UltraViolet, the cloud-based platform that lets you watch purchased or redeemed digital movies from anywhere, remains a novel concept that's struggling in some key areas. One of those is downloading. Streaming UV movies is a largely straightforward process that works well enough on a range of smartphones, tablets, and PCs. But when it comes to storing videos for viewing offline later on, the situation is far more clunky. There's currently no way to transfer UltraViolet files between a laptop and smartphone, for instance; you need to download the same movie twice, once from each location.
Thankfully UltraViolet's backers realize this isn't ideal, and a solution — the UltraViolet Common File Format — has long been in development and promises to eliminate that inconvenience factor. You'll be able to download a movie once and watch it across all of your personal devices. Before CFF can find its way to consumers though, movie studios need to make decisions on what codecs they'll be utilizing for these high quality files. Early this year, Universal, Sony, and Warner Bros. Pictures announced they'd be going with Dolby Digital Plus for the audio side of things. And today it's been revealed that Paramount Pictures has chosen DTS-HD as its preferred surround sound format. The disparity shouldn't pose much of an issue to viewers; UV-compatible apps and hardware will have little choice but to support both, and each is more than capable of providing an immersive audio experience. The UltraViolet Common File Format is expected to launch in the second half of this year.