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Limited-Use DVD Technology

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the may-it-meet-the-fate-of-divx dept.

Movies 643

ps_inkling writes: "Two companies are creating different techniques to make DVD discs unusable after a set period of time. SpectraDisc has a patent on a limited-play DVD technology; FlexPlay is currently developing limited play DVD technology. The SpectraDisc technique is to coat the DVD with a film, then wrap the DVD in an anaerobic package. The idea is to sell these 'play-once' DVD movies at a substantial discount to regular DVDs as a way to compete with pay-per-view or movie ticket outlets."

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DivX (1)

jismay (179462) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972627)

This sounds just like DIVX from circuit City will noone learn?

Re:DivX (2)

ryanr (30917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972665)

No, no they don't.

Especially not these ones... have you heard some of thier reasons why they think DeCSS is bad?

Re:DivX (4, Insightful)

DouglasA (31173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972669)

The biggest problem with DivX was the requirement for specific hardware. If these DVDs play in any DVD player, and they're sold for cheap (approximately rental price), it certainly could work.

I rent movies constantly, and buy those I like enough to watch again. If I could pick up a disc for $3-4 and not have to return it to the store, that could be extremely convenient. As long as I don't have to buy a special player, hook it up to my phone line, and shop only at Circuit City. That's why DivX failed, not because the concept was necessarily bad.

Re:DivX (2)

Satai (111172) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972710)

Well, DIVX was hindered by the need for a "DIVX-enabled" drive. In addition, that "DIVX-enabled" player had to be connected to a phone line, and all in all it was a rather poor setup.

I suspect that, down the road, somebody will discover that these cause damage to some players, and this will all blow up in a firestorm. Let's hope these two companies did their homework really well.

Or, hell, we could all just still buy the real ones.

Re:DivX (1)

antiwhack (557461) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972747)

No, they won't learn. The hollywood suits are getting pretty freaked out over this "digital movie = easy piracy" thing. The DIVX model, no matter how misguided, is just an attempt for the suits to try and regain some of the revenue they think they're losing (and will lose in the future) to digital piracy. Maybe they think if they foist enough of this on us (the public), we'll forget about the whole idea of movie ownership and accept the concept that we need to come back to the studio and give 'em some cash whenever we want to watch one. I don't think so, but they'll try... if this doesn't work, I'm guessing there will be more attempts in the future. Not to mention the whole slew of video-on-demand stuff that will be coming when the technology is widely spread enough. Which will be cool, but not to the exclusion of physical ownership.

Gotta love capitalism... (2, Informative)

Hal-9001 (43188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972628)

A technology flops, and companies try to resurrect it nonetheless. Don't they remember Circuit City's Divx fiasco?

Re:Gotta love capitalism... (1)

akgoel (153089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972658)

As far as I'm concerned, the concept of a one-time use DVD is not flawed. With the exception of the waste created, it's like renting a DVD or ordering pay-per-view.

However, the problem with Circuit City's Divx was that their DVD's could not be played on normal DVD players, and their Divx disks did not include many of the extras that normal DVD's had, such as director's commentaries.

Re:Gotta love capitalism... (3, Insightful)

Hal-9001 (43188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972684)

As far as I'm concerned, the concept is flawed, and I will vote against it with my dollars.

Difference (5, Insightful)

emmons (94632) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972707)

The difference between Circuit City's fiasco and this is that divx required a special player which dialed an 800 number to see if you're eligible to play the disk. That part wasn't so horrible. The bad part is that CC wasn't making any money with it so they dropped it and screwed all the people who had paid extra for the specialized players.

These new ideas are entirely different.. they rely on the disc itself to limit how many times you can play it. I, for one, wouldn't mind paying $1-2 for a DVD which allows me to watch a movie a couple times until the coating on the disk makes it unreadable. You only have to read it once to rip it. ;)

Re:Difference (2)

dougmc (70836) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972728)

and screwed all the people who had paid extra for the specialized players.
Um, didn't all those people get $100 back? (which was the usual price premium?)

