Below is a timeline for every notable event in the history of movies in the home (with more being added). It should be noted that this website uses the term, “Home Video,” in two different ways. Firstly, it uses it as an umbrella term for the viewing of movies in the home, physical or otherwise. Secondly, its also the label given to the era in time where movies are being released on physical video formats.
January, 2007 (New York Times, 2007/01/25, p. C1)
Netflix slowly rolls out their movie streaming service at 250,000 customers at a time. Its a subscription-based streaming only service. Depending of the subscription, users are given an allotment of viewing hours each month. There are 1,000 titles to choose from at launch. The rollout is expected to complete by July.
March 22nd, 2007 (Worldwide Computer Products, 2007/03/22, p. 1)
Apple TV, the first widely popular internet streaming device for television sets, begins shipping to retailers. It streams 720p video, has 40 GB of internal storage and play music and video content from ones iTunes account. Apple also announces in May that YouTube will soon be added to the device. Priced at $299.
May 20th, 2008 (PR Newswire, 2008/05/20)
Roku begins rolling out their TV streaming device. Built in collaboration with Netflix, the device allows the streaming of over 10,000 movies on the Netflix platform to your television screen. It costs $99.99.
August 4th, 2008 (Cablefax Daily, 2008/08/05)
Cablevision wins their appeal in their case with the MPAA, who in 2006, sued the company, claiming their DVR cloud service permitted infringement. In 2009, the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, upholding the appeal.
January 14th, 2009 (Pioneer Press Release, 2009/01/14)
Due to rising manufacturing costs resulting from the introduction of DVD and Blu-ray, Pioneer announces they would be haulting their production of laserdisc players. “The company has seen worldwide sales of its LD players reach more than 9.5 million units to date in a market that saw worldwide sales top 16.8 million devices.”
February 10th, 2010 https://www.engadget.com/2010-02-10-sonys-200-bdp-s470-is-companys-first-3d-ready-blu-ray-player.html
Sony releases the very first Blu-ray 3-D compatible player, costing ($200). Viewing the movies also requires a 3-D TV and a “Blu-ray 3-D” firmware upgrade.
May, 2010 (Selkirk Journal, 2010/07/09, pl. 5)
Movie Gallery, parent company of Hollywood Video, decides to liquidate all of its assets after two previous Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. The company begins the process of shutting down all their stores.
June 1st, 2010
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009) is the first title to be released on the new Blu-ray 3-D format.
September 23th, 2010 (The Economist Online, 2010/09/23)
After several poor decisions related to their DVD-by-mail program, and accruing a debt valued at $900 million, Blockbuster files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Over the next year, they would begin closing stores from their 3,300 store chain. Unable to meet the terms of their filing, the company is auctioned off to Dish Networks on April 6th, 2011 for $320 million. The remaining opened stores would continue to close.
August 1st, 2011 https://www.reuters.com/article/idUS317363613120110802
In April, a group of Hollywood studios lead by Warner Brothers, sued WTV Systems, the parent company to DVD-streaming service, Zediva.com. A court injunction shuts down the service, finding that copyright holders ought to have the right to determine how their films are viewed. Zediva responded to the decision, stating, “Today’s ruling represents a setback for the hundreds of thousands of consumers looking for an alternative to Hollywood-controlled online movie services.”
February, 2016 https://www.theverge.com/2016/2/8/10936792/uhd-4k-blu-ray-samsung-player-on-sale
Samsung launches the first player for the new 4k UHD Blu-ray disc. It’s the very first format to offer 4096 x 2160 resolution. The player sells for $250.
February 14th, 2016 https://hd-report.com/2016/02/23/1st-4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-movies-released-by-sony-pictures/
Sony Home Entertainment releases their first 6 titles on the new 4K UHD format. They include Chappie (2015), Hancock (2008), Pineapple Express (2008), Salt (2010), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) and The Smurfs 2 (2013).
March, 2016 https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34776424
In November of 2015, Sony announced through its website that they would no longer be selling Betamax videocassettes starting March of the following year.
July, 2016 https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a21956/the-last-vcr/
Funai Electric announces that it would be manufacturing its very last VHS VCR this month.
January 5th, 2021 (https://www.13abc.com/2021/01/05/family-video-closing-all-remaining-stores)
The last of the big three American video rental chains, Family Video, announces they would be shutting down their remaining 250 stores due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because they actually owned their properties rather than leased them, they were able to hold out longer than the other chains. They continued selling movies on their website until March 2022.