Dixons: UltraViolet isn't going to disappear

Dixons: UltraViolet isn't going to disappear
Here to stay

The retail industry is completely behind UltraViolet, with retail group Dixons backing it for the long haul.

This is according to Gary Hearns, senior category manager of video at Dixons, who believes the digital locker service will be the mainstay digital service of the future.

Dixons is no stranger to the idea of digital movies. It announced its own service Knowhow in February and the retailer believes that adding UltraViolet into the mix will not only be beneficial for customers, it will help with the digital transition.

"UltraViolet is backed by the entire ecosystem – this thing is not going to disappear in 12-18 months, this is permanent," explained Hearns speaking at the PEVE conference in London, with TechRadar in attendance.

When asked about the other options for digital, Hearns was adamant that UV was the way to go for consumers who want physical copies and also take their first steps into digital.

Digital migration

"UltraViolet is the only way we see customers migrating from disc to digital. "Everything from the DRM to working on different devices, UltraViolet removes that work for people like us and all these things will help people migrate from the physical to the digital world."


"UltraViolet is backed by the entire ecosystem – this thing is not going to disappear in 12-18 months, this is permanent."

Although Dixons is embracing UltraViolet, there's still no word on when it will reveal its service in the UK, with Hearns merely explaining: "We announced in February that we would launch an UltraViolet retail service, and that is on track."

When it arrives, Dixons' customers that buy discs or devices from the store will automatically get a digital download and the ability to stream the movie within Knowhow.

Sainsbury's was also asked about UltraViolet and, although it revealed that it backed the service, it was a little more reticent.

Technical elements

"There are a few technical elements of UltraViolet that are coming together and there are educational problems," said Mark Bennett, head of home entertainment at Sainsbury's.

"But from our perspective we said we are launching an on-demand service and we want UltraViolet to be at the heart of it but we need some of these things to come together."

What both retailers did agree with was that even though both retailers would offer UltraViolet services through their stores, they would be focused on offering their own incentives and not promoting what the other would be doing.

"The interoperability between retailers is ambitious for UV and we will see how this works," said Bennett.

"We won't be going out with this sort of message, but we will be going out with our own selling points for the service."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.