Disney to Launch New Digital Copy Plus Website Next Week

Walt Disney Studios is planning to launch a new website on June 11 designed to simplify the process of accessing digital versions of movies purchased on Blu-ray Disc or DVD. The Disney Digital Copy Plus website intends to streamline digital delivery for consumers by eliminating the cumbersome “digital copy” process. The site will debut on the same day that the studio’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” is released on disc. Continue reading Disney to Launch New Digital Copy Plus Website Next Week

Kaleidescape Launches Download Store for HD Movies

Home entertainment server maker Kaleidescape opened its own download store for HD movies this week. This new system lets users download “Blu-ray quality” versions of movies that can then be played through Kaleidescape or on the Web and through mobile devices via UltraViolet. However, there is a concern regarding the amount of data each download will consume, as each movie can average around 50GB. Continue reading Kaleidescape Launches Download Store for HD Movies

New Titles and EST Boost Home Entertainment Spending

Consumers spent approximately $4.69 billion on home entertainment purchases and rentals during Q1 2013, according to the Digital Entertainment Group. Spending rose more than five percent over the same period in 2012, due to a new slate of titles and growth of electronic sell-through (largely a result of increased access to digital content). Some credit the success of UltraViolet, which may be loosening Apple’s grip on the EST market. Continue reading New Titles and EST Boost Home Entertainment Spending

DECE GM Answers Questions About Future of UltraViolet

Mark Teitell, GM of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, spoke recently during a Home Media Magazine UltraViolet presentation. Teitell says we should expect a marketing push this year and suggests there will be increased transparency involving the number of titles within the 12 million-plus UltraViolet accounts. During a Q&A session, he also addressed the status of UltraViolet’s Common File Format and in-home disc-to-digital efforts. Continue reading DECE GM Answers Questions About Future of UltraViolet

Digital Future: Tsujihara Named Chief Exec of Warner Bros.

Time Warner Inc. has selected Kevin Tsujihara as the new chief executive of Warner Bros. Entertainment. As president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group since 2005, Tsujihara has been responsible for the studio’s home video, digital distribution, video game and anti-piracy efforts. The selection was made by Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and Barry Meyer, chairman of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Continue reading Digital Future: Tsujihara Named Chief Exec of Warner Bros.

M-GO Launches Beta of Streaming Service for Multiple Devices

M-GO promises to be the “people friendliest” rent/buy movie service the Internet has to offer. It’s backed by Technicolor and DreamWorks Animation and is ready to stream movies through browsers and to connected devices preloaded with its apps. And it really is friendly: “M-GO promises that if you’re looking for a movie it doesn’t offer, it will search other stores to find it for you,” writes Engadget. Continue reading M-GO Launches Beta of Streaming Service for Multiple Devices

CES 2013: RCA Wins One for the Nipper with Mobile TV Tab

The debut of the RCA Mobile TV Tablet made CES attendees sit up and take notice. Sporting an 8-inch HD (1024 × 768) screen, the device combines mobile DTV with over-the-air TV reception and doubles as a touch-based Android tablet. Equipped with dual cameras, Wi-Fi and GPS functionality, it is also being touted as the first dual-tuner mobile TV as well as the first integrated unit to feature the Mobile Content Venture consortium’s Dyle mobile TV service. Continue reading CES 2013: RCA Wins One for the Nipper with Mobile TV Tab

CES 2013: UltraViolet Supporters Choose Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby revealed that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will encode movies and TV programs in the UltraViolet Common File Format using Dolby Digital Plus. According to Dolby, in addition to new UltraViolet releases, there are also plans to go back to offer Dolby Digital Plus with certain UltraViolet titles that have already been made available. Continue reading CES 2013: UltraViolet Supporters Choose Dolby Digital Plus

CES 2013: DECE Counts 9 Million UltraViolet Account Holders

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem’s UltraViolet launched in October 2011 and at the 2013 International CES, attendees can expect to hear news and updates from consortium members about the rollout, support and its Common File Format. A booth located in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center will offer live demonstrations and an opportunity for CES attendees to register for UltraViolet accounts. Continue reading CES 2013: DECE Counts 9 Million UltraViolet Account Holders

CES 2013: Entertainment Trends Drive New Technologies

With entertainment spending growing to $18.7 billion according to IHS Screen Digest, the entertainment industry is reaping the rewards of offering consumers more choice and options in how they consume content. TV Everywhere’s multi-channel, multi-device approach is finally complementing rather than cannibalizing. The year saw strong growth in Blu-ray discs. UltraViolet’s 7 million households and 8,500 titles now position the format to grow significantly in 2013. Video streaming or SVOD tripled in the first three quarters of the year to an estimated $1.7 billion. And studios continue to experiment with their windowing strategies for electronic sell-through. In this environment, the CE industry continues to respond and innovate. Continue reading CES 2013: Entertainment Trends Drive New Technologies

