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Keynoters Unveiled for Confab

7 Jun, 2007 By: Billy Gil

The man known as the “guru of the Los Angeles economy” has been tapped as luncheon keynoter of the Sixth Annual Home Entertainment Summit: DVD & Beyond.

Jack Kyser, SVP and chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., will speak on “The Impact of the Film Industry on the Los Angeles Economy.”

His luncheon keynote will be held on opening day, June 18, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Calif. The two-day summit is produced by Home Media Magazine and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter and the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Earlier in the day, Helen Davis Jayalath, senior analyst with Screen Digest, will deliver a presentation on “The Future of Home Entertainment, Digital and Packaged: A Global Perspective,” as the morning keynote.

On the second day of the conference, June 19, the luncheon keynoter will be David Wertheimer, executive director at The Entertainment Technology Center at USC. He will speak on the topic “Convergence: When New Technologies and Entertainment Collide.”

“We are pleased to have a more business-like tone this year, as the industry's evolution accelerates and home entertainment no longer means only DVD,” said Thomas K. Arnold, publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and executive producer of the summit. “Home entertainment executives now have to contend with two next-generation packaged-media formats, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, as well as a widening berth of digital distribution mechanisms.

“And just as we do with our magazine, we intend to not just be an aggregator of information, but also an interpreter.”

As Los Angeles' chief economist, Kyser is responsible for interpreting and forecasting economic trends in a five-county area, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. He also analyzes the major industries of the area, including film. Using this information, Kyser helps develop job retention and creation strategies for Los Angeles County. His advice is frequently sought by business, government and the media.

“We believe the home entertainment industry will be interested to hear about the overall economic health of the entertainment business as it relates to Los Angeles,” said Amy Jo Smith, executive director, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. “We're pleased that the industry's annual summit will include a keynote address from the man who keeps his pulse on the local economy.”

Wertheimer oversees the Entertainment Technology Center at USC, a consortium funded by the Hollywood studios and related technology companies. The ETC's mission is to help the entertainment industry work together to explore technologies that create business opportunities. The ETC is best known for the Digital Cinema Lab, which helped spur the digital cinema revolution, but the ETC has expanded its focus to explore new technologies the industry can use to deliver digital content to consumers. Wertheimer previously was president of the digital entertainment division of Paramount Pictures.

In other conference news, the Presidents Panel will feature the heads of all six major studio home entertainment divisions: Kelley Avery of Paramount Home Entertainment, David Bishop of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Bob Chapek of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Mike Dunn of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Craig Kornblau of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Ron Sanders of Warner Home Video. Also participating will be Steve Einhorn, president of New Line Home Entertainment, and Henry McGee, president of HBO Video.

Other prominent speakers at the event include respected analyst Jim Bottoms of Understanding & Solutions (“Mass Market High Definition: It's Now Just a Matter of Time”) and Terrence Davison of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“The Role of Packaged Media and the Future of DVD”).

The lineup also includes a panel discussion on digital downloading moderated by Jon Healy of The Los Angeles Times and featuring such experts as David Cook, COO of CinemaNow, and Ross Honey, senior director of the Microsoft Corp.'s Media, Content & Partner Strategy Group.

The Sixth Annual Home Entertainment Summit is expected to once again attract more than 300 of the home entertainment industry's top movers and shakers, from studio executives, DVD producers and key retailers to prominent Wall Street and entertainment analysts and members of the media.

The event is open to the trade only. For more information, visit www.homemediaconferences.com.

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