Group boosts digital in Japan

Next-gen growth driven by HD TVs, Blu-ray

TOKYO — Digital Entertainment Group Japan, an industry org consisting of the makers of visual content and hardware, was launched Tuesday by its chairman Takayuki Tsukagoshi, head of Walt Disney Studio Home Entertainment Japan.

DEG Japan aims to promote the growth of the next-generation digital entertainment biz in Japan, which is being driven by the diffusion of flat-panel HD TVs and Blu-ray DVDs.

The org will set up a contents task force to conduct surveys and draft plans for the promotion of next-generation digital entertainment and a technical task force to introduce and share info about digital technologies. A public relations task force will disseminate info to members and the media, while planning events.

U.S.-based DEG launched in 1997 as the DVD Video Group, which was dedicated to promoting the DVD format. Responding to the rapid growth of digital content and hardware in the Japanese market, the Japan branch has decided to relaunch itself as DEG Japan, joining its counterparts in the U.S. and Europe.

Among the 20 content companies that are members of DEG Japan are Walt Disney Japan, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Japan, Universal Pictures Japan, Paramount Japan and Warner Entertainment Japan, as well as local majors Avex Entertainment, Toho, Toei, Shochiku, Kadokawa Entertainment and Nikkatsu.

The hardware members are Sony, Sharp, JVC, Pioneer, Hitachi, Panasonic and Mitsubishi.

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