UltraViolet 'Cloud Locker' Gains Momentum

Is 2011 the year when we'll see a "cloud locker," where all of your digital content can be stored and then streamed to you on multiple devices? Akamai recently demonstrated a working prototype of the UltraViolet system.

John Rath

January 17, 2011

3 Min Read
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The web site for the UltraViolet standard depicts the same content being consumed on different devices and screens.

Is 2011 the year we'll see a "cloud locker," where all of your digital content can be stored and then streamed to you on multiple devices? The backers of UltraViolet Entertainment say they'll soon be ready to deliver on this promise, and a leading content delivery provider has

At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month Akamai demonstrated the delivery of UltraViolet.  On Thursday Akamai (AKAM) announced its involvement with the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), a cross-industry consortium including marquee names like Samsung, Fox, Sony Pictures and Microsoft that's seeking to create an open market for digital content distribution.

At CES, Akamai demonstrated a prototype for delivering digital home entertainment content according to DECE's recently announced UltraViolet specifications.

Akamai and the cloud clocker
UltraViolet entertainment allows access rights to purchased content to be stored in an UltraViolet account and digital locker, which will be accessible across multiple platforms and devices. "One key facet of UltraViolet's open-specs design is the ability for world-class infrastructure and B2B service providers like Akamai to accelerate retailers' deployments, with premium-quality enablement and delivery on a cost-efficient basis," said Mark Teitell, general manager of DECE. "As a member of DECE, Akamai's prototyping of this UltraViolet experience is a great example of how individual companies' initiative and market development will combine with our industry-standard technical specs to bring UltraViolet to consumers this year."

The integrated Akamai video delivery platform and the UltraViolet digital locker are designed to expand the physical mediums that retailers offer to services  where they stream high definition content to connected devices such as Internet TVs and Blu-Ray players, and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. One has to wonder how Akamai's involvement in this up and coming standard will impact the CDN  battle for Netflix.

UltraViolet and the DECE
The DECE consortium is made up of over 60 members from hardware manufacturers, movie studios, technology providers, retail and more.  Apple and Disney are hold outs, but as usual, we'll wait on Apple CEO Steve Jobs to chime in on the topic in 2011.   Although Google is not listed as a member, it has a player in the game in Widevine Technologies, a company that Google agreed to acquire late last year.  DECE has actually been around a long time - making similar news back before the 2009 CES show.

At the 2011 CES DECE announced that it has completed the design of Ultraviolet, paving the way for consumers to enjoy digital entertainment across multiple platforms. A series of milestones were laid out, including roadmap for introducing UltraViolet content, services and devices to consumers beginning in mid-2011 and expansion to the UK and Canada.

"Today’s announcement that UltraViolet is ready shows that the entertainment and technology communities have made good on their promise to give the world a new, user-friendly digital standard for collecting movies and TV shows in the digital age," said Mark Teitell, general manager of DECE.

Music in the Cloud
The idea of a cloud locker, where all of your digital content is stored and then streamed to you would certainly align wth many theories about the potential for the Apple iData Center in North Carolina and a driving force behind its enormity. A little under a year ago Apple rumors started for a cloud streaming service with iTunes Live.   Mspot has been making news lately with a cloud storage service for playing your music where ever you want - PC, Mac or mobile phone.

With cloud audio, video and codec capers starting out the year, 2011 will surely be transformational in the way media is stored, delivered and consumed.

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