The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), an association that promotes digital products for the home entertainment industry, has named the winners of its 2013 awards.
Topping the list was Walmart, the unanimous choice for 2012 Retailer of the Year. “Walmart’s extraordinary accomplishments in the home entertainment category have been an enormous source of growth for the industry,” said Ron Sanders, President of the DEG Board of Directors and President, Warner Home Video. “This award is a true testament to Walmart’s leadership and innovation, and a token of the DEG’s overwhelming appreciation for their ongoing partnership.”
Hardware members cited Walmart’s efforts in actively promoting and selling new digital technologies. The retailer continues to successfully support Blu-ray hardware and software, and UltraViolet through its Disc to Digital program, offering their customers a broad range of products and purchasing opportunities. As new categories such as UltraViolet appear, they have taken the initiative to develop engaging interactive displays to expose the consumer to emerging technologies.
In the category of Retailer of the Year for Software, Walmart was chosen based on its unparalleled excellence in the display and promotion of packaged initiatives, with a focus on digital growth, both on UltraViolet and electronic sell-through. DEG members also recognized Walmart as the Digital Retailer of the Year for its aggressive steps on UltraViolet and a forward thinking combined digital and packaged strategy. “Walmart’s support of the Disc to Digital initiative through VUDU has been instrumental in introducing UltraViolet to a new generation of consumers,” said Craig Kornblau, Vice President of the DEG Board of Directors and President, Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
The DEG Emiel N. Petrone Innovation Awards, acknowledging the year's outstanding digital entertainment products released during the calendar year, were also announced. Oppo was recognized for Best Physical Media Product for their BDP-105 Blu-ray Disc Player, a high-end ($1,199 at Amazon) player.
Amazon got the nod for Best Digital Media Product for their Kindle Fire HD—which, depending upon the screen size and bells and whistles, retails from $199 to $499.
The Most Innovative Home Entertainment Product went to Sony for their XBR-84X900 4K Ultra (LED) HDTV.
In the Creative Excellence Awards categories, the judging panel, nominated by the motion picture studio and music company memers of the DEG, consisted of reviewers and industry reporters from trade, entertainment, and daily consumer news organizations. In addition to overall sound and picture quality, all titles were considered for those features (which are not defined) that "best demonstrate the value-added nature of the format."
Disney's Marvel's "The Avengers" was named Theatrical Title of the Year.
The Classic Title of the Year went to Universal for "The Alfred Hitchcock Collection."
Music Title of the Year was awarded to Sony for "Neil Young: Journeys."
The 3D Title of the Year was awarded to Paramount for "Hugo."
And "The Dark Knight Rises" took home Second Screen App of the Year honors.