Major Hollywood studios and consumer electronics and IT companies formed Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) LLC, a consortium that will standardize digital content so that it will play across a wide variety of devices and platforms.
Anchored by Alcatel-Lucent, Best Buy, Cisco, Comcast, Fox Entertainment Group, HP, Intel, Lionsgate, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Philips, Sony, Toshiba, VeriSign and Warner Bros. Entertainment, DECE LLC will address consumer confusion around buying, downloading and playing digital content offered by multiple services.
"This is great news for consumers hungry for access to a wider array of digital content they can enjoy on any device they own. We formed this consortium to give consumers that kind of power and choice," said Mitch Singer, president of DECE LLC, on behalf of its members. "To open up the market for digital distribution, we are developing a specification that connects a wide variety of services and devices. DECE LLC is taking the lessons learned from the successful "buy once, play anywhere" experience that we enjoy with CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray today, and using a similar approach in developing the next generation digital media experience."
DECE-compliant services and devices will be interoperable regardless of differing brands or corporate provenance. DECE would allow an unlimited number of copies of a video to be created or burned onto a disc.
The specifications will also define how consumers can enjoy their purchased content on an assortment of devices, or even remotely. The consumer would have the option to stream content from a server-based "rights locker" that can be tapped from any location.
DECE would create open standards whereby any company that chose to create contents or services can do so to available specifications.
Over time, DECE LLC will issue a licensable specification, along with a recognizable brand and logo for compliant products and services that will assure consumers that content they download will play on their devices.
DECE plans to announce a brand name and logo, as well as a more detailed plan, at the upcoming Consumers Electronics Show in January.