Project Phenix: Blu-ray quality films on smartphones/tablets?

With internet speeds not making the lightning fast advances that everyone hoped for Warner Bros, Twentieth Century Fox believe they have the solution

Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros, SanDisk and Western Digital have joined forces to come up with a solution to what they believe is the current 'problem' that surrounds movies in the home.

Spearheading this vision is their latest initiative, Project Phenix. Essentially grounded within physical media the project, which has the support of SanDisk and Western Digital, will use hard drives, physical memory to let you keep DRM content safely, and physically and then easily port it to any number of devices without any extra fee.

 

Twentieth Century Fox's Executive Vice President of Global Research & Technology Danny Kaye explains:

"Think of it as a sophisticated media server in your home, by the way it’s all going to be new technology driven so that automatically this machine can read any of the content that’s in your house, whether it’s photos music books or video."

"It could be flash it could be a portable hard drive it could be flash that’s in a smartphone, if I could get a Blu-ray quality file to my smartphone in one minute by going to a retail kiosk, why would I wait how many hours or days it would take to do it at home."

Of course to find a solution one first has to understand the problem, and according to Kaye it's centered around the consumers acceptance of what is, while convenient, an often inferior experience to that of Blu-ray.

"What digital has done in many ways, particularly because of the economy, is get people to settle for less quality, we don’t want that. We know the consumer doesn’t want that, because they tell us, the growth of Blu-ray is the best example of that."

For Danny Kaye and Twentieth Century Fox the big question then is coming up with a way of placing Blu-ray quality on any device you want without relying on the internet. Surprisingly it's a vision which Kaye believes is actually just around the corner.

"Ultimately you’re going to be able to buy content from your favourite retailer, you’re going to be able to stream that content, download that content, share it with up to five other people, you’ll be able to put it on up to as many as 12 different devices no matter who you bought it from you’ll be able to play it on anybody’s player."

Of course Kaye is keen not to dismiss the importance of UltraViolet, the internet focused equivalent which allows you to download and stream films approved by the studios.

"Warner bros and Fox are equally very supportive of UltraViolet in our own ways but the notion is we want to build a digital eco system going forward, and these are just two components of that."

With Project Phenix well underway the next stage will be waiting to see how many other studios join in, considered a 'complimentary' service to UltraViolet the aim is to finally offer the best of both worlds for us, the consumer.

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