It seems like a foregone conclusion that someday in the not too distant future we'll all give up physical media in favor of digital downloads and storage. Whether you're a fan of this or not (I'm not – I like being able to hold books and look at my DVD cases on shelves, thank you) it seems inevitable. News today from Bloomberg stating that several studios and technology and cable companies are close to approving specifications for a new service that would allow customers to buy and use media across a variety of different devices seems like one step closer to the end of media as we know it.

The new service, called Ultraviolet, "would let consumers buy and access the material through smartphones, Web-connected televisions, tablet computers, PCs and game consoles." They're promising a single price for permanent access to movies and television programs across multiple platforms and devices. Of course, no one knows what that price will be ... yet.

The article mentions that 58 companies, including Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony, and NBC Universal are participating. The basic way this works is that consumers will sign up for the service through a content provider (meaning pricing structures will vary) and once done, they'll have a virtual "token" that allows them to access a storage locker containing all their digital content from any number of devices.

Notable in their absence from the list of companies participating are Disney -- who's developing their own version of similar technology -- and Apple, who have their own thing with iTunes.

There are still countless hurdles to be jumped before this product is ready for roll out, but testing is set to commence later this year. Sounds like a good idea, but I'm holding my excitement in check until we learn more about the cost. How about you?