Walmart throws retail weight behind the UltraViolet digital locker

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 15-03-2012

North American retail mega-Goliath Walmart has announced an exclusive in-store disc-to-digital service which gives consumers the option of converting their physical DVD/Blu-ray collections to cloud accessible digital files.
The service, supporting connected devices such as televisions, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and more, is powered by the VUDU online streaming service and is compatible with the UltraViolet standard digital file format for cloud-based digital locker access to purchased video content.
Beginning 16 April in more than 3,500 stores, consumers can convert standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs for $2, or upgrade to HD for $5.
Walmart is partnering with major Hollywood studios on the initiative, including Paramount, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. Consumers simply bring their physical media from those studios to a local Walmart Photo Center, where a Walmart associate will create a free VUDU account. The retailer is also offering customers the ability to watch and purchase UltraViolet-enabled titles directly from VUDU.
"Walmart is helping America get access to their DVD library," said John Aden, executive vice president for general merchandising atWalmart 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.
"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 of worldwide home media distribution at Paramount. "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."