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Tesco exec brands UltraViolet 'too complicated' for Brits

Digital movie locker? They won't get that

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Tesco's entertainment products chief has branded UltraViolet, Hollywood's would-be standard for digital movies, "too complicated" for British film fans.

The comment was made by Tesco's Category Director of Entertainment, Rob Salter, during a debate at the Future of Entertainment Summit in London, Advanced Television reports. Salter doesn't appear to have elaborated on his claim.

UltraViolet provides a cross-publisher system for selling, protecting and storing digital video. It's also tied to physical media. Buy a Blu-ray Disc, goes the theory, and you'll get a downloadable copy assigned to your UV account.

Family members can share a UV account, allowing them all to download and stream purchases made by individuals.

Streaming is available over the web, so the service can be accessed by any device with a browser and enough horsepower to play standard definition video.

How all this is "too complicated" for Britons isn't clear. It can't be the notion of gaining a downloadable copy when you buy a disc, because Tesco already offers such a service to Clubcard loyalty card owners. Content bought from Tesco on disc can also be accessed through Blinkbox, the grocer's online media subsidiary.

Well some of that content. Tesco and Blinkbox lack the rights to give most movies away to disc buyers.

And perhaps that's the problem, from Tesco's perspective: until a sufficiently large volume of movies and TV series on disc automatically come with a download, punters won't be able to take advantage of the system.

Oh, and it's highly likely Tesco isn't keen on folk buying a disc from, say, Amazon and getting a free download from Blinkbox, though that's a scenario UV - which is backed by Tesco - was designed to make possible.

Providing easy access to downloads for already owned content is a key part of UV's strategy to pull people away from Torrent sites. Hopefully, Tesco isn't making the (incorrect) assumption that having the UK's major ISPs block The Pirate Bay will kill Torrenting in Britain, rendering UV unnecessary. ®

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