In any event, I doubt those who chose Beta over VHS got any sort of refund ...

omg so lame (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972629)

LAME! to the max.

I want to fap to my dvds many times.

New DivX?? (2, Interesting)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972632)

Do theny never learn? Sure, now they do not require you to connect ot the Big Brother, Co. to view it, but who will want this anyway? And how would they handle liability, if it does not play??

waste (5, Insightful)

Krimsen (26685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972636)

"creating more waste faster than ever imagined"

I don't get it.

Re:waste (2, Funny)

Hal-9001 (43188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972667)

Welcome to Dubya's America?

Re:waste (5, Informative)

Tom Davies (64676) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972690)

From FlexPlay's FAQ:
It is interesting to note that a recent scientific study found that because Flexplay discs will eliminate unnecessary trips by car to video stores, they will actually result in a net benefit to the environment. The study, conducted by Jonathan Koomey, a noted environmental expert, concluded that if Flexplay discs constituted 10% of all rentals, the technology would save 50 million gallons of gasoline, eliminate 111,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, 700 tons of hydrocarbons, and 1,000 tons of nitrogen oxides every year. These emissions savings would be equivalent in their effects to removing 82,000 passenger car and light trucks from the road permanently.

Re:waste (2, Insightful)

Mayor McPenisman (557253) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972723)

so what if I walk to rent a film?

Re:waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972736)

There are lies, damn lies and... :-p

Re:waste (4, Insightful)

dozing (111230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972759)

Now here's a thought. If I rent the movie, but don't have to take it back to the store then I won't look at other titles while I'm returning this one. Hence, I won't be compelled to rent another on impulse. This acctually sounds like a poor marketing decision.

Re:waste (2)

Hal-9001 (43188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972770)

What would the volume of 10% of all DVDs rented in the U.S. be? I imagine it's probably quite a bit. In any case, the environmental argument doesn't apply for me because my apartment complex is across the street from a video store... :-p

Re:waste-Landfill filler. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972788)

The issue NOT addressed is. How much waste will "Limited-life" DVD's generate in our landfills?
We're becoming ever more the "great throwaway" society.

DIVX (1)

Amnesiak (12487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972641)

This sounds suspiciously like DIVX [penny-arcade.com] (the movie rental thing, not the codec). That didnt end up being too popular.

Better rip them right away (0)

Tomji (142759) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972644)

Just screws other people, not me ;)

I have all my movies in DivX format on my harddisk (easier to browse anyway)

Re:Better rip them right away (2)

ekrout (139379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972703)

You're confusing the two, my friend.

DIVX was an original venture by Circuit City to promote discs similar to the ones linked to in this story. They were "play a few times and it's gone", so essentially you were renting a disc that would self-destruct.

DivX ;-) on the other hand is merely an encoding scheme for movies that is used frequently by folks with DVDs to save them to secondary storage at around 500MB - 1GB per movie while retaining much of the original video and sound quality.

Just what we need (1)

spectral (158121) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972645)

Great, so I'll spend what, half price on these compared to regular discs, and have to throw it out afterwards. And what if I want to atch the extras? after the coating's gone,t he menu probably won't work again? Yea, I didn't read the article, but chances are they probably don't go into this. Why don't companies learn from what other stupid companies did? If I buy something from a store, I want to have it in the future, no stupid one watch crap. I can go to the stupid video rental place and rent a movie and watch it several times (in 5 days), probably for the same price or even cheaper, and I don't have to worry about burning disc coatings in my player.

Re:Just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972688)

I just read the spectra and flex articles. Apparently it has a coating that when exposed to air slowly starts to turn opaque. They say they can thus control how long it'll work for. What if my dvd player doesn't handle errors very well, and it's set to go opaque in 12 hours, but after it goes slightly opaque, my drive just dies? Or what happens if I open it, go to watch it.. and in the middle have to get up to cook dinner, or take a shit, or pick up my daughter or something, so i can't get to watch it? Or even worse, just fall asleep and miss the end? I can't see this being accepted by any consumer.

