| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 7 Retailers Best Buy Co Inc
and Wal-Mart Stores Inc are enhancing their
video streaming services to let customers convert previously
purchased physical DVDs into digital copies without having to
leave the house and trek to a store.
The news comes at a time when many Americans prefer to
stream their movies through digital services rather than
spending more to buy physical DVDs. U.S. retailers are also
trying to cater better to people who watch movies on tablets and
Wal-Mart started in-store disc-to-digital conversion
services last year, but you still had to get off the couch and
take the DVDs to a store. Best Buy still does not have an
in-store disc-to-digital conversion service, and has chosen to
offer the service only at home citing customer feedback.
Customers do not want to "load up a bunch of DVDs in a car
and drive somewhere to get that benefit of putting the movies in
the cloud," Christopher Allen, general manager of Best Buy's
digital movie business, told Reuters in an exclusive interview
The world's largest consumer electronics chain started
testing the service just days before Christmas and the response
has been "promising," Allen said.
Best Buy is due to officially unveil its in-home
disc-to-digital conversion service at the Consumer Electronics
Show in Las Vegas.
Wal-Mart said on Monday at the same trade show that its
video streaming service Vudu will also soon have the capability
to convert DVD/Blu-ray movies to UltraViolet digital copies.
UltraViolet is a free, cloud-based digital library that
gives users greater flexibility with how and where they watch
the movies and TV shows they purchase.
Best Buy customers will need a CinemaNow.com account and
have to download the CinemaNow Player software to make the
conversion at home.
Once the DVD is inserted into an internet-connected device,
CinemaNow will instantly recognize the movie's title and give
the customer an option to convert it to a digital version that
is of standard definition (SD) for $2 or high definition (HD)
for $5. The movie will be added to the shopper's UltraViolet
Both retailers have partnered with several major Hollywood
studios including Warner Bros, Universal Studios
, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lions
Gate Entertainment on the in-home disc-to-digital
"From Smartphones to Smart TVs, our customers are consuming
and sharing content more than ever," John Aden, executive vice
president for general merchandising, Walmart U.S., said in a