The end of Blu-Ray and DVD
Hollywood has come a step closer to completely replacing physical entertainment media with video streaming with the launch of the Disc to Digital service in partnership with Wal-Mart. This new service involves movie fans presenting their blu-ray discs or dvd’s at a Wal-Mart store and then, for a small fee, gaining permanent access to an online version of each movie on either Wal-Mart’s Vudu website or UltraViolet, a website run by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE); a consortium of all top Hollywood producers except Disney and LucasFilm, which have decided to develop their own services.
According to Wal-Mart’s category director for movies, Louis Greth this is “the right first step” to ease consumers into owning movies online while Dennis Maguire, president, Worldwide Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures said “The unmatched reach of Wal-Mart – which serves over 140 million consumers every week – means we can quickly grow awareness for this unique technology throughout every region across the country.” Aside from Vudu and Ultraviolet; video streaming is also available from Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, LOVEFiLM, Netflix, and Voddler. Established technological corporations are also showing an interest with Apple, Google and Microsoft developing their own services as they seek to leverage their respective strengths in web technologies to capitalise on this new market.
Video Streaming on this scale is a huge development and its emergence is due to the rise of two types of technology – cloud computing and internet connected devices. Cloud based computing through the sharing of computing resources across a network allows for the mass storage of thousands of movies and television and the sharp growth in of internet connected devices such as Internet TVs, Computers, Tablets, Game consoles, Set top boxes, Blu-ray players and Smartphones provides for a large market for suppliers.
With hundreds of millions of connected TVs and set-top boxes expected to ship worldwide over the next five years, the motion picture and television business is on the cusp of the biggest technological upheaval since the introduction of cable TV. While it’s not certain who set to dominate one thing is truly clear – the days of Blu-Ray and DVD are well and truly numbered.