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News in Brief

THE INSTALLED base of Blu-ray-equipped devices (Playstation, xBox One, Box Internet, BD players, home theater units) has topped 10 million; the sales volume of Blu-ray players outpaced DVD players. More than two million devices incorporating a Blu-ray player will be sold in 2014. The sales of Blu-ray Discs already account for more than 25% of the total physical video sales and for some blockbusters it exceeds 60%. Blu-ray Partners France forecasts a Blu-ray household penetration of over 40% in France in 2015.

SINCE 2012, the Redbox DVD rental business that has enjoyed huge success in the US, has been making inroads north of the border. Canada is the third largest DVD rental country after the US and Japan, generating an estimated $1 billion so it only makes sense to grow the business here, says Ron Cihocki, country manager for Redbox in Canada. There are 1,350 boxes across Canada now, and every box has 200 titles available and 800 discs. The rental price is $1.50 per day for DVDs and $2 for Blu-ray discs.

SPEAKING at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2014 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles, Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios, said he remains committed to selling its brand to consumers across every product category, including packaged media. The animated hit movie Frozen is a case in point. In addition to generating more than $1 billion at the box office, the film has become the studio's top-selling title in more than 10 years, according to Bergman.

JAPANESE electronics giant Panasonic said it will close its Blu-ray and DVD player plant in eastern Slovakia as a result of declining sales. The factory in the town of Krompachy, which employs 650 people and also churns out television circuit boards, will close on December 31, Panasonic's Slovak unit said in a statement.