Walmart Bows Vudu-Based Disc-to-Digital Program - Complements UltraViolet - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:20 PM
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Default Walmart Bows Vudu-Based Disc-to-Digital Program - Complements UltraViolet

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Walmart Bows Vudu-Based Disc-to-Digital Program

13 Mar, 2012
By: Chris Tribbey, Erik Gruenwedel

http://www.homemediamagazine.com/fil...inal0.WEB0.jpg
Studio executives flank Walmart EVP John Aden (third left).

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — In a move intended to both prolong the life of physical disc and capitalize on the shift to digital content, Walmart and five major studios unveiled a major retail initiative March 13, one that allows consumers to take their existing DVD and Blu-ray Disc library and transfer them into digital files stored in a cloud-based Internet storage system accessible through compatible consumer electronics devices.

The move complements Hollywood's UltraViolet initiative, which allows buyers of new Blu-ray Discs to send a copy into a cloud-based digital locker that they can then retrieve at any time for viewing on any device, from a TV to a smartphone. The Walmart move extends that capability to movies the consumer already owns.

Starting April 16 consumers will be able to bring the physical discs they already own into more than 3,500 Walmart stores and pay $2 to have digital copy assigned to them. DVDs can be uploaded to high-definition files for $5 per title. A $2 Blu-ray digital transfer will be in 1080p.

Seong Ohm, SVP and GM for Walmart Entertainment, said “a lot” of research showed the price point was the “sweet spot” for consumers, adding some people were willing to pay more.

All digital files uploaded through Walmart will be accessed through the chain’s Vudu transactional video-on-demand and electronic sellthrough website, Vudu.com. All content uploaded to Vudu, in addition to files purchased separately, also will be available on the industrywide cloud-based storage platform, UltraViolet.

UltraViolet, which has more than 1 million users since its soft launch in October, allows consumers to access a digitally stored copy of their purchased content available on most any device.

Chris Nagelson, VP of entertainment merchandising for Walmart, said discs that undergo the digital conversion will be stamped in the middle of the disc to prevent copies from being converted twice. Employees will verify the disc with a barcode, and if the film is available via UltraViolet, will make a version available on the consumers’ UltraViolet account. If the disc in question is not available for UltraViolet, consumers can have an email sent to them, notifying them when it is.

Nagelson said “thousands and thousands” of titles will be available at launch, including many new releases from the participating studios: Warner Home Entertainment Group, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Consumers must sign up for a Vudu account to do conversions, though Walmart employees will do it for them on site, requiring only a phone number and an email address. Consumers will then receive a Vudu membership card.

Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video, said the initiative will bridge the technical gap between consumers’ “passion for film and their content and passion for their devices.”

“We think it’s a game changer,” he said. "This is a huge first step ... in the evolution of the [home entertainment] ecosystem.”

He called the consumer awareness campaign behind the initiative “on the scale of a blockbuster film launch.”

John Aden, EVP for general merchandising at Walmart, said the service would remain an in-store endeavor at Walmart photo centers, without an online option for digital conversion, for the foreseeable future.

“Walmart Entertainment’s new disc-to-digital service will allow our customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they’ve made in disc purchases over the years,” he said. “We believe this revolutionary in-store service will unlock new value for already-owned DVDs and will encourage consumers to continue building physical and digital movie libraries in the future.”

Dennis Maguire, president of Paramount Home Media Distribution, said the retailer is the perfect place to start the disc-to-digital initiative, pointing to Walmart’s reach of 140 million consumers per week.

“Consumers today want new and flexible ways to enjoy movies and Walmart’s disc-to-digital program will be another important avenue to introduce Paramount movies on this new platform to a broader, more comprehensive audience,” he said, adding that other retailers will likely follow.

David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, sitting with his fellow studio home entertainment presidents in the same room where the very first Academy Awards were held, called it a “milestone.”

