Sony’s ’Smurfs,’ ’Friends’ to be UltraViolet-ready

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony Corp.’s movie studio said Tuesday that “The Smurfs” and “Friends With Benefits” will be the first movies it releases on home video that will be compatible with the UltraViolet view-anywhere system.

The movies will arrive in stores Dec. 2. The high-definition Blu-ray versions will be UltraViolet compatible.

Under the UltraViolet system, home movie purchases are recorded on an online account. Users will then be able to access those movies on other computers, Web-connected TVs, tablet computers and smartphones.

Studios hope the system will encourage purchase of digital copies of movies because it removes the hassle of transferring copies between devices or maintaining a library of discs. They are trying to offset the steady decline of DVD sales.

UltraViolet is backed by major studios including Sony, Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., Comcast Corp.’s Universal, Viacom Inc.’s Paramount, and News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox.

The Walt Disney Co. has been developing a similar system which it calls KeyChest and is not participating in the UltraViolet system.

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