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Digital Videodiscs

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BUSINESS
April 1, 1996 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Matsushita, MCA to Form Videodisc Unit: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and MCA Inc. will form a Los Angeles company to produce films for videodisc systems, according to the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keisai Shimbun. The company, Digital Video Compression Corp., will be owned by Matsushita and staffed by employees from Matsushita and MCA, the newspaper said.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2010 | By Geoff Boucher
For the last decade, Hollywood has been mining comic books and fantasy novels for its blockbuster source material, with Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Batman and Gandalf leading the vivid parade. Looking ahead, though, the next generation of box-office champions may be coming from a different realm: the digital landscape of gaming. "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" hits theaters May 28, and World of Warcraft, Missile Command and even Asteroids are among the gamer brand names that are now in development.
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BUSINESS
December 9, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
Walt Disney Co., the second-largest U.S. media company, adopted Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray format for digital videodiscs, supporting its new standard for the home movie market. Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment will start releasing movies in the format when Blu-ray DVD players are available in North America and Japan, the Burbank-based company said. Disney said it might still release movies in the competing format by Toshiba Corp. Toshiba's HD DVD format has been backed by Time Warner Inc.'
BUSINESS
December 11, 2009 | By Ben Fritz
They should just call it Bluebox and really have at it. NCR Corp., which is expanding aggressively in the DVD kiosk business via a partnership with Blockbuster Inc., has acquired competitor DVDPlay in a bid to catch up with market leader Redbox Automated Retail. NCR, which manufacturers self-service retail devices such as ATMs and grocery-store checkout devices, will put the Blockbuster brand name on its $1-a-night-DVD kiosks via a partnership with the struggling home video chain.
BUSINESS
June 21, 2003 | Jeff Leeds, Times Staff Writer
Are VHS tapes about to join vinyl albums in the dustbin? In the latest sign of the rise of digital media, weekly DVD rentals exceeded videocassettes last week for the first time, according to the Video Software Dealers Assn. The trade organization said an estimated 28.2 million digital videodiscs were rented for the week ended June 15, outpacing 27.3 million VHS rentals.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2001 | JON HEALEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Dramatizing a rapid shift in consumer electronics, Blockbuster Inc. announced Monday that its stores will dump one-fourth of their VHS tapes to make room for more profitable digital videodiscs. Blockbuster will take a $450-million charge against earnings to cover the inventory overhaul. The announcement was the latest in a series of moves and countermoves by Hollywood studios, which rely heavily on video rental revenue, and Blockbuster, the dominant source of those rentals.
BUSINESS
December 29, 1999 | From Reuters
A DVD industry group said Tuesday it has filed suit against dozens of Web site operators for allegedly posting a DVD copying program that the group says is illegal and could destroy the fast-growing new format. At the heart of the complaint is a program written by a Norwegian programmer that foils the encryption that prevents DVDs, or digital videodiscs, from being copied.
BUSINESS
August 31, 2000 | ANTHONY KUHN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Hollywood's hopes that the DVD format would prove harder to pirate than videos and CDs are being badly dashed in China and other parts of Asia, where DVD piracy has emerged on a major scale. China's experience shows that DVD piracy, once seen in the West as largely a hypothetical threat, is both possible and profitable.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2007 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
DVDs featuring new movies are coming out faster than ever. The average time between the premiere of a movie at the multiplex and its appearance on DVD shrank an additional 10 days last year, further unnerving theater owners who believe that the tightening window threatens their business. The revelation from a new study is likely to further shake exhibitors when it is formally unveiled this week by the National Assn. of Theatre Owners at the industry's annual ShoWest convention in Las Vegas.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2001 | SAM KENNEDY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Southern California has emerged as an international hub of a multibillion-dollar business that didn't even exist five years ago: the production of digital videodiscs, or DVDs. With a handful of major manufacturers clustered around Hollywood studios, the region has more production capacity than anywhere in the United States, if not the world. One in five of the 730 million DVDs sold last year were made in California, according to London consulting firm Understanding & Solutions.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2009 | Susan King