Posted anonymously to avoid karma whoring.

Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972646)

Let them research a new technology that costs millions, to create a manufacturing process to sell disks that costs billions, and to make disks that due to their physical composition, will almost cause the industry to LOSE money?

I, for one, am looking forward to this :)

The other shoe... (4, Insightful)

ryanr (30917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972647)

So, now we see why they were so keen to eliminate DVD copying software. If only they hadn't made DVD copying a complete and utter technical impossibility.

Re:The other shoe... (2, Interesting)

irony nazi (197301) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972701)

Watch once = rip once

In other words, it only takes once to rip the DVD image to your harddrive. The *actual* disk is useless after this point.

Did I mention that 120GB harddrives are very cheap right now??

I will purchase these read-once disks if:
(cost of read-once DVD) < (cost new DVD) - (Resale value of used DVD).
It's simple mathematics.

Re:The other shoe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972731)

(cost of read-once DVD)

I'm sorry, Microsoft entertainment's new DVD EULA specificly says that reselling your DVD is illegal.

Read-once - Copy-once? (3, Insightful)

mskfisher (22425) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972649)

Will this technology fade once DVD-R comes into the mainstream?

Re:Read-once - Copy-once? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972739)

What does (1310)base10 mean?

I thought this had been done with DivX... (5, Insightful)

WildBill1941 (187641) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972650)

And it failed miserably. My uncle's got a DivX player that's near-useless. He should've got one that also played regular DVDs - but hey, he was an early adopter. I don't think limited-use discs or other media makes sense. People want to *own* the movies and music they buy. Otherwise, everyone would listen to the radio all the time, or get pay-per-view movies on their cable or satellite. But hey - what do I know? I'm just an American Consumer - I vote with my dollar. And my dollar won't be buying a use-once disc. Unless you can rip it to DivX;-).

Re:I thought this had been done with DivX... (5, Insightful)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972750)

"I vote with my dollar. And my dollar won't be buying a use-once disc."

You seem to be under the mpression that this technology is aimed at consumers. It's not. It's aimed at publishers. You will not have a choice of paying one dollar for a one-use disc and 10 dollars for a unlimited use disc. You will only have the choice of paying 10 dollars for a one-use disc.

Nitrogen (4, Funny)

1/137 (179946) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972652)

Wouldn't that make Nitrogen gas illegal under the DMCA as a circumvention?

Re:Nitrogen (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972673)

look at me!!! I can make a stupid karma-whoring DMCA joke!!!

Re:Nitrogen (2)

Hal-9001 (43188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972722)

Wouldn't that make Nitrogen gas illegal under the DMCA as a circumvention [device]?
What are they going to do, hold me in contempt for breathing? Arrest me for being under the influence of N2? (For those who don't know, the atmosphere is roughly 70% nitrogen)

P.S. Love the handle...too bad most /.ers don't know much about physics...

Your handle breaks slashcode! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972773)

click on User#179946 Info, and it says you are "1", not "1/137", and has no knowledge of your posts...

But there is no limit to my forgiveness (-1, Offtopic)

TrollForJesus (557139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972653)

Come to me, my child, and I will love thee as your lord and savior...

DIVX all over again. (1)

turpie (8040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972654)

You'd think that after the failure of Cirtuit city's DIVX that they've learnt that consumers aren't interested in limited play DVDs.

Besides, neither of these systems would seem to cause any trouble for DiVX:) for those who what to get around the time out problem

Will this take off? (1)

danonb (530509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972655)

I can't particularly see this taking off for a number of reasons. 1. How long will it be before the DVD's are cracked (if it is a software time limit) 2. When DVDR's become (very) cheaply available, won't people buy them, copy them for a substantial discount like people did with PSone CD's. However, someone thinks it will work and save money, so someone else will find a way around it and abuse the system.

repeat? (0)

apraetor (248989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972656)

i SWEAR i've heard of this.. like a year ago.

