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Portable Entertainment Is a Growing Pastime

6 Dec, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

STEPHANIE PRANGEI took a long trip to Chicago recently, and I've never been more grateful for the portable DVD player. On the way over, the movie on the plane was King Arthur (not exactly a kid flick). My daughter watched Pirates of the Caribbean and one of the Barbie movies, while I perused the official entertainment. The portable was so popular that a little girl from the seat behind us stopped in to watch as well.

On the way back, the kids watched the official movie offering of Elf, while we watched The Bourne Supremacy. I've never had a four-hour flight go so smoothly or so quickly.

DVD is the first entertainment medium to be so portable and convenient, but I can see a future in which, as a colleague once noted, viewers will easily toggle between watching a movie on a cell phone, a portable game system or a home theater. Already, you're likely to see a flickering screen in the back of many minivans and SUVs.

As entertainment evolves, the players on which it is consumed will likely be very diverse. While DVD fits nicely into that world right now, the digital format of the future could be packaged or not. It may reside on the home media center box, or on some other kind of disc. But the reality is watching movies in the living room on a TV set with a DVD, VCR or game console player is not the only way consumers are getting their home entertainment now or in the future.

That's what makes our magazine's coming name change – to Home Media Retailing – so timely. The home entertainment industry is evolving. It is becoming increasingly mobile and crossing into computers and other digital recording and playback devices, such as TiVo. It encompasses games, movies and all the digital devices that incorporate them. As the industry moves into the future, we plan to do the same with a new name, but with a continuing commitment to covering retailing of entertainment in the home.

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