Wal-Mart to Add In-Store Movie Conversion Service

Posted by at 2:11 pm on March 13, 2012

Wal-Mart Stores has unveiled an in-store service that would allow consumers to convert their previously bought physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs to digital movies stored on the Internet.

The service, available beginning April 16 in more than 3,500 Wal-Marts in the U.S., will charge $2 a copy for equal conversion of standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs and charge $5 for upgrade to high-definition digital copies.

The service will be run through Wal-Mart’s Vudu video-streaming service, which will use the movie industry’s UltraViolet initiative to put the movies into a “cloud”-based digital library that would allow consumers to access movies anytime and anywhere in devices ranging from smartphones to tablet computers.

Five Hollywood studios—Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures, Viacom Inc.’s Paramount, News Corp .’s Twentieth Century Fox, Comcast Corp.’s Universal Studios, and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.—partnered with the retailer on the deal.

Between the five studios, several thousand titles will be available at launch, including roughly 650 to 700 from Universal and at least 360 from Twentieth Century Fox, which hadn’t previously announced any UltraViolet-enabled titles. Fox is owned by News Corp., also the parent of The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Nagelson said Wal-Mart is taking a low-tech approach to allay studios’ concerns about piracy. Wal-Mart employees will examine discs to ensure they’re not rentals, and will ink-stamp the center ring of each DVD they convert, to make sure customers don’t share discs with friends, creating $2 copies of movies.

UltraViolet is a digital “proof of purchase” system that allows a consumer to store movie or TV titles in a free, online personal library. Once a video has been added to a UltraViolet Library account it can be streamed over the Web or downloaded for viewing on a computer, TV, or a range of mobile devices by anyone on that account.

1 Comment for “Wal-Mart to Add In-Store Movie Conversion Service”

  1. […] Visit link: Wal-Mart to Add In-Store Movie Conversion Service […]

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