Tesco, Microsoft Partner on Enhanced Digital Movie Experience

Tesco, which ranks third as the world’s largest food retailer, and Microsoft Corp., Redwood, Wash., announced this month a collaboration to launch the next generation of home video viewing.

CHESHUNT, England — Tesco here, which ranks third as the world’s largest food retailer, and Microsoft Corp., Redwood, Wash., announced this month a collaboration to launch the next generation of home video viewing.

Starting in this fall, Tesco customers in the United Kingdom who purchase certain home video titles can download “digital copy” versions of movies to their Windows-based or Apple Macintosh computers in a “virtual DVD” experience. The digital copy versions will include a similar level of video quality, interactivity and bonus content available on the physical products.

In addition, the digital copy versions will provide consumers with extra network-connected features such as auto-updated trailers, exclusive bonus content, movie viewing parties with online chat, related music offerings such as MP3s and ring tones, and networked games.

The new service is built on Microsoft Silverlight technology, a browser plug-in that delivers DVD and Blu-ray quality with advanced Web-based interactivity.

“Tesco is excited to be the first retailer to partner with a broad range of major movie studios to offer this next-generation movie experience,” said Rob Salter, Tesco’s category director for entertainment, in a press statement.

Microsoft’s Gabriele Di Piazza, senior director for the media & entertainment business in the communications sector, said the the digital home video offer will eventually be rolled out to other markets.

Tesco is the parent of Fresh & Easy, which operates 125 stores in Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

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