“With the launch of this pioneering service, Blu-ray and DVD buyers are afforded both the opportunity and the affordability to future proof their movie collections and assemble their own digital libraries that can be easily stored and accessed through their own UltraViolet cloud for viewing anywhere, anytime,” said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Walmart employees will begin training on the new service in a couple of weeks, with both photo service employees and employees behind the Connections Center able to help consumers. Trained employees will be armed with a standards and procedures manual, Walmart representatives said.

“Those associates are really used to those type of transactions,” Nagelson said, adding that those employees are used to handling phone and photo services.

“When we started this process we all recognized that Americans have invested lots and lots of money into building these great DVD libraries,” Aden said. “By being able to do this in the store we can actually help lots of people in America who have never owned anything digitally understand the benefits of that, and at same time compliment physical discs.”



http://www.homemediamagazine.com/wal...-program-26664
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:22 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cnbGeskq7U&feature=player_embedded
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Walmart to Unlock America's Favorite Movies with Exclusive Disc-to-Digital Service

Retailer Partners with Hollywood to Increase Value of Movie Ownership with Any Time Access to DVDs

Attention Journalists - Broadcast quality b-roll available for download

BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 13, 2012 – It’s time to unlock your DVDs America! The freedom to watch your movies any time, any place is here! Walmart is giving physical DVD/Blu-ray collections across the country a second life by turning them into digital movies. The nation’s largest home entertainment retailer is the first to announce an exclusive in-store disc-to-digital service which gives movie lovers the freedom to watch their DVD/Blu-ray collections from Internet-connected devices, including televisions, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and more. The service is powered by VUDU, the industry-leading video streaming service.



Walmart, in partnership with the major Hollywood studios: Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, is increasing the value of movie ownership for its customers. Starting April 16th, 2012 in more than 3,500 stores, Walmart customers will be able to bring their DVD and Blu-ray collections to Walmart and receive digital access to their favorite titles from the partnering studios. An equal conversion for standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVDs can be upgraded to High-Def (HD) for $5.

The appetite for enjoying movies is strong and growing. Walmart wants to help movie lovers download or stream their movies when they want and where they want. Walmart asked thousands of customers their thoughts regarding movie ownership. Customers want to own physical Blu-rays and DVDs and customers also want to have digital access to those same movies for convenience. Customers also cited accessibility, security, affordability, and simplicity as key decision factors for wanting a digital solution. Walmart listened and is delivering America’s first disc-to-digital service.

“Walmart is helping America get access to their DVD library,” said John Aden, executive vice president for general merchandising, Walmart U.S. “Walmart Entertainment’s new disc-to-digital service will allow our customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they’ve made in disc purchases over the years. We believe this revolutionary in-store service will unlock new value for already-owned DVDs, and will encourage consumers to continue building physical and digital movie libraries in the future.”

Walmart Entertainment’s Disc-to-Digital Service Powered by VUDU: How it Works
The process to convert previously-purchased DVD/Blu-ray movies to digital copies is quick and simple:

Bring your movie collections from the participating studio partners – Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. – to your local Walmart Photo Center.
A Walmart associate will help you create a free VUDU account.
Tell the associate how you’d like your movies converted:
Convert a standard DVD or Blu-ray movie for $2; or,
Upgrade a standard DVD to an HD digital copy for $5.
Walmart will authorize the digital copies and place them in your VUDU account. No upload is necessary, and you get to keep your physical discs.
Log onto VUDU.com from more than 300 Internet-connected devices to view movies any time, any place.
Walmart Entertainment supports UltraViolet, the movie industry's initiative currently in its beta phase that allows consumers to put their purchased movies into a cloud-based digital library and keep track of them safely and securely. Walmart is able to offer customers the ability to watch and purchase UltraViolet-enabled titles directly from VUDU. These enhancements to Walmart Entertainment’s services are the first of their kind from a major retailer and mark an important milestone in the expansion of digital home video ownership.

