Walmart in-store disc to digital UltraViolet conversion gets official

In a press event panel that included almost every big studio executive -- sans Disney -- Walmart announced an exclusive in-store disc to digital conversion service. Starting April 16th, in more than 3,500 stores, you'll be able to bring your DVD or Blu-ray discs in and have 'em added to your Vudu movie collection. The privilege of watching movies you already bought on a disc online via Vudu will cost you $2, but if you own the DVD, it'll cost you $5 to upgrade your digital copy to HD. In addition, you can now buy UltraViolet movies via Vudu and watch them via other UV supported sources -- we assume this is a two-way street, but it isn't spelled out that way in the press release (after the break). This is easily the biggest news for the, now beta badged, UltraViolet service but most of our complaints persist until there's single-sign on and the standard downloadable CFF (common file format) is a reality.

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Walmart to Unlock America's Favorite Movies with Exclusive Disc-to-Digital Service
Retailer Partners with Hollywood to Increase Value of Movie Ownership
with Any Time Access to DVDs

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2012 – It's time to unlock your DVDs America! The freedom to watch your movies any time, any place is here! Walmart is giving physical DVD/Blu-ray collections across the country a second life by turning them into digital movies. The nation's largest home entertainment retailer is the first to announce an exclusive in-store disc-to-digital service which gives movie lovers the freedom to watch their DVD/Blu-ray collections from Internet-connected devices, including televisions, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and more. The service is powered by VUDU, the industry-leading video streaming service.

Walmart, in partnership with the major Hollywood studios: Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, is increasing the value of movie ownership for its customers. Starting April 16th, 2012 in more than 3,500 stores, Walmart customers will be able to bring their DVD and Blu-ray collections to Walmart and receive digital access to their favorite titles from the partnering studios. An equal conversion for standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVDs can be upgraded to High-Def (HD) for $5.
The appetite for enjoying movies is strong and growing. Walmart wants to help movie lovers download or stream their movies when they want and where they want. Walmart asked thousands of customers their thoughts regarding movie ownership. Customers want to own physical Blu-rays and DVDs and customers also want to have digital access to those same movies for convenience. Customers also cited accessibility, security, affordability, and simplicity as key decision factors for wanting a digital solution. Walmart listened and is delivering America's first disc-to-digital service.

"Walmart is helping America get access to their DVD library," said John Aden, executive vice president for general merchandising, Walmart U.S. "Walmart Entertainment's new disc-to-digital service will allow our customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they've made in disc purchases over the years. We believe this revolutionary in-store service will unlock new value for already-owned DVDs, and will encourage consumers to continue building physical and digital movie libraries in the future."

Walmart Entertainment's Disc-to-Digital Service Powered by VUDU: How it Works
The process to convert previously-purchased DVD/Blu-ray movies to digital copies is quick and simple:
· Bring your movie collections from the participating studio partners – Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. – to your local Walmart Photo Center.

· A Walmart associate will help you create a free VUDU account.

· Tell the associate how you'd like your movies converted:

o Convert a standard DVD or Blu-ray movie for $2; or,

o Upgrade a standard DVD to an HD digital copy for $5.

· Walmart will authorize the digital copies and place them in your VUDU account. No upload is necessary, and you get to keep your physical discs.

· Log onto from more than 300 Internet-connected devices to view movies any time, any place.

Walmart Entertainment supports UltraViolet, the movie industry's initiative currently in its beta phase that allows consumers to put their purchased movies into a cloud-based digital library and keep track of them safely and securely. Walmart is able to offer customers the ability to watch and purchase UltraViolet-enabled titles directly from VUDU. These enhancements to Walmart Entertainment's services are the first of their kind from a major retailer and mark an important milestone in the expansion of digital home video ownership.

To learn more about Walmart Entertainment's new services and to view an animated demonstration please visit:

Quotes from Walmart's Studio Partners:
"Consumers today want new and flexible ways to enjoy movies and Walmart's disc-to-digital program will be another important avenue to introduce Paramount movies on this new platform to a broader, more comprehensive audience," said Dennis Maguire, president, Worldwide Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures. "The unmatched reach of Walmart – which serves over 140 million consumers every week – means we can quickly grow awareness for this unique technology throughout every region across the country."

"Never before have consumers been able to add value to their existing collections so easily and economically as with Walmart's disc-to-digital conversion service," said David Bishop, president, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. "Disc-to-digital will be a milestone through which Hollywood and Walmart are finding ways to create even more value for consumers."

"With Walmart's new disc-to-digital service, there has never been a better time to own movies," said Simon Swart, executive vice president and general manager, North America, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. "There are more than 100 million households in the US that have an existing DVD or Blu-ray library. It is now possible to digitize those movies conveniently and enjoy the benefits that ownership gives at home or any place you go."

"Walmart's disc-to-digital service is a terrific consumer proposition, offering exceptional value, ease and convenience in preserving and enhancing consumers' prized movie collections," said Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "Now, with the launch of this pioneering service, Blu-ray and DVD buyers are afforded both the opportunity and the affordability to future proof their movie collections and assemble their own digital libraries that can be easily stored and accessed through their own UltraViolet cloud for viewing anywhere, anytime."

"Consumers want value and convenience and Walmart's disc-to-digital service will deliver both while helping consumers realize the benefits of digital ownership," Ron Sanders, president, Warner Home Video. "Between the heavy foot traffic in-store and the aggressive educational campaign Walmart is planning, this partnership is the perfect opportunity for us to reach a mainstream audience much sooner than by more traditional means, while making the process as quick and easy for consumers as possible."