When the videocassette recorder was launched on the consumer market in the mid-1970s, it transformed home entertainment. Bringing together complementary but also competing interests from the consumer electronics industry and the film, television and other copyright industries, video created a new sector of media business. Two decades later, DVD reinvented video media for the digital age. DVD provided consumers with an innovative form of entertainment technology and almost instantaneously became the catalyst for a huge boom in the video market. Although the VCR and DVD created major markets for video hardware and software, the video business has been continually shaped by industry conflicts and tensions. Repeatedly the video market has become divided when faced with the introduction of competing formats. Easy reproduction of films and other works on cassette or disc made video software a lucrative market for the copyright industries but also intensified struggles to combat the effects of commercial piracy. "Video and DVD Industries" examines the business of video entertainment and provides the first study looking at DVD from an industrial perspective. Detailing divisions in the video business, the book outlines industry battles over incompatible formats, from the Betamax/VHS war, to competing laserdisc systems, alternatives such as video compact disc or Digital Video Express, and the introduction of HDDVD and Blu-ray high-definition systems. Chapters also look at the formation of international markets in the globalization of video media, the contradictory responses of the Hollywood studios to video and DVD, and the legal and technological measures taken to control industrialized video piracy.
PAUL MCDONALD is Reader in Film Studies and Director of the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures, Roehampton University
Introduction: The Video and DVD Business .- 1. Bringing Entertainment Home: The Consumer Electronics Industry and the VCR .- 2. Reinventing Video: From Videodisc to VCD and DVD .- 3. Global Media, National Contexts: International Markets for Video and DVD .- 4. Resisting and Profiting from Video: Hollywood and the VCR .- 5. Hollywood Home Entertainment: Popular Cinema and Video Media in the Digital Age .- 6. Commercial Piracy: Illegal Production and Copyright Protection.