Re:repeat? (3, Informative)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972678)

Yes, you're right : Self-Destructing DVDs: Son of DIVX [slashdot.org] just over 2 years ago

a good qoute to describe what will happen here (1)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972657)

qouting my good friend Eric Wilson here....

"For every technology, there is an equal and opposite hacker technology"

simply put, someone will hack this and we'll see either easy copies of this, or some way to play the orginals for as long as desired

One time? Pfft...easy.. (5, Funny)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972659)

Once is all I need to copy it :)

WHOA (-1)

The BOFH Troll (549884) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972661)

Where are all the trolls? I am guessing I am the first troll to post.

Re:WHOA (-1)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972675)

We are listening what you humans might call "big-ballin gangsta shit!"

Re:WHOA (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972696)

we're here. jsut getting ready to jumo ship.

wh00t i am drunk

bouevard irish ale baby

fuck slashdot

fuck the world

new shit's bout to take over this scene

fuck all ya'll

Bad (4, Funny)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972662)

The next thing you know, they'll be trying to sell us eat-once popcorn to go with our play-once dvd

Re:Bad (1)

Chundra (189402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972705)

I'll stick to the eat once popcorn, thanks. But if you want, I'll package and ship up some recycled popcorn for you.

For a small fee, of course. ;-)

If you can view it..... (1)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972672)

Was the "play once" or "rip once".

DIVX All Over Again (1)

SkewlD00d (314017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972676)

LOL! That'll work. rm -rf *stupid*companies* like Circuit City and Macrovision.

Re:DIVX All Over Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972725)

you are so cool

Re:DIVX All Over Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972737)

Not only is he cool, he is a brilliant h4x0r d00d too. Damn...look at those skillz! He RULES!

Re:DIVX All Over Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972746)

Sorry, I'll rephrase it for you.

DellTree c:\*stupid*companies

Biodegradable (3, Funny)

sgtron (35704) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972677)

How about DVDs that disintegrate after a period of time? Maybe after subjected to the heat of a DVD player or something. Then you have no waste. Like those packing peanuts made of starch. They disolve in water so you don't have to worry about styrofoam waste from packing material anymore.

Re:Biodegradable (0)

Atomic Fro (150394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972752)

I almost think this already is the case. For some reason every DVD we rent is just full of bad sectors at the end of the disc. There aren't any visible scratches on the disc, it just refuses to play the end of the DVD. We don't have any problems with the discs we buy, just the rented ones.

wow! (1)

Chundra (189402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972679)

I'm not a hardcore environmentalist, but isn't that a little irresponsible? Not only that, it's a stupid idea with limited appeal. (Cool! I can get a dvd for 4.99 that I can only watch once? Sign me up!).


I can't wait to see these schmucks fold, and hopefully after losing significant amounts of personal investments.

As much as I want it to flop (2, Interesting)

Kasmiur (464127) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972680)

Imagine the uses for it.

In the every box of cheerios you get a copy of the Powerrangers movie that you can play 3 times before you have to buy another box.

This would enable cheap short life DvD's to be given away to people. Perhaps a movie mag could put on it all the new previews they had at such a small cost. As much as i dont like the idea there are many uses for this technology.

Also I could see some of those online places that will let you rent DvD's over the net use such a thing. They send it out and you get to watch it twice or three times and they save money buy not having to worry about postage. I kinda hope this works and kinda don't due to it could become the standard and evuantally you wont be able to buy movies anymore but be forced to rent them.

So the point of my comment is this. Any technology when used can be either good or bad. This has the future of both. I imagine both uses would get used out of it.

