LAS VEGAS – In a major expansion of it disc-to-digital movie program, Walmart will soon enable customers to convert their previously purchased DVDs and Blu-ray discs to Cloud-based digital versions at home.
Previously, customers of the chain’s disc-to-digital program were required to bring their physical movies to a Walmart store for authentication before they could access digital copies within the UltraViolet virtual content locker system.
The Cloud-based digital versions can be viewed via more than 300 Internet-connected devices supported by Vudu, Walmart’s online movie service.
Beginning this month, customers can perform the disc-to-digital conversions at home by downloading a “Vudu To Go” app for PCs and Macs at Vudu.com. As with in-store authentications, the cost is $2 per title, and $5 to upgrade a standard DVD to an HD digital copy.
Separately, Walmart will extend its Vudu service to select Android tablets beginning in mid-February via a free app in the Google Play store. Mobile access to Vudu streaming video and movie downloads is currently limited to iOS devices.
Walmart announced the expanded services Jan. 7 at International CES, where the discounter is being honored by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG). The industry trade association, comprised of retailers, manufacturers and Hollywood studios, named Walmart its Retailer of the Year for hardware, software and digital, marking the first time that one merchant has swept all three categories.
The chain was recognized for its continuing support of the Blu-ray platform as wells its UltraViolet initiatives, which together represent “a forward-thinking combined digital and packaged strategy,” DEG said.
In a statement, Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video and the DEG board, said “Walmart’s extraordinary accomplishments in the home entertainment category have been an enormous source of growth for the industry.”