VSDA names co-honorees

Feingold, Lieberfarb to be lauded in Las Vegas

Columbia TriStar Home Video president Ben Feingold and Warner Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb will receive this year’s person of the year kudos from the Video Software Dealers Assn.

The executives will be presented with the award during the opening ceremony of the VSDA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas on July 8 in recognition of their vision and foresight in helping to help launch and establish the DVD format.

In a statement, the VSDA said Feingold and Lieberfarb were key architects in DVD’s development and were instrumental in creating a single format that was accepted by the consumer electronics, computer and entertainment industries. With an estimated 12 million DVD players in U.S. households by the end of the year, the VSDA said that DVD has helped revitalize the homevideo business and given retailers a viable hedge against electronic delivery.

“Any time you are honored by the trade association that represents the industry in which you work, it’s a great honor,” Feingold said.

He said it was critical for Columbia TriStar to support the development of the DVD format by parent Sony in order to offer retailers and consumers something better than the electronic products coming to market in the mid-1990s, such as direct broadcast satellite services.

He credits Sony chief Nobuyuko Idei for helping to quickly unify the competing DVD formats being developed by Sony/Philips and Toshiba/Matsushita so the industry could avoid a Betamax/VHS-type war. He also said that Lieberfarb deserves “enormous credit for the passion, energy and wisdom to push the format forward.”

Lieberfarb was traveling Thursday and could not be reached.

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