Hollywood and Electronics Industry Must Build Digital Bridge

As movies are released in higher-definition formats that require more data to play on various devices, the film and CE industries must build a “digital bridge.” So said Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment President Mike Dunn at a keynote Monday at the CEA Industry Forum in Century City. The new 4K Ultra HD format has sharper imagery and sound, but is not yet cost-effective. New Blu-ray players are being developed to address that, while cloud storage will also play a role.

The devices are being developed with larger hard drives — at least 1 terabyte — to gain interest in home video releases and will begin emerging in 2015. Dunn made the push for larger hard drives rather than the cloud storage so many others pushed, saying this will be “the obvious choice.”

Dunn says consumers should be able to copy their physical discs and “store them in a digital library in one location — a device in the living room where most entertainment is consumed,” according to Variety.

But the cloud will also play a role in engaging consumers in new content and interactive experiences, and newer devices will include wireless Internet connectivity so content can be moved from one device to another. Dunn calls the progression “a pathway for new connections between consumers and their content,” allowing it to be more accessible.

More than 101 million households in the U.S. have DVD or Blu-ray players, which Variety says is why Dunn believes the devices are “some of the most important pieces of real estate for content.” Because streaming large files is less cost-effective than HD video streaming on Netflix, for example, Dunn says this is the logical next step.

In the same keynote, Dunn introduced the Fox Innovation Lab, an in-house “digital petri dish of sorts” created to study the roles of digital media and how to evolve the industry in line with technological advances. As the studio strives to stay ahead of emerging trends, they’ll use the lab to come up with new ideas and approaches to technology.