The UltraViolet Initiative hasn't exactly been the iTunes-killer Hollywood had hoped for. The File-Locker system launched late last year has floundered in its first few months with poor reviews, unhappy customers and little support from the rest of the industry. That changed today with Amazon and Samsung announcing their backing of the fledgling format.
Amazon became the first official retail partner with its announcement that it would support UltraViolet rights for an unnamed studio. This means that customers will be able to make digital UV purchases through its streaming video service and install sharing rights for that title in their UV account.
Samsung also announced that it would add "disc to digital" authentication technology to it's Blu-ray players starting later this year. This will allow users to add DVD's that they've already purchased to their locker, however, they'll will have to pay a nominal fee if they wish to upgrade their DVD version to digital HD.
UltraViolet is an online storage system that allows users who have purchased a film, either as a download or as a hard copy, to play it on any desktop or mobile device. It employs a "household account," rather than a conventional individual licence, that allows up to six users access UV content on any of 11 registered devices -- phones, tablets, game consoles, connected Blu-ray players, and the like.
Many initial adopters, however, have been less than pleased with the numerous steps needed to actually get a movie out of the locker. To play a movie on an iPad, for example, the user would have to create not one, but two new online accounts -- for UltraViolet itself and also for Flixter. [The Verge - Yahoo - PC Mag - GigaOm]