Business, Finance & Economics

Wal-Mart to launch digital DVD storage service


Shoppers search for DVDs at a Best Buy store in Naples, Fla., on Black Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.


Spencer Platt

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest retailer of DVDs in the United States, will launch a digital DVD storage service at 3,500 of its stores on April 16, the company announced today, Reuters reported.

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For $2 a pop, Wal-Mart photo center employees will add digital copies of DVDs or Blu-ray discs that customers own to a digital library they can access from their computers, smart phones and other Internet-connected devices, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Upgrades to high definition copies of movies will cost $5.)

The cloud is operated by Ultraviolet, a digital locker service backed by five movie studios – Sony Corp., Viacom Inc.'s Paramount, Comcast Corp.'s Universal, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros and News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox – Reuters reported. Apple's iCloud film service is a rival, according to the LA Times.

According to the LA Times:

To make sure the same disc is not copied multiple times, store associates will stamp the discs after the conversion is done. They won't accept DVDs rented from outlets such as Redbox, Netflix and Blockbuster.

Only films and TV shows the movie studios have digitized can be stored in the cloud, however. Several thousand titles will be available in April, the Wall Street Journal reported, including 650 to 700 from Universal and some 360 from Twentieth Century Fox.

Wal-Mart is keen to adapt to growing demand for streaming video, the Wall Street Journal reported. In 2010, the company bought video-streaming service VuDu to help it rent and sell movies online.

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