Disney is to release key titles in its movie archive for high definition download for the first time. 69 titles will become available to US film fans via the VUDU VOD platform from June 4, with titles including the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, High School Musical 3 and No Country For Old Men.
Going forward, films will be released for download in Vudu's proprietary HDX 1080p/24 format, day and date with their disc equivalents. The move is a significant validation for the nascent online video market.
Lori Macpherson, GM of North America for Buena Vista Home Entertainment, says: "Consumers are expanding the way that they acquire and watch films, and Buena Vista Home Entertainment wants to support this growing medium of digital delivery."
Online viewing of TV and video material in the US continues to boom. The latest research from comScore Video Metrix reveals a 16 per cent jump in US internet-video consumption; more than 16.8 billion online videos were viewed in April. By far and away the most popular destination remains YouTube, which claims around 40 per cent of the market. However, mainstream media sites Fox Interactive Media and Hulu follow closely.