To celebrate the movie's 70th birthday, Warner Home Video is releasing a newly restored and remastered version today of "Gone With the Wind" for the first time on Blu-ray, as well as a standard DVD. The Technicolor film has never looked better because of new digital software and the fact that Warners was able to scan the original negative. "It is in beautiful condition," says George Feltenstein, senior vice president of theatrical catalog marketing for Warners, of the negative.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 2009 | Susan King
Good news for fans of classic Hollywood. Two film collections -- one featuring a screen legend from the 1930s and the other offering some prime film noirs from the 1950s -- have recently been released on DVD. Claudette Colbert was one of the top female stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood, winning an Oscar for 1934's romantic comedy "It Happened One Night." But she was more than just a comic performer. Colbert also was a deft dramatic actress who earned two more best actress nominations -- 1935's "Private Worlds" and 1944's "Since You Went Away" -- for complex, serious roles.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2009 | Ben Fritz
An unprecedented round of online price cutting for DVDs started Thursday that could provide a much needed boost for the beleaguered home entertainment industry. Walmart on Thursday slashed the price of its 10 most popular DVDs that will be released soon, including "Star Trek," "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to $10, less than it has charged for highly anticipated new movies in recent years. Target immediately announced that it would match Walmart's price.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2009 | Claudia Eller and Ben Fritz
Sony Pictures desperately wanted to release the DVD of the Michael Jackson concert movie "This Is It" for the holiday shopping season but backed down after movie theater owners complained that it would be too soon after the film's theatrical premiere. That thwarted the latest attempt by a Hollywood studio to shorten the "window" between when movies appear in theaters and when they come out on DVD as the industry grapples with a downturn in DVD sales, which have traditionally propped up the movie business.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 2009 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
As Yogi Berra would say: Yikes, it's déjà vu all over again. In recent days, my newspaper has been chock-full of stories about the latest round of legal battles between the Hollywood studios and Redbox, the upstart $1-per-night DVD rental kiosk company. My colleague Ben Fritz has done a wonderful job of chronicling all the fussing and fighting, having reported on how three of Hollywood's biggest studios -- 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal -- are refusing to provide DVDs to Redbox until at least 28 days after they go on sale.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2009 | Ben Fritz
Warner Bros. is setting its sights on Redbox and Netflix amid the latest sign that consumers are abandoning retail DVD stores in favor of the fast-growing rental kiosks and mail subscription companies. The Time Warner-owned studio on Thursday joined 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures in announcing that it would not provide movies to leading kiosk operator Redbox until 28 days after they go on sale. In a surprising move that hasn't yet been made by any of its competitors, Warner said it would impose the same restriction on Netflix and other DVD-by-mail subscription providers unless they agreed to "a day-and-date revenue sharing option."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2005 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
The highlight of the two-disc set of "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (Paramount, $35) is the clever, tongue-in-cheek audio track between director Brad Silberling and the "real" Mr. Snicket -- author Daniel Handler. The other extras -- covering every aspect of the production -- are entertaining and informative.
BUSINESS
July 17, 2000 | Reuters
The motion picture industry hopes to stem a potential flood of digital video piracy in a civil case to open today in which Hollywood studios have accused a computer journalist of violating a still untested 1998 federal law that aims to protect digital media. Eric Corley, publisher of 2600 (http://www.2600.org), a magazine and Web site of the computer hacker underground, is set to stand trial for spreading a utility that allows digital video discs (DVDs) to be copied and transmitted over the Web.
BUSINESS
August 12, 2009 | Ben Fritz
The six big motion picture studios Tuesday won a major legal victory against DVD copying. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel issued a preliminary injunction blocking the sale of RealDVD, a controversial software application that allows consumers to copy DVDs to a computer's hard drive. The standard anti-piracy software on DVDs blocks consumers from taking the movie file off the disc. The studios filed suit in September in District Court in San Francisco when the RealDVD software went on sale, alleging that it illegally violated their right to restrict the use of their movies in digital form.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2009 | Ben Fritz
When Joy Papa of Silver Lake stopped by Fry's Electronics in Burbank last week, she did something movie executives wish consumers would do more often this year: buy a DVD. "Every time a new movie comes out that I like, I buy it even if I saw it in theaters," she said while clutching a copy of "Fast & Furious," which had just come out. The DVD business may be down, but it's not out -- at least for the biggest titles.
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