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Hollywood Pushes for Ultra-HD Video Player, Fox’s Dunn Says

Hollywood film and television studios are pressing consumer electronics companies to build an Ultra-HD video player with a enough data storage to hold several movies at once.

The device, a Blu-ray player with a 1-terabyte hard drive, could be available for the 2015 holiday season, Mike Dunn, president of 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA)’s home entertainment division, said today at a consumer electronics conference in Los Angeles.

Studios are seeking to work more closely with consumer electronics companies to stoke demand for so-called ultra high-definition video, which provides an even sharper picture than current technology. Such a player would give viewers the ability to move files between devices, as well as buy, download and watch 66-gigabyte, next-generation video files, Dunn said.

“The studios and C-E industry are already in discussions,” Dunn said. “I’m here to give a little nudge.”

Fox, owner of the Twentieth Century Fox film studio and Twentieth Television studio, rose 0.4 percent to $34.40 at the close in New York. The Class A shares have gained 53 percent this year.

The proposal was developed and presented by studios in the Blu-ray Disc Association, which includes Fox, Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Co. (DIS)

Studios and consumer electronics makers are counting on ultra HD, or 4K video, to stoke demand for new equipment and create an upgrade cycle for movies similar to the transition from VHS to DVD. The size of an Ultra HD video file makes it more challenging to stream over the Internet.

Dunn said 21st Century Fox is creating the “Fox Innovation Lab” to work more closely with consumer electronics companies on new technologies.

“If we work more collaboratively, more at the front end of creation, we can accomplish so much more,” Dunn said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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