To learn more about Walmart Entertainment’s new services and to view an animated demonstration please visit: www.walmartstores.com/entertainment

Quotes from Walmart’s Studio Partners:
“Consumers today want new and flexible ways to enjoy movies and Walmart’s disc-to-digital program will be another important avenue to introduce Paramount movies on this new platform to a broader, more comprehensive audience,” said Dennis Maguire, president, Worldwide Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures. “The unmatched reach of Walmart – which serves over 140 million consumers every week – means we can quickly grow awareness for this unique technology throughout every region across the country.”

"Never before have consumers been able to add value to their existing collections so easily and economically as with Walmart’s disc-to-digital conversion service,” said David Bishop, president, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “Disc-to-digital will be a milestone through which Hollywood and Walmart are finding ways to create even more value for consumers."

“With Walmart’s new disc-to-digital service, there has never been a better time to own movies,” said Simon Swart,
executive vice president and general manager, North America, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. "There are more than 100 million households in the US that have an existing DVD or Blu-ray library. It is now possible to digitize those movies conveniently and enjoy the benefits that ownership gives at home or any place you go.”

“Walmart’s disc-to-digital service is a terrific consumer proposition, offering exceptional value, ease and convenience in preserving and enhancing consumers’ prized movie collections,” said Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “Now, with the launch of this pioneering service, Blu-ray and DVD buyers are afforded both the opportunity and the affordability to future proof their movie collections and assemble their own digital libraries that can be easily stored and accessed through their own UltraViolet cloud for viewing anywhere, anytime.”

“Consumers want value and convenience and Walmart’s disc-to-digital service will deliver both while helping consumers realize the benefits of digital ownership,” Ron Sanders, president, Warner Home Video. “Between the heavy foot traffic in-store and the aggressive educational campaign Walmart is planning, this partnership is the perfect opportunity for us to reach a mainstream audience much sooner than by more traditional means, while making the process as quick and easy for consumers as possible.”

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 10,000 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://walmartstores.com, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

About VUDU
A leader in HD streaming, VUDU offers the world's largest selection of HD movies, including thousands of blockbusters, Hollywood classics and indies available in stunning HDX 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound. Movies are available the same day they are released on DVD or Blu-ray, and can be rented or purchased without a subscription. VUDU is available on Internet-capable HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players from FUNAI Electronics (Magnavox, Sylvania), LG Electronics, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, SANYO, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba and VIZIO, and on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system from Sony. VUDU is a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Stores, Inc., and is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. For more information, visit http://www.vudu.com/
###



http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/news/10824.aspx
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:57 PM
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WalMart Launches Exclusive Disc-To-Digital Service To Support Vudu

By DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 1:55pm EDT
Tags: UltraViolet, VUDU, Walmart

COMMENTS (11)


UltraViolet’s had a rocky start. Consumers have struggled to figure out what it is and how it works — and the studios backing the industry initiative have hungered to have a big retailer help walk people through the process. That’s what makes the new alliance with WalMart interesting. Starting on April 16 consumers will be able to take their home videos to some 3,500 WalMart stores and have them converted to digital files stored in the retailer’s Vudu digital storage facilities for Internet streaming. It will cost $2 to transfer a DVD or a Blu-ray disc, and $5 to have a DVD upgraded to a high-definition file. Users must open a free account with WalMart’s Vudu, and go to its site to access digital files. “It will encourage customers to continue buying physical DVDs,” says John Aden, WalMart’s EVP General Merchandise. WalMart has the exclusive right to convert discs to digital in stores. (Samsung has announced a Blu-ray player that will transfer discs to digital for UltraViolet.) The company also plans a “multimonth educational campaign” both in and out of its stores to help people figure out what to do with their discs and how to access movies on mobile and other digital devices. New releases that are UltraViolet enabled already provide buyers with the opportunity to stream a digital file.

Representatives of UltraViolet backers Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros joined in the announcement; Disney and Apple do not support UltaViolet. Some of the studios that back the project consider it to still be in the beta phase. Last month Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, one of UltraViolet’s most vocal supporters, said that the entertainment industry “has come to a crossroads. We know consumers want to buy today but they can’t do it with the ease and functionality that they have come to expect. We need to fix that and we should fix it quickly.”

