Rising tide for DVD

U homevid gets behind push for new format

Giving a push to the digital videodisc bandwagon, Universal Home Video has joined the DVD Video Group, the marketing association tubthumping for the freshly introduced homevideo medium.

Announced at the recent annual Video Software Dealers Assn. confab, the DVD org’s founding members include the studio homevid and music divisions that have jumped on the bandwagon, as well as consumer electronics companies.

“This is a single, unbranded voice for DVD,” said Emiel Petrone, senior VP of Philips Consumer Electronics Co. and chairman of the DVD Video Group, a nonprofit that has collected a war chest of “several hundreds of thousand of dollars” from membership dues, Petrone said, adding, “This association shows retailers there is support for the product.”

Blitz on the way

The product push, according to Petrone, will include a media blitz, an informational Website on the Internet and retail educational drives. Petrone pointed to similar efforts that helped launch the audio CD as the model for the DVD group.

The studio membership roster includes Warner Bros., Sony, MGM and now Universal, as well as indies such as Polygram and Live Entertainment.

Disney, Paramount and 20th Century Fox have yet to commit their homevid operation to the DVD format.

Among the hardware members of the DVD group are Philips, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Pioneer, Samsung, Thomson and Zenith.

Disc replicators, post-production facilities, packagers and compression labs are being recruited for an associate membership roster. Firms such as Nimbus and JVC Disc Services have declared their support, Petrone said.

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