The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) is a cross-industry initiative developing the next generation digital media experience based on open, licensable specifications. DECE members include network hardware manufacturers such as Cisco, computer, television and mobile device manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung and HP, content producers such as Fox and Warner Brothers, audio and visual encoding companies such as Dolby and DivX, cable companies and content distributors such as Comcast and Netflix, and big box retailers such as Best Buy. These companies have joined together to develop and operate UltraViolet, which enables consumers to purchase digital video content from a choice of online retailers and play it on a variety of devices and platforms made by different manufacturers.
UltraViolet is a free, cloud-based digital rights library that allows users of digital home entertainment content to stream and download licensed content to multiple platforms and devices. An UltraViolet account is a Digital Rights Locker where licenses for purchased content are stored and managed regardless of point of sale. The UltraViolet digital locker does not store video files and is not a cloud storage platform. Rather, UltraViolet coordinates and manages the licenses for each account but not the content itself. In this way, UltraViolet bypasses the cost of storage and bandwidth used when the media is accessed and insulates itself from future technological advances, allowing users to continue watching content they have purchased even when the players become outdated.
UltraViolet content is available from many existing movie-streaming services using their existing streaming and DRM technologies. Some services offer downloads that can be saved on notebook PC’s, tablets, gaming consoles, or phones for offline viewing. Content can also be streamed over the Internet to an unlimited number of devices, depending on the content license rights held by the streaming provider.
With the UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF), downloaded files can be copied between devices, stored on physical media such as DVDs or flash memory and can then be played on any UltraViolet device of software player registered to the household account. The Common File Format uses the Common Encryption (CENC) system. This ensures that a consistent set of codecs, media formats, DRMs, subtitling, and metadata such as closed captioning, are used across the whole UltraViolet ecosystem. The CFF uses the .uvu file extension and is based on existing standards from MPEG and SMPTE, and others and was originally derived from the Microsoft Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) specification. The goal was to avoid the problem of different file formats for different players and to make it possible to copy files from player to player, allowing for convenient file sharing for uses such as editing, archiving and transcription.