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Ultraviolet ‘not there yet’ says Sky Movies boss

Ultraviolet 1Ultraviolet is “not quite there yet,” suffering from lack of agreement between the Hollywood studios and a difficult-to-explain proposition for consumers, according to Sky Movies boss Ian Lewis.

Speaking at the PEVE Entertainment conference in London this morning, Lewis, who is director of Sky Movies and Sky Box office for the UK satellite TV provider, said that though the UltraViolet initiative was of interest to Sky it was not yet a market-ready proposition.

“I think it’s great that the industry is trying to find a single format that we can engage the whole population on and make it really simple for them, but now I’m not sure that even all the Hollywood studios are lined up on exactly what they think Ultraviolet is,” said Lewis. “I know from the discussions that I’ve had with my chief executive, it takes me about four or five minutes to explain it to him, and frankly if it takes me four or five minutes to explain to my CEO, it’s not ready to take to the market yet and explain to customers – because you generally have four and a half minutes less than that five minutes,” he added.

The comments followed a keynote talk when Lewis was asked about his views on Ultraviolet – a project backed by a powerful consortium of Hollywood studios, content providers, retailers and technology firms.

UV is designed to give users a flexible way to access purchased content from across different devices, and revolves around a ‘cloud locker’. Lewis said that though Sky was interested in seeing how the locker idea develops, it has nothing to announce in relation to its involvement in the scheme.

“I think when you actually try and explain to customers today what Ultraviolet is, it’s quite complicated and not every film that they will buy is available through that route. There is certainly going to be a fear amongst many customers that they don’t know if it will work here or there, they don’t know if this film will be compatible with that film. I think it just needs to be simpler and it needs to be much more customer-focused.”

Elsewhere, during his talk, Lewis highlighted Sky initiatives such as Sky Go and Now TV as examples of how the company is adapting to changing consumer viewing habits and moving away from the traditional analogue age.