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CES: UltraViolet freebies abound

The film studios behind the ‘UltraViolet’ cloud-based digital locker initiative plan to give it a boost by bundling up to ten free movies with purchases of selected Internet-connected Blu-ray Disc players and TVs – and announced that there are now over 9mn UltraViolet accounts in the US.

The promotion will begin later this year and includes five free movies with a Blu-ray player purchase and ten titles with a TV. On offer are movies from Lionsgate, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The announcement was made during the opening keynote of the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show, delivered by Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association. He was joined by the home entertainment presidents of several studios behind UltraViolet, including Ron Sanders (Warner), David Bishop (Sony Pictures), Mike Dunn (Fox), Craig Kornblau (Universal) and Steve Beeks (Lionsgate).

Participating consumer electronics manufacturers in the UltraViolet promotion include LG Electronics, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony Electronics, Toshiba and Vizio. Participating service providers include Best Buy’s CinemaNow, Flixster.com, Nook Video and Walmart’s Vudu.com.

Ron Sanders, President of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, also talked up UltraViolet’s new in-home disc-to-digital initiatives, which allow disc owners to make UltraViolet-enabled copies of their content using computers at home. Walmart (Vudu) and Best Buy (CinemaNow) currently offer disc-to-digital services. “We’re extremely optimistic about in-home disc to digital,” Sanders said. “We believe the connected benefits will lead to exponential growth.”

There are currently more than 8,500 UltraViolet-enabled titles available, and in 2013 UltraViolet is expected to expand beyond the US and UK and into Australia, France, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand.

To watch our recent video interview with Spencer Stephens, CTO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and one of the driving forces behind the UltraViolet project, please click here.

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