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DEG Celebrates 10 Years, Looks Forward

In celebrating its 10th anniversary at International CES, members of the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) — which was originally known as the DVD Entertainment Group — said the continuing development of new methods for delivering content into the home will not displace packaged media going forward.

“These emerging technologies offer the consumer additional options and promise to help home entertainment business revenue,” said Amy Jo Smith, DEG executive director. “We believe at the DEG that packaged media will comfortably coexist with these electronic sell-through models, bringing increased revenue and new opportunities to the industry.”

Looking back, the DEG said its efforts in forging partnerships between hardware manufacturers and content providers was largely responsible “for the fastest adoption of a consumer electronics product, ever,” said Bob Chapek, Buena Vista Home Entertainment president and DEG chairman.

The group reported that consumer spending on DVD swelled from $12 billion in 1999 to more than $24 billion last year and this year, and DVD players have now penetrated 88 percent of U.S. homes.

“Moving forward, the DEG will increasingly serve as the voice of the industry in existing and emerging ways to receive content,” said Chapek, who added that an ongoing part of the DEG’s evolving mission statement is to promote anti-piracy efforts in the U.S. market.

The group announced its annual Excellence Awards for 2006. This year Best Buy won for Marketing, Merchandising and Promoting Excellence in both hardware and software categories.

The Creative Excellence Award for a Blu-ray Disc title went to “Black Hawk Down,” and the award for HD DVD went to “Batman Begins” from Warner Home Video.

The award for a theatrical release went to Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which as a DVD has generated $20 million in sales to date.

In hardware, awards were given by category related to “Sight, Source and Sound.” The award for Sight went to Sony’s VPL-VW50 1,080p home theater projector. The award for Sound went to the Marantz SR8001 receiver, and the award for Source went to Sony’s PlayStation3.

The DEG also gave an honorary award to CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro for his role “in putting together the industry’s largest trade show” and thanked him for his “friendship and partnership” with the DEG and its members.