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/walm...gital-service/
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:59 PM
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http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...U_Service/9002

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Walmart Launches Exclusive In-Store Disc-to-Digital VUDU Service
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Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM ET
Tags: Walmart, Michael. S. Palmer, Industry Trends, High-Def Retailing (all tags)

by Michael S. Palmer
This morning at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, in the same room where the very first Academy Awards were handed out 83 years prior, Walmart announced an in-store disc-to-digital initiative to help its consumers embrace The Cloud with their existing movie libraries. Partnering with 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros., Walmart's service will be powered by its Vudu streaming movie service, which until now has focused mainly on one-time rentals.

Starting on Monday, April 16, that's all going to change. Have you ever looked at your aging DVD collection and wished you could watch some old classic in high definition, but A) the title isn't available yet, or you B) really don't want to spend the money buying the movie again at full price? Well, Walmart has a solution for you, with the ability to upgrade your DVDs and Blu-rays to The Cloud in either standard, or high definition, and later watch them anywhere via VUDU.

Here's how it works:
1. Bring in any physical Blu-rays or DVD (from the above studios) into your local Walmart.
2. Choose HD (720p) or SD quality. Blu-ray to HD or DVD to SD "conversion" will cost $2 per title, and DVD to HD "conversion" will cost $5. But the important thing to know is that this isn't really a conversion or a traditional movie 'rip'; Walmart employees will simply verify your movie and authorize that title for your VUDU. Oh, and you get to keep your disc!
3. Log into any Vudu-enabled media player to stream your movies anytime, anywhere (well, as long has you have an Internet connection). There are currently over 300 devices, including Phones, PCs, TVs, Blu-ray players, PlayStation 3s, or XBox 360s.
Also, for anyone who has UltraViolet Digital Copies, which are often included in multi-disc Blu-ray releases, you'll be able to watch, and purchase, UltraViolet titles directly from your VUDU account as well.

However, for your average HDD reader, there may be a few hiccups. First and formost, while I'm a huge fan of VUDU's HDX 1080p (as well as Dolby Digital Plus in 5.1 or 7.1) format, I confirmed that this disc-to-digital service is only for VUDU "HD", which is 720p. Second, what about all the earlier versions of Digital Copy (the pre-UltraViolet movies), which often cost more than the Blu-ray only copy of the film; will these be ignored? And, as movie collectors, do you really want to haul boxes of movies into a store to have them load your films into your VUDU account?

Then again, $2 for a 720p copy of your Blu-ray, or $5 for a DVD you never watch anymore, that you can access anywhere around the world (as long as you have Internet access) seems like a fair price and something that will work great in most scenarios, leaving the physical Blu-ray as king of the home theatre for the biggest screens and most powerful sound experiences. Also, the Walmart brand brings a lot of weight to the table; I think many are wary of The Cloud because they've been burned by "hot new tech ideas" before, but Walmart's been selling movies for years, and the VUDU experience is already well designed and easy to use, so perhaps consumers will be more confident about embracing digital ownership? Hard to say.

What do you think, Dear Readers? Anyone curious about this and willing to try? Is this the right step forward for The Cloud? Hit up the Forum link below and lets see what we all think.
http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=124053
http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...U_Service/9002
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:18 PM
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Hmmm. I may grab a couple DVD's for the heck of it and try this when it becomes available.

Is there a master list of titles that will be available for this service? Say like Horrible Bosses is available for this service but Supergirl isn't? Just curious.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:36 PM
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Curious way to do it.
Integrating UV with Vudu actually makes UV usable. Should have guess Wallyworld would promote their own Digital company.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:00 PM
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WSJ

HEARD ON THE STREET Updated March 18, 2012, 5:51 p.m. ET

Wal-Mart Stores Tries to Play Apple's Game

By JOHN JANNARONE

For years, the technology world's best and brightest innovators have failed to outfox Apple AAPL +2.65% . A new dark horse contender: Wal-Mart Stores WMT -0.16% .




