As Blu-ray hardware enters Australian homes, Sony companies are collaborating with the country’s two leading movie rental chains to educate consumers on the high definition home entertainment format. The Video Ezy and Blockbuster networks will be making it a ‘Blu summer’ as they roll-out a number of initiatives designed to help customers experience the sound and image quality Blu-ray can offer.
The partnerships include an increased quantity of Blu-ray films for customers to choose from in both rental networks, in-store displays featuring Playstation 3, Sony’s BDP-S300 Blu-ray players and Bravia full high definition TVs, as well as educational content.

These stands will be delivered to over 200 Video Ezy and Blockbuster stores across Australia. Video Ezy will drive a promotional campaign across TV, radio, direct mail, catalogues, mobile and online mediums, while Blockbuster will promote the format through its print and online channels.
“It’s without question that Blu-ray is the format of the future,” says Michele Garra, managing director of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“Both the hardware and software trends are tracking significantly towards Blu-ray in the adoption of high definition in the home. Working closely with our partners in the rental space – a significant channel for home movie consumption in Australia – we’re committed to providing a strong education focus, particularly in-store. The Sony group is in a unique position to demonstrate the strength of the format across the full gamut of content – movies, music and games.”
"Blockbuster – with over 8000 stores in 24 countries – recently announced that we are extending the portfolio of Blu-ray titles we will offer our rental customers purchasing only this HD format for the foreseeable future, following the lead from the US,” says John McKay, head of product for Blockbuster in Australia.

“We made this decision in order to meet the demands of our customers and based on trend data we’re seeing both here and internationally, while ensuring they’re educated and understand the possibilities of HD. We believe the customer will dictate which high definition format will become the industry standard as the format matures in the Australian marketplace and we will be supporting them in their decision.”
Richard Clutsom, general manager, buying at Video Ezy says: “We endeavour to sell to demand – at this stage Blu-ray is clearly the leading HD format and industry data backs that up. The future will depend on hardware sales catering to either format and we will move with those trends.”