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UltraViolet digital films service to launch in UK

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'Final Destination 5' still
Hollywood studios Warner Bros, Sony Pictures and Fox are getting behind the UK launch of a new service that aims to revolutionise consumption of films and TV shows, while also reducing piracy.

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem's (DECE) UltraViolet (UV), which is already available in the US, enables consumers to "buy once, play anywhere", meaning they purchase a title once and can play it in on as many as 12 different devices.

The system, which is backed by 75 companies including Tesco, Samsung, Nokia, Sky and LoveFilm, works by consumers receiving a code when they buy a DVD or Blu-ray disc enabling them to download or stream a digital version.

They can also create a virtual locker of films and TV shows for access from the cloud on a wide variety of devices, including PC, Mac, Android and iOS. Up to five people can be added to each user's account.

"If consumers buy a movie or TV show they should be able to use it in any way they want," said Mark Teitell, the general manager of DECE.

"This allows consumers to buy enduring rights to a piece of content, like an internet-based version of a proof of purchase, that they can then watch pretty much anywhere they want."

Warner Bros will offer the first UV-enabled title in the UK, with the launch of Final Destination 5 on DVD, Blu-Ray & Triple Play on December 26.

In October, the studio released the first ever UV titles, Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern, in the US.

Following the release of Final Destination 5, Warner Bros intends to use UV for all its forthcoming home entertainment releases in the UK, including Happy Feet Two, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Dark Knight Rises.

Warner Bros' UK managing director television and digital distribution Chris Law said: "By making Final Destination 5 and all future WB theatrical new release titles UV enabled, we are offering consumers a simple and more compelling way to purchase, manage, access and share their movie collections digitally.

"This is just the first step, I'm confident we'll be seeing more and more compatible content and services launching in the coming months."

UltraViolet is intended to work alongside rather than compete with existing video on-demand offerings such as LoveFilm and the Tesco-owned Blinkbox.

Last week, Tesco began using BlinkBox to offer digital copies of movies when customers purchase DVDs or Blu-ray discs, starting with the final Harry Potter film.

> LoveFilm launches digital streaming-only subscription service

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