Home Entertainment: Distribution Models Finally Working Together

In the home entertainment space, consumer spending on software rose for the first time since beginning a steady decline in 2006. The Digital Entertainment Group reports that at the end of the third quarter 2012 consumer spending on home entertainment as a whole — including disc, rental and digital distribution — was up by about 1 percent. IHS Screen Digest predicts that spending will total $18.7 billion, 5 percent higher than last year. Continue reading Home Entertainment: Distribution Models Finally Working Together

Warner Bros. Flixster App adds iPad and iPhone to UltraViolet Offerings

  • The new “Harry Potter” Blu-ray disc will include an UltraViolet download from Flixster, now that Warner Bros. has added a new feature to the UV service.
  • “Today, the updated Flixster app enables users to not only stream movies available on UltraViolet, but also download them to iPads and iPhones, a feature that was missing from Warner’s initial movie releases on UltraViolet,” reports CNET.
  • When fans purchase the three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” they’ll also have access to a copy they can maintain in the Flixster cloud.
  • Warner Bros. became the first studio to adopt UltraViolet, with its release of “Horrible Bosses” last month. “Warner boasts 21 percent of the DVD market, the largest share of any of the major studios,” indicates the article.

Miramax CEO Believes Hollywood Needs Effective Strategy for UltraViolet

  • According to Miramax CEO Mike Lang, the future of the home entertainment industry and movie production rests in cloud-based digital locker UltraViolet.
  • Warner Home Video and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are among the studios rolling out sellthrough titles this fall, which are capable of being stored on UltraViolet and then played on various compatible devices.
  • “As an industry, we really have to believe it,” Lang said in a Q&A session at MIPCOM in Cannes. “We really don’t have choice. If the home entertainment business as we know today, in terms of the transaction business, goes away, that’s not good for anyone in this room.”
  • “Lang said failure to reinvigorate the sellthrough model could adversely affect studios’ ability to finance movies going forward,” explains The Hollywood Reporter. “Sales of DVD/Blu-ray Disc/electronic sellthrough movies have historically affected whether a title was profitable or not.”
  • Lang suggests the digital transaction model has not always been clear to consumers, especially in terms of compatibility with all the available devices and different ecosystems. He points out that Netflix has been so successful due to its ease of streaming on multiple devices such as Blu-ray players and game consoles.
  • The Miramax exec believes the studios need to partner with tech companies and retailers moving forward to develop a cohesive strategy. “I don’t know how many people use photo sharing software, but that is 90 percent cloud-based,” he said. “Ninety-five percent of the software industry in the world is now through cloud-based transactions. I’m hopeful that the movie business gets there.”

UltraViolet Announces Global Roll-Out: Studios Get Ready for the Cloud

  • UltraViolet (UV), the digital locker system that allows viewing of content across multiple devices, will roll out on October 11th in the U.S. with an expanded global rollout expected in the months to follow.
  • “All of the major studios are supporting the new cloud-based product, although Disney is not one of the more than 70 official members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, which oversees UV,” reports Variety.
  • Warner Bros. exec Justin Herz said this week that his studio will provide half of its movie and TV catalog available on UltraViolet by the end of 2012. The first UV release, Warners’ “Horrible Bosses,” will reportedly be released Tuesday, to be followed by the availability of “Green Lantern.”
  • Fox suggested that “a significant” amount of its content would soon be UV-enabled, while Sony plans to launch with “The Smurfs” and “Friends With Benefits.”
  • “Studios that have signed up for UV hope the new technology will re-ignite the home entertainment market and boost revenues following the collapse of DVD sales and the failure of Blu-ray to generate excitement among consumers,” adds Variety. “UV-enabled discs allow buyers to watch the same content on 12 different devices with an Internet connection, including connected TVs, laptops, tablets or mobiles, once they open a streaming account.”

Movie Studios Turn to the Internet: Are We Ready to Bid Farewell to the DVD?

  • Hollywood studios are responding to the 40 percent drop in home entertainment sales by recognizing that the future may heavily rely upon ramping up Internet delivery businesses.
  • According to the Los Angeles Times: “Across Hollywood, a quiet revolution is brewing that’s about to transform living rooms around the world… In the next few years, the growing number of consumers with Internet-connected televisions, tablets and smartphones will face a dizzying array of options designed to make digital movie consumption a lot more convenient and to entice users to spend more money.”
  • “It’s now critical that we experiment as much as possible and determine how to build a vibrant market for collecting digital movies,” says David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment division.
  • Studios may be eager to change, but have yet to determine how it can be effectively accomplished with a uniform approach. As a result, the immediate future will most likely see an expanded but confusing selection of options for consumers.
  • The article looks at some of these potential options including premium VOD, cloud computing, UltraViolet’s “virtual locker,” new offerings from Apple’s iTunes and sharing movies via Facebook.