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SMPTE Examines Digital Media EcoSystem

August 25, 2010

SMPTE’s Pre-Conference Seminar examining Digital Media Ecosystem Essentials began this morning, at Hollywood and Highland’s Grand Ballroom.

Mukul Krishna, global director, digital media practice at Frost & Sullivan, kicked off the program with an overview of the multi-platform world, pointing to the business and economic impact.

He suggested that the value prop includes the cost reductions involved in moving from a physical to digital archive; workflow optimization opportunities from content discovery to interoperability; and the new opportunities to generate revenue that are afforded by repurposing resources.

He suggested that as a general rule of thumb, one could assume that DAM could save one hour per day, per power user.

Mitch Singer, president of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), next offered an overview of DECE’s developing UltraViolet, a cloud based digital rights management system to create an online virtual library for each user.

DECE is a consortium of more than 60 companies including major Hollywood studios, consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers formed to develop a set of standards for the digital distribution of Hollywood content.

On the strategy, Singer suggested “digital distribution is broken.” He added that it offers a “lousy” consumer value proposition due to the fragmented market, there is current a stalled marketplace; and it represents a poor investment.

He addressed aspects of UltraViolet, including:

File Format: UltraViolet would allow a consumer registered device to be interoperable with the common file format (MP4/PIFF, H. 264 and AES).

Blu-Ray: “The goal with Ultraviolet is not to replace BRD,” he said. “This was meant to compliment physical media.”

Legacy Devices: He noted that today, a lot of players are software based, therefore the user would be able to download an Ultraviolet media player, allowing the content to reach legacy devices.

Legacy Libraries: “We are looking at ways (consumers) might be able to ingest older titles, but the studios have to support it in the common file format. That will happen over time. It is going to be a process.”

During Q&A, one audience member asked how UltraViolet would work with Apple.

“Apple is already adding third-party services; it is starting to open up. I think you can expect to see an UltraViolet app on the Apple platform,” Singer responded, though he acknowledged that “iTunes is a little trickier.”

“The market is in the early stages of growth,” he summed up.


Erminia Fiorino

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