The retail behemoth last week teamed up with five Hollywood studios in an effort to stem the continuing decline in DVD sales. The idea behind the effort is to encourage customers to own, rather than rent, movies by making them accessible on the Internet after they are purchased.

Wal-Mart, the country's largest seller of DVDs, will let customers convert physical discs into digital viewing rights in the so-called UltraViolet online library. Customers will then gain access to UltraViolet via Wal-Mart's Vudu site. One catch, customers will have to pay an extra $2 per DVD. They will also have to bring them to a Wal-Mart store. That could prove a convenience for some, or a turnoff to those seeking digital convenience.

The deal could pose a challenge to Apple and Amazon.com AMZN +0.25% on the retail front. Both want users to purchase and store video in their online ecosystems. Attracting more users to a particular video-storage platform, or digital locker, should help to keep users loyal to a particular provider.

Apple has so far declined to participate in UltraViolet, which is designed to let consumers view movies from an array of platforms in addition to Vudu. Instead, Apple has stuck to the closed-architecture model it employs with iTunes music; customers who buy movies on Apple's website need to view them with Apple's software. So far, Apple is at the head of the pack, with 66% of U.S. electronic movie sales and on-demand rentals in the first half of 2011, according to Tom Adams of IHS Screen Digest.

But that leading market share could decline if the Vudu plan works. The strategy is to hook customers on Vudu by moving their existing physical movie collections onto its platform. That would make it more logical to purchase digital copies on Vudu, adding them to existing UltraViolet libraries.

And Wal-Mart has gotten into the game early given that electronic movie sales totaled just 115 million copies last year, versus 664 million physical DVD sales, according to IHS.

It is too early, though, to call a winner in what is the opening stage of the battle to determine how video will be distributed digitally, a key part of the fight to control the digital living room. Walt Disney, DIS +0.58% for instance, isn't part of the Wal-Mart effort, which could disappoint fans of that studio.

And in weighing different companies' moves, it is important to remember how Apple's business model works. The tech giant actually makes very little money from its software. Rather, its hardware is priced high enough to generate the bulk of profits. Since Vudu works on some key Apple devices like the iPad, more on-the-go movie watching may be a good thing no matter which software consumers use.

That is in contrast to Amazon, which probably loses money on sales of its Kindle tablet but depends on online purchases for profits. IHS reckons Amazon has 4% of the electronic movie market, along with 8.5% of DVD sales.

One option for Amazon would be to respond quickly to Wal-Mart when it introduces an UltraViolet-compatible platform. Amazon, which already undercuts Wal-Mart on prices for many items, could give customers free UltraViolet rights on DVDs.

But while it would be easy to check the history of discs purchased on Amazon, the company lacks the physical presence Wal-Mart can use to convert full DVD collections. And Amazon may be in a tough spot to absorb more expenses, given its operating margins have shrunk to virtually zero.

Even if Wal-Mart's effort is only modestly successful, it could keep the bricks-and-mortar player in the movie game.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...405850736.html
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:29 PM
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All things being equal I'll take a Vudu copy over a UV copy. I guess nothing wrong with getting the UV version too, but Vudu is what I have available on all our TVs and their HD stuff generally looks great.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:50 AM
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Wait, in unit sales, digital copies were about 1/6th the size of the DVD market?

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And Wal-Mart has gotten into the game early given that electronic movie sales totaled just 115 million copies last year, versus 664 million physical DVD sales, according to IHS.
That doesn't make sense.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by h0mi View Post
Wait, in unit sales, digital copies were about 1/6th the size of the DVD market?



That doesn't make sense.
I think that was just DVD rental sales not Blu-ray sales and its also counting all digital rental and PPV VOD transactions. EST digital transactions that would be more equal to physical sellthrough only is a small fraction of that. Its probably also including all cable and hotel pay per view And VOD transactions as well.Its kinda really apples and oranges.
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