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DECE Picks Solekai To Develop UltraViolet Compliance Tests

Digital-video engineering services firm Solekai Systems is developing a suite of verification tests for device manufacturers to ensure conformance to the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem's UltraViolet specification for multi-provider video services.

The first products for UltraViolet -- a cross-industry effort to let consumers access purchased content from a digital "locker" using multiple devices -- are expected to make their debut at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas.

In July, DECE officially launched its licensing program after Neustar Media completed the final version of the network-based digital rights management system for UltraViolet.

San Diego-based Solekai is working with DECE to design and develop certain parts of the UltraViolet technology infrastructure including a set of Common File Format (CFF) generation and verification tools. The UltraViolet CFF file format is designed to be used for downloads and streaming, allowing consumers to share content files directly among multiple brands of registered apps and devices, even if they run different UltraViolet-compliant digital rights management (DRM) systems.

"We wanted to be in there as an expert on the DECE specifications," Solekai president and founder Martin Caniff said.

The UltraViolet certification tests will be available to licensees to self-administer on their own products, while DECE will have the right to audit results independently. Separately, Solekai expects to offer consumer-electronics manufacturers consulting on UltraViolet testing and compliance.

Among DECE's more than 70 members are such cable-industry players as Comcast, Cox Communications and CableLabs, as well as five of the six major Hollywood studios -- Fox Entertainment Group, Warner Bros. Entertainment, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Others DECE members include Motorola, Cisco Systems, SeaChange International, Netflix, Blockbuster (now owned by Dish Network), Best Buy, IBM, Microsoft, Panasonic, Toshiba and Wal-Mart's Vudu. Two notable players not participating in the initiative are Apple and the Walt Disney Co.

"Interest in UltraViolet has been robust, and we are pleased to be working with Solekai's experts to define and develop critical components of the UltraViolet compliance program, to help ensure that Ultraviolet products and services will provide the highest levels of consumer experience," DECE general manager Mark Teitell said in a statement.

Caniff said Solekai is "running at high speed right now," with the first set of compliance tests due to DECE in November. Those include an emulator for testing UltraViolet authentication as well as a test for accessing the MPEG content within the UltraViolet file wrapper.