NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- Wal-Mart and five of the six major Hollywood studios are hoping they can beat the odds and keep alive their dying cash cow - the DVD business. On Tuesday Paramount ( VIA), Sony ( SNE), Warner Brothers ( TWX), Fox ( NWS) , and Universal ( CMCSA), along with Wal-Mart ( WMT), unveiled a service to allow consumers to access their DVD library wherever they are, from whatever gadget they happen to have, through Ultraviolet, the studios struggling digital locker system. Wal-Mart is launching a disk-to-digital service, aiming to drive adoption of Ultraviolet, and DVD purchases, rather than lower-margin rentals, and to prevent piracy. Billions of dollars are at stake for the studios as well as the nation's largest DVD retailer. DVD and Blu-Ray sales declined 10% last year to $9 billion, and that's a 36% decline from the industry's 2004 peak, according to IHS Screen Digest. Wal-Mart wants to make money on the ten billion DVDs and Blu-Rays U.S. customers already own. And the studios want to make owning DVDs a valuable proposition, so people will keep buying them, instead of switching to a streaming-on-demand world.
By Julia Boorstin, CNBC Correspondent
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