Eastman Kodak Co. and Sony Corp. of America yesterday announced separate agreements designed to increase the availability of movies on 8-millimeter video tape.
Kodak signed an 18-month agreement with Los Angeles-based Embassy Home Entertainment that will enable the world's largest photographic products manufacturer to distribute up to 46 of Embassy's movies and music videos, said Kodak spokesman Robert C. McEwen.
The two companies agreed not to release financial information about the agreement, McEwen said. He also declined to say what Kodak has projected for sales.
By choosing the 8mm format, as opposed to the more traditional half-inch VHS and Beta tapes, Kodak said it hopes to expand that portion of the video market.
An 8mm video cassette is roughly the same size as an audio cassette, McEwen said, and sells for roughly half the price of VHS and Beta tapes. Equipment to play the smaller cassettes therefore also is more compact.
Sony, meanwhile, said it will provide Paramount Pictures Corp. with 8mm video software to produce home video movies.
Paramount Home Video, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures, will release 15 movies on 8mm video cassettes by this summer at a new-products conference in Florida, said Sony spokesmen.
"With the Paramount announcement and other software titles to come, the 8mm video format is well positioned as a major force in today's home video entertainment industry," said Neil Vander Dussen, president of Sony Corp. of America.
Some of the first titles to be distributed will be "Beverly Hills Cop," "Witness," "Foul Play," "The Bad News Bears," "Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock," "Trading Places," "Teen Wolf," "Flashdance," "Harold and Maude" and "The Jazz Singer."
Eric Doctorow, Paramount vice president for sales and marketing, said his company will release 8mm movies at the same time it releases its conventional home videos.
Kodak introduced 8mm video products in January 1984 and earlier this year introduced an 8mm modular video system that allows owners to build 8mm home entertainment centers.