Compete... I think NOT (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972681)

This kind of technology I doubt will compete with pay-per-view. The main idea of pay-per-view (ppv), is that you do not have to even move off your couch to order it. With Satalite, you can hit a few buttons on a remote. With Cable, you have to make a call, that that is also pretty easy.

So I have to run to the store, buy something that will cost what.. $2 (I would hope), bring it back, pop it in.. watch.. remove. Place coffee on.

This is certainly not convenience. I could see, maybe ordering them online, have them shipped to your house, then watch.. but again, you dont have it when you wanted it (when you ordered). PPV allows you to watch it RIGHT then. But you have to look at the side of these DVDs, if you are allowed to rewind, and pause, that would be great, it would have that advantage over PPV.

Should be interesting to see if this idea actually works.

Re:Compete... I think NOT (2)

DavidJA (323792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972785)

So I have to run to the store, buy something that will cost what.. $2 (I would hope), bring it back, pop it in.. watch.. remove. Place coffee on

Think outside the square son....

Service stations have the DVD's on the counter and sell them for $5 a pop. You fill your car up with gas, see a new release and think "fuck it, I don't have anything on tonight, may as well buy this one"...

OK, This is IT! (1, Funny)

ekrout (139379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972683)

OK, This is IT!

If I hear one more "didn't they try this with DIVX", or "I thought Circuit City...", etc., I'll inflict harm upon someone in this lab I'm currently sitting in! Inflicting harm is kinda like DIVX, isn't it, but instead of "play once and it's done" it's "punch once and they're done"?

Sorry, too much caffeine today :-/

Here's the SpectraDisc Patent (1)

arget (447057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972685)

Read the patent [delphion.com] if you like.

Nothing new here. Consumers rejected DivX, and this is no different for them. Will they be smart enough to reject it this time around?

divix (0, Redundant)

dciman (106457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972686)

Anyone remember Divix? Basically the same kinda thing..... and it failed horribly. Circuit City lost several Million dollars over the deal when they had to shut down the service. The principle was... buy a $5 disc and you could watch it for like 3 days. After that you have to "renew" the rental through your divix capable dvd player for a fee, buy the movie through the player, or toss it.

The point is... why deal with this when people can just go to a blockbuster and rent it for 5 days for the same price??

Flop... that's what I say!

Re:divix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972741)

DUDE!, I had totaly forgotten about divx. Funny thing is so did the other 100 people that posted the exact same fucking thing you did, way to go!

Sorry, nothing personal, you're just the lucky 1 in 100 that I decided to rip on.

Why Would I Buy This? (3, Insightful)

kmactane (18359) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972691)

If I just wanted to watch a movie once, I'd rent it from my local Blockbuster or similar video store. Those places carry DVDs now.

But if I buy a product, I damn well want to use it more than once! (Well, a data-carrying product, anyway. Food is a different story...)

I'm sure they could have tried to make VHS tapes, audio cassettes, and so on, that would only play once. Nobody was fool enough to try it until now.

I predict this thing will crash and burn at least as badly as DivX did.

Compete with Pay per view? (1)

wyndigo (534813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972693)

How does this compete with pay-per-view?
The main selling point of pay-per-view is
not price, but convenience/live broadcasts.
You will have to go, and buy this only to
turn around, and throw it away. This isn't
just incovenient it is wasteful, and doesn't
even touch the live performance aspect of
pay-per-view. Money would be better spent
on working out a broadband streaming solution.


It plays one time (1, Redundant)

jjeffries (17675) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972698)

which just happens to be how many times you need to play it to make a copy.

Divx (1)

zook (34771) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972700)

Who cares. There's a reason [com.com] Divx died.

DViX (1)

geekfiend (448150) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972704)

Didn't they already try this and it met with little . . . er . . . no success?


