The big question following this expected announcement is whether Redbox and Blockbuster will tell Warner Bros to take a hike and buy the studio’s new discs from retailers. That’s one reason why other studios have been reluctant to push for the longer window. But Warner Bros made the announcement at the 2012 International CES because it’s eager to push low-cost rental services aside in the hope that the entertainment industry’s new UltraViolet initiative will boost sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs. UltraViolet enables buyers of some discs to stream the movies from remote servers to digital devices including smartphones and tablets. “Since we implemented a 28-day window for subscription and kiosk, we have seen very positive results with regard to our sell-through business,” Warner Home Video North America president Mark Horak says. “One of the key initiatives for Warner Bros is to improve the value of ownership for the consumer and the extension of the rental window — along with our support of UltraViolet — is an important piece of that strategy.” Netflix VP Content Anna Lee says that it is going along with the longer delay “to ensure members have continued secure access to Warner Bros DVDs and Blu-ray discs.”
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