As more and more content goes digital, people expect TV shows and movies to stream to their TVs, computers, tablets and smart phones. We want to pay for our entertainment once and then watch it anywhere, on any device.
The technology exists for such multi-device access. But digital rights across platforms is a thorny issue. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, a group of Hollywood studios and companies introduced Ultraviolet, a service to let you buy content for any device and manage the rights in the cloud. Lots of big players are on board, including Microsoft, Sony and Warner Brothers.
Unfortunately, Apple isn't one of them. They're going with Keystone, which is Disney's version of a cloud-based digital rights locker. It’s all way more complex than the old VHS versus Betamax war. And it’s sure to be a big issue at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in about a month.
In the meantime, as the holidays approach, I have to figure out how to gift-wrap a streaming version of the latest Harry Potter movie.