Your Compatible Digital Entertainment Collection: Are We Close?

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The most needed advance in personal entertainment: an accessible digital collection.

Film studios are losing money – and lots of it – to illegal downloads or services like Netflix or, and today The New York Times reported that Hollywood has teamed up with tech companies to create a seamless digital entertainment compatibility standard. This would make the act of owning and playing a physical DVD equal to owning or playing a digital movie file, minus the shelf space.

Calling themselves the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (not exactly The X-Men, but we’ll put our faith in them nonetheless), the group includes five major Hollywood Studios (Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, Sony, Paramount and FOX – note Disney’s absence) and five major tech companies (Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Intel and Best Buy).

If they don’t drag their feet, your movie collection would be accessible from any device connected to the system or Web. This means no more iTunes exclusive episodes of LOST. (Everyone everywhere wonders why this hasn’t already happened.) Turns out, an announcement was expected a year ago, but is planned for later today – and conveniently close to CES. Hmm.

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The truth is that in order to lure buyers into purchasing pricey Web-to-TV gadgets – many premiering in Las Vegas this week – they’ll need reassuring that the media they’re buying will work on any (or even just most) devices. It’s so necessary; it’s not even that impressive.

But what we really can’t wait for: the digitalized entertainment collections of the future. Film, music, video games and even E-books accessible from anywhere and compatible with any device, all in one efficient entertainment library. I think I just got chills.

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