Tag Archives: DVD

Wal-Mart Buys Streaming HD Service Vudu

We do what we can when it comes to keeping you up to date on the latest industry news, the stuff that may not have as much sizzle as plot details from the new Christopher Nolan flick but may impact the way we all watch movies in the near future.

Last fall, we wrote about Wal-Mart ditching the DVD displays at the end of the aisles. The reason? They’re not a mover anymore. Tons of reasons for that, from better availability of DVD rentals to online competition (both in terms of available streaming content and other points of purchase). New releases just weren’t making money fall from trees anymore.

But that was just the beginning of wal-Mart’s plans for home entertainment. The retail giant is buying Vudu, an online and embedded movie service that launched just three years ago. "Rent or buy movies to watch instantly on your TV," reads the corporate description. "Movies on demand, movie downloads, video on demand, pay per view."

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R2-D2’s Star Trek Cameo Revealed

r2d2 in star trek

As you probably know by now, the George Lucas-owned effects company ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) likes to insert R2-D2 into the background of some of the films they create visual effects for. Earlier this year we posted a photo of our favorite little droid’s cameo appearance in the climatic scene of Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen. With JJ Abrams’ Star Trek hitting DVD/Blu-ray this week, Gizmodo has found the hidden cameo appearance of our favorite little droid from a galaxy far, far away.

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Netflix boss says DVD has two years left

The days of building your precious DVD collection may be coming to an end sooner than you think. If Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ comments are any guide, the DVD era may be set to come to a rather abrupt halt.

Specifically, Hastings said in an interview with The Motley Fool website (digested here) that DVD will only be the "primary delivery format" at the company for the next two years, though he did add that it would stick around in some fashion for the next decade or two. That’s a huge pull back from Hastings’ previous prognostication; the Netflix boss had formerly predicted DVD would remain the company’s primary format until as late as 2018.

Strangely, Hastings didn’t note what would supplant DVD as the company’s major movie format, but considering that Blu-ray remains a niche product, with 10 percent penetration or lower among most consumers, he’s probably talking about streaming.

Netflix has embraced video streaming in a major way in recent years, and its $99 set-top box remains the method I use to watch more streaming content than any other, outside of the occasional YouTube clip, anyway. (And yes, I know the Xbox-Netflix combo is undoubtedly popular with a huge number of people, too, at least those who don’t futilely shun and fear video game consoles.)

Netflix continues to expand its streaming options — about 20 percent of my queue is now available for streaming, up from roughly 8 percent a year ago — but Hollywood keeps resisting, much as Big Media did in the early days of digital music downloads. Is Netflix hinting that more studios are climbing aboard the digital bandwagon? And at what point does streaming hit enough of a critical mass to become the dominant movie delivery method? 50 percent of titles available to stream? 80 percent? It’s hard to see those kinds of numbers panning out in a mere two years… but maybe Hastings has tricks up his sleeve that we’re only just now starting to hear about.

“Stargate: Universe” Season One Split for DVD Release

Following the tradition of previous entries in the franchise, the first season of “Stargate: Universe” will air in two halves.

The first half kicks off this Friday at 9 p.m. EST on SyFY. The second half will return at some point in 2010, according to SyFy.

The model is nothing new for the network. However, when it came to the DVDs, fans were made to wait until the full season aired before the episodes were released.

Not so for “Stargate: Universe.”

Gateworld reports that the season will be split into two halves when its released on DVD.

“Stargate Universe has been tons of fun so far in the first half,” DVD Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok told Gateworld. “And this year what we’re doing is a little bit different. As far as I know, we’re going to be doing volume one and two DVDs.”

It seems the plan is to release the first ten episodes as Volume One, together with a sizeable amount of special features, and then release the back ten episodes as Volume Two, presumably after the episodes air on SyFy in 2010.

Devil’s Due’s ‘Xombie’ Getting Movie Deal

Dreamworks is in talks to acquire the live action feature rights to Xombie, created by James Farr, according to Hollywood Reporter. Xombie originated as a Flash-animated online series and was adapted into a Devil’s Due comic. The Flash series, Xombie: Dead on Arrival was released on DVD by Halo 8.

The property is also being developed as an “illustrated film,” which uses comic art, motion animation, 3D CGI, sound design, music, and voice performances in a motion comic-style production, by Halo 8.

The studio is looking at a Xombie script by L.A. cop/screenwriter Will Beall, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (View-Master) in line to produce.