Meanwhile the tech world is gaga over wireless and the Web, distribution channels poorly suited to premium video, Setos added. “Wireless is too expensive to handle large objects like movies and TV shows well [and] TCP/IP is not well suited to truly popular audio-visual content, either,” Setos said.
The trouble for Hollywood is that consumers seem content to stream movies and TV shows. They don’t want to shell out the money to buy them.
There’s some hope that could change. Kaleidescape (Sunnyvale, Calif.), for example, could use the cool user interface for its media server to make it fun to have a digital movie library, said Hunt. Studios and online retailers could hammer out deals to create disk-to-digital services that help consumers kickstart their collections, he added.
But there’s heavy lifting here solving the old digital rights issues. The Ultraviolet initiative of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem is plugging away at the problems, and there are plenty of them.
Studios need to start publishing movies in the Common File Format to enable digital-rights transactions under the Ultraviolet approach. TV makers and apps developers need to create UV players. And everybody needs to do a whole lot of interoperability testing.
“In 2013 we will see how aggressive studios get to launch movie ownership again,” said Hunt who works with the folks at Ultraviolet.
I’m not holding my breath. Digital Hollywood continues to be a fascinating place, but not one that I hold any great expectations for in the near term.