When Mark and I were at CES we got the inside scoop on Intel Insider, the new hardware DRM solution. They say it's not DRM, but really, there's no other way to describe it and they haven't really offered one up. Basically, if you have a Second Generation Intel Core processor, it's got something built in that Intel can track so streaming 1080p video is more secure and with a better viewing experience. Intel Insider is a hardware-based protection technology that was designed to enhance security features in 2nd generation Intel Core processors.
Cinema Now & Ultraviolet Bring 1080p Films To Your Home
Well that has now come to fruition as both Cinema Now, from Best Buy, and the WBShop have begun 1080p HD streaming to customers who have got Intel Insider. Best Buy stated that they now have full HD versions of 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. films ready to stream through their online service.
Previously, much of the 1080p HD content had not been available on the PC due in part to content owner concerns about security. With Intel Insider it seems that Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox have had their fears addressed.
Ultraviolet has also launched finally, again, with limited content now. However, the digital rights locker requires you to purchase content elsewhere and it merely gives you access to it in streaming form. Also, you have to buy a physical disc apparently and can only stream content to 12 devices even though you can have multiple people on the account.
There are only a few confirmed UV titles including Horrible Bosses, Green Lantern and the TV seres One Tree Hill. There are 70 companies involved in it (Disney is yet absent).
Yet while Ultraviolet might have a bright future, its present state is still clouded in lack of information. No word on what quality video will be streamed in, no word on pricing of add-on options like being able to make a single physical copy of a digital purchase, how much digital only purchases will cost or if a download version of a film will have a surcharge. So far all they have said is that the account is free, you can play on any device, have up to 3 simultaneous streams per account and that more is coming soon.
Ultraviolet does offer some interesting possibilities, but it seems that they aren't quite sure what those possibilities are just yet. However, if you're buying a Blu-Ray copy of a film and it comes with a UV version, it would be in their best interest to make that copy as high quality as possible, especially if prices of retail discs are going to increase which the rumor mill has been churning on. The quality of their streams needs to reach 1080p HD or there's little value there since we have other options already available. I have reached out to them to get further technical details on the shadowy organization and service in hopes of shining some sunlight onto Ultraviolet.
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