copy for portable devices
Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of complaints from users regarding
the barriers of entry to actually use UV's value proposition. First of all, there are complaints about having to register twice – once for an UltraViolet account, then again for Warner Bros. own Flixter service. Then there are customers who resent having to download two pieces of software (Adobe Air and the Flixster collections app). Additionally, once users are registered and ready, many of them don’t like that the download takes a half-hour or more for the 2 GB file. It's to the point that studios, notably WB, have resorted to sending iTunes download codes to mollify unhappy customers. That's clearly not what UV intended to do as Apple isn't even a member of UV!
What succeeds for Apple, a walled garden approach and central end to end experience for their customers appears to be festering sore for UV. Since UV provides choices for what features each studio can deliver and how those features are implemented, the end to end experience that Apple excels is causing pain points for UV. Personally, I don't like buying into one ecosystem for all my digital media, which is the Apple solution. I like to have choices. In a perfect world, choices don't mean barriers of entry to enjoy the value proposition of a service.
Let's hope that UV gets this all straightened out. Keep in mind they are in a "soft launch"...