New Standard to Enable Seamless Transfer of Protected HD Movies Across Different Devices

Project Phenix to Help Overcome Limitations of Copyright Protection Technologies

by Anton Shilov
02/28/2012 | 07:56 PM

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, SanDisk and Western Digital have revealed project "Phenix, an initiative that will give consumers an easier and faster way to organize, store and move their high definition digital movies and TV shows across multiple devices. In addition to local storage, the content will also be backed up via the UltraViolet industry standard as well as other cloud-based services.


The project is being developed by the newly formed Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA), which will create and license solutions that secure high definition and other premium copyright-protected content on local and portable hard drives, flash memory products such as USB flash drives, SD cards and solid state disk drives (SSDs). Once content is downloaded to a hard drive or NAND flash storage device, it could then be accessed, online or offline, on any SCSA-enabled device such as a connected TV, laptop, Blu-ray player, tablet, mobile phone or game console. The optimized content will be made easily available for purchase via digital download, digital files bundled with physical media, kiosks in retail stores, or other means of secure digital delivery.

"Through the SCSA, we will accelerate the development of products that will make it easy for the consumer to download, store and playback their high definition digital movies and TV shows, in full 1080p, on any SCSA-optimized device at home and on the go," said Darcy Antonellis, president of Warner Bros. technical operations.

The SCSA's solutions will be designed to work with the UltraViolet (UV) ecosystem and aimed to complement other next-generation high definition content protection technologies already in the market such as Intel Insider. The SCSA expects to make its solutions widely available for license this year.

"The SCSA will provide consumers with a digital solution for movies and TV shows that is as simple to use as DVD and Blu-ray discs. The SCSA solution will allow the consumer to store high definition purchased content, including copies of certain DVD content, in a secure, consumer-owned digital home library on a hard drive, along with their personal photos, music, and videos. Digital library content can be easily viewed inside the home on a TV, PC or tablet, or when owners are on the move with a portable library copy, providing mobile viewing even when a reliable Internet connection is not available, such as a plane, car, train or remote location," said Bert Hesselink, chief technology officer of Western Digital branded products.

Although the project Phenix designed by SCSA is better than nothing when it comes to storing and moving legal content acquired via the Internet across devices, it will require newly purchased hardware, newly purchased software and potentially new purchases of content. Naturally, the Phenix will not provide compatibility with any hardware and software like the content available for free over the web does and will provide worse cross-platform user experience than is already provided by video streaming/renting/purchasing services like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and others (unless companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix and others agree to be compatible with SCSA standard).