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Home entertainment trade body undergoes make-over

The Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEGE), formerly known as the DVD Entertainment Group Europe, the format-independent body that represents the interests of stakeholders across the home entertainment industry, officially announces the formation of a new board with a remit to communicate the benefits of DVD and the new HD formats (Blu-ray and HD DVD) to both trade and consumer audiences.

The three new members to take up Board positions, with immediate effect, are Yves Caillaud, Senior VP (EMEA), Warner Home Video; Julie Sneddon, Senior VP & General Manager, Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment (EMEA) and Jonathan Beddows VP of Europe, Cinram Operations UK Ltd.

The Digital Entertainment Group Europe is composed of members from the leading home entertainment companies as well as hardware manufacturers – Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Technicolor, Universal Pictures International, Warner Home Video Europe, Sony DADC and Toshiba – which allow it to be neutrally steered in order to promote and explain the benefits of the two new HD formats entering the market.

The aim of the DEGE is to encourage take up of the new medium while also continuing to drive awareness of the established format, that of standard definition DVD. 2006 European sales reversed industry expectations to achieve 3% unit growth. DEGE also notes a strong start to 2007 with Q1 value growth in Europe up nearly +7% with corresponding unit growth of +4%. Growth comes from all sectors of new release and catalogue films, plus TV on DVD products, with the latter outpacing the market with value growth of nearly 20%.

Commenting on the name change and the new board appointments Warner Home Video's Yves Caillaud says “The move to being a “Digital Entertainment Group” is reflective of the changing nature of our industry. It’s no longer solely about DVD but rather about a connected living room with the HD media player at the centre of it.” He continued: “One of the key objectives of the DEGE is to communicate a congruent message to both trade and consumer that outlines the benefits of the formats as well as debunking some of the common misconceptions. This education will not only be confined to the new HD formats but will also concentrate on the continued strength of the DVD format.”

Story filed 17.05.07

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