The New York Times is reporting that one of the holy grails of digital media, the ability to buy a piece of content like a movie once and watch it on all your devices, from iPhone to iPod to Apple TV to Xbox 360 to PS3 to PC might actually be coming our way via the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE). Currently 5 major studios including Warners, NBC Universal, Sony, Paramount, and Fox (but not Disney) are working on DECE with Microsoft, Cisco, Comcast, Intel and Best Buy, and are set to add Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, Netflix, Tesco, Cox Communications, Liberty Global and others (but not Apple) to the list.
Under the proposed system, proof of digital purchases would be stored online in a so-called rights locker, and consumers would be permitted to play the movies they bought or rented on any DECE-compatible device.
So, for example, business travelers might find that their hotel room television could tap into their personal movie collections. Consumers could buy Blu-ray discs and have digital copies of those films accessible from all of their devices, even their mobile phones. And a PC maker could customize a new laptop for buyers by loading it with all their movies and shows — and eventually even their video games and e-books.
So what's with Disney and Apple, who coincidentally share Steve Jobs on their Boards of Directors?
Disney is still a holdout. It is advocating a similar plan called KeyChest, which analysts say it may introduce working with Apple. A Disney spokesman said the company would give an early look at its rival technology at C.E.S.
"Buy once play anywhere" should have been the deal all along. So, whoever gives it to us -- give it to us!