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Columbia TriStar to Bow Home Video in Blu-ray by 2005

30 Mar, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Proclaiming that DVD sellthrough is driving movie studio economics, but cautioning that the format's “commoditization” is affecting perceived value among consumers inundated by competing entertainment technologies such as cell phones and PDAs, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment president Ben Feingold reiterated the virtues of the Blu-ray disc, the next-generation, high-definition DVD, at a reception Monday night during the week-long Digital Hollywood confab in Santa Monica, Calif.

“We're competing for young people's time,” Feingold said. “We're vulnerable if new devices come on the market and we fall by the wayside.”

To underscore his commitment to Blu-ray, which claims to support digital data rates up to 36MB per second — almost twice the capacity of HD television — Feingold said Columbia would release all home video product in the Blu-ray format by the end of 2005.

“We want a big canvas for our movies,” Feingold said, alluding to the increased number of high-definition broadcasts on cable TV and pay-per-view.

“Consumers are demanding high definition,” he said. “We see Blu-ray as a revenue engine for Hollywood.”

Feingold said it's important for studios to be involved in the evolution of new entertainment delivery platforms so that price points of new technology can decline and piracy concerns are met.

“Studios must be involved in standards settings,” Feingold said. “This is a great 10-year standard.”

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