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BUSINESS
November 3, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Movie-rental chain Blockbuster Inc. said Thursday that it narrowed its third-quarter loss and increased its same-store rental revenue in the United States despite a weak lineup of new DVD releases. Its shares soared nearly 10%. Chairman and Chief Executive John Antioco said a better lineup of DVD releases and a new policy letting customers return videos ordered online either through the mail or at stores made the company "bullish on prospects for revenue in 2007." Blockbuster said it lost $24.
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BUSINESS
October 10, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Sonic Solutions, a maker of CD and DVD copying programs, and encryption software maker Macrovision Corp. said Monday that they would provide retailers with technology to download films and sell them on DVDs on demand, freeing up warehouses and shelf space. Macrovision and Sonic are the first to offer software that uses digital downloads of films from Hollywood studios to create copyright-protected DVDs with artwork and bonus features.
NEWS
October 5, 2006 | Randy Lewis
Beck loaded up his new album "The Information" with a bonus DVD with homemade videos for each song and stickers that fans can use to create customized CD covers, all in the hope of giving consumers more reasons to buy it. So what happens? In England, the album has been disqualified from appearing on sales charts because those extras give it "an unfair advantage" over less elaborate packages. The ruling comes from the Official U.K. Charts Co.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2006 | Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun
It doesn't pay to be a film fan these days -- not when DVD distributors keep releasing new versions of the same movie, forcing cinephiles to pay again and again for much the same material. You can buy multiple versions of "The Wizard of Oz," "Some Like It Hot," the "Star Wars" films and all three "The Lord of the Rings" movies. Each version is a little different because of additional scenes, added commentary or new extras.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 15, 2006 | Martin Miller
Justin Timberlake can arguably carry a tune, but apparently not a movie. Despite some back-up from Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey, Timberlake's feature acting debut in "Edison Force" is headed straight to video stores and DVD sales. The crime thriller about a cub reporter taking on the racist, corrupt establishment is set to hit stores Tuesday. Timberlake does not sing or dance in the film, and judging from the reviews it's received, he doesn't act much either.
BUSINESS
July 1, 2006 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village) on Friday called on the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to investigate allegations that pirated DVDs were being smuggled into Los Angeles by flight crews of the Russian airline Aeroflot. Berman said the call was in response to a Los Angeles Times article on Sunday that detailed how a suspected bootlegger was allegedly assisted by Aeroflot employees.
BUSINESS
June 1, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Time Warner Inc., Walt Disney Co. and other movie distributors settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of hearing-impaired customers who bought DVDs containing bonus material that wasn't enhanced for people with hearing problems. The studios, which also include Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, deny liability and are settling to avoid further litigation, according to a statement.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2006 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Looking for new, less risky ways to boost profit, Warner Bros. is launching a direct-to-DVD business that will release 10 to 15 low-budget movies a year. First up will be a sequel to the studio's 2005 hit "The Dukes of Hazzard," scheduled to go on sale at the end of this year or in early 2007. Movies made exclusively for DVD typically are done on the cheap without the costly stars and lavish production expenses associated with theatrical films.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 12, 2006 | From a Times staff writer
The Motion Picture Assn. of America's fight against movie piracy has gone to the dogs. The organization told Agence France-Presse that British customs authorities have trained two Labrador retrievers to sniff out counterfeit DVDs. They are working at the Federal Express operation at Stansted Airport, near London. The dogs were trained over eight months to identify DVDs that may be in boxes, envelopes or other packaging, Agence France-Presse reported.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2006 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
As it rolls out the first high-definition DVD player, Toshiba Corp. is boasting: "Image is everything." After testing the so-called HD DVD machine on three TVs of various dimensions, I hit on a more appropriate slogan: Size matters. Last week, a milestone in viewing was reached with the debut of the Toshiba HD-A1, which costs just shy of $500. (A deluxe model, the HD-XA1, goes for $800). Should you care? Probably not.
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