The BOFH Troll (549884) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972706)

Competition for PPV? (1)

Astral Jung (450195) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972708)

Apparently Pay-Per-View is more popular than I thought it was, for it to have competition. However I don't see much of a future for either limited-use medium. Divx didn't fare that well, and you'd think that would serve as a lesson, unless their research suggests that the general populace shied away due to Big Brother concerns than a lack of enthusiasm in the "delivery method."

In any case, I fail to see how this will improve on both Pay-Per-View and rental. Only a limited amount of material is available to PPV (usually the stuff that's been in the video rental places for a while), and I doubt that any who would make a trek to a rental store, most of which would have the full permanent version DVDs for rent, would really mind a return trip, especially if the temp DVDs just have the movie and not any special features. (After all, would the studios be likely to put special features on a temp DVD?)

Penis pot pie (-1, Offtopic)

Mayor McPenisman (557253) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972712)

My name is mayor McPenisman and I'm here to say:
Mayor McPenisman is here to stay

If you don't like him then you can go to hell
Mayor McPenisman will ring your bell!

Mayor McPenisman won't start no trouble,
he's just here to do the super-bowl shuffle!

Cracked Already!!! (1)

SkewlD00d (314017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972716)

Just play them in a vacuum!

Re:Cracked Already!!! (1)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972757)

Possibly not, the patent [delphion.com] says

What is claimed is:
1. A method for intentionally making an optically readable media unreadable by a play process, comprising steps of:
providing the media with an optically activated mechanism that causes a defocusing of a readout beam, thereby degrading reflection of the readout beam from a surface wherein information is encoded;

...it will never work.... (2)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972717)

So if you put those discs in a vacuum, you'd be able to store them almost indefinately? It's fairly easy to make a box for these discs and pump all the air out of it.

Alternatively, there's probably a way to chemically treat the "special coating" so that it doesn't oxidize.

Of course, you could also just rip the DVD's to your hard drive and convert them to DivX ;-) or record them to DVD-R once the discs are cheaper.

Hard drives are still the only commonly available technology that doesn't require you to have big piles of stuff (discs, tapes) around.


How in God's name does this compete???? (1)

ebbomega (410207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972718)

With Pay-Per-View:
Advantages over rental:
- Don't have to leave the house.
- Don't have to pay late fees.
With Cool-New-Useless-Technology
- Still have to leave the house.
- Get a cool new plethora of coasters.

With Movie Theater:
Advantages over rental:
- Big screen Big Sound
- Popcorn requires less effort and tastes better
With Cool-New-Useless Technology:
- Same Screen Same Sound
- Popcorn inevitably gets burnt in the Microwave.

And this is supposed to compete??? WTF?

They should be edible... (1)

Herak (557381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972720)

They should be edible... Yumm....

For $4.99 you get not only a DVD, but a tasty snack!

THAT'S what they should have done with all those AOL CD's....

By the way, people are stupid. That'll never work.

Divx II (1)

Quebst (263980) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972721)

I don't see how this offers any real bonus to existing ways of movie rental. Pay per view allows me to rent movies from the comfort of my own smelly couch, and video/DVD rentals allow for several days worth of viewing (along with fast forward/rewind) I think this is a case of good technology with no real use. Also, if it is the removal of oxygen that maintains the DVD, maybe some airtight food storage sealers would actually have some use after all.

Perfect! (2)

tftp (111690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972724)

This, if implemented, would be a great reason to legalize DVD backup solutions. Right now, the DVD is virtually not wearing out. But if it does, the consumer can argue all kinds of standard consumer protection arguments in favor of his right to watch the DVD *as the content is licensed*, like once, but to use the content when he is ready. It will be tough defense for the DVD people because there will be very legitimate reason to back it up.

let the junk fest begin (2, Interesting)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972726)

Ahh yes, another piece of junk for us to accumulate. I think I'll shelve the used discs on my bookcase, next to the handbook on "How to reduce clutter".

Wouldn't it be nice for a change if our culture moved away from selling to people as much junk as they can buy? Disposable diapers, disposable cameras, disposable cellphones, etc. I find that many people lead just as disposable lives, unfortunately -- with the quality of life getting emptier as people get richer.

Yes, yes, I know that all marketing is about making people want something they didn't know they needed before. Just because we're accustomed to it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. I look forward to the day when we can overcome our material desires, the need to one-up our neighbors, and express our achievement through spending money.

Maybe science, freedom of information, and education will get us there someday. I hope.

EVERYBODY - LOG OUT NOW!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2972729)

There is a huge security hole in /.

All your personal information is being spread across the internet [slashcode.com]

Will they be rippable? (2, Insightful)

spotter (5662) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972730)

assuming that these will be normal DVDs except that they will "degrade" somehow that will prevent people from watching them, I would think this would make it even easier for people to rip the DVDs, as their "1 time use" could be spent ripping the DVD to their hard disk.

not really sure what this gains the studios.

Amazing! (1)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972733)

What a brilliant concept! Who'd a thunk it - a disc that you only get one crack at copying!

Count me in - I'll be investing in this for sure.

Brilliant Idea! (1, Redundant)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972734)

I have it!
Instead of selling them at a discount and have them self-destruct once they've been played once or twice. I think I'll just get a regular DVD and rent them, maybe even for less!! Yes I'll call it a video store (has a kind of ring to it don't you think?)

Always looking out for the consumer. (1, Redundant)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972738)

Apparently they got tired of listening to consumers complaining about being able to watch their videos anytime they want.

Eh movie rentals? (1)

gotak (547354) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972743)

Concidering the cost of renting a DVD or a tape from the likes of bloackbuster... This is totally pointless.

Why brother? if you hvae to go buy it anyhow why not just go rent a movie?

This will never work (1)

Danga (307709) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972744)

This will never catch on and will die a quick death. We already have places to rent movies and I doubt these play once movies will be cheaper than renting. And if they are cheaper I think more people would still rent for the mere fact that you can watch it more than once.

Another thing I am curious about is what if you watch part of it then have to go somewhere? Will you be able to finish the movie? Also the waste created if this happened to become popular would be enormous.

Too much trash (2, Insightful)

York the Mysterious (556824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972745)

Screw being bad for the consumers. These ideas are bad for the environment. You rent a VHS and you return it so it can be rented another 50 times. Think how many of these there would be even if it were to flop. That's way to much plastic in the land fills for the next 10,000 years for this green guy.

Inert-gas DVD drive systems violate DMCA? (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972753)

Next question: if somebody develops a way to preserve these disks, will that be illegal?

I suspect this is a non-starter of an idea. Polaroid developed a comparable technology for VHS caisettes in the 1980s, using a mechanical ratchet in the cartridge to limit the number of plays. That went nowhere.

piracy (1)

thepooleboy (532789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972760)

Gee, if I were a software (content) pirate, I sure would like to be able to buy a fresh unscratched DEEPLY discounted DVD, copy it to my computer, and watch it on VCD whenever I wanted... If only I could buy such a product...

neat (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972762)

i'd be more than happy to be able to "rent" dvd's to rip them later, AND not have to worry about overdue/late fees! sounds good to me; I just gotta get the VOB file correctly the first or second time....

what happens if the aerobic film degrades too quickly and your dvd cuts out right before the final climax? i guess you would be able to watch it 3 or 4 times in succession if you wanted to, the film couldn't degrade *that* quickly, otherwise they'd face the above problem.

Interesting Tech, Silly Marketting Idea (2)

dragons_flight (515217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972765)

Okay, the idea of DVDs that degrade over time is honestly sorta interesting and cool. Can't imagine what it might look like when it's half way gone?

Now what's wrong with this idea?

Well they (presumably) ADD coatings and materials to get this effect, and yet they want to charge less and give you less.

Maybe the copyright holders will give them a break in pricing to make up for the added cost of coