Wal-Mart Making Deals To Digitally Convert Your DVDs
Though I know that it's not the direction that technology is taking us, I still love my physical collection of DVDs and Blu-rays. I have well over 200 movies in my collection, and while it does consume a lot of space, I do get a strange sense of pleasure and peace out of looking at the vast array of titles and occasionally re-organizing them (my current method is to separate out Blu-rays, DVDs and box sets while maintaining alphabetical order by title within each grouping). But the way that most people are collecting movies is in digital form now, filling their hard drives with films they can watch at the click of a button. That method, however, does pose an issue for some people: what are you supposed to do with all of your old DVDs that don't have digital copies? Soon enough the answer to that dilemma will be Wal-Mart.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a deal is now being struck with five of the biggest Hollywood studios so that Wal-Marts can take discs from your DVD collection and convert them to digital copies for $2. But rather than taking over a good chunk of your personal hard drive - file sizes can be huge for some movies depending on quality and length - instead the movies will be added to a cloud that customers will have access to (for those that don't know, "Cloud" is a special word that basically means "online storage"). Customers will also be given the offer of upgrading their standard definition movies to HD digital copies for $5. The move is being done as part of Wal-Mart's official support of UltraViolet, the online storage system being supported by most studios, and should give the system a boost over Apple's iCloud film service.
The conversion process will be available starting on April 16th, though it should be noted that not all movies will be available for conversion just yet, as not all films have digital copies available yet (the Times points out that Universal, for example, only has half of their library available digitally). Stores will also be stamping DVDs to avoid redundancy and they will not be processing movies from stores and services like Redbox, Netflix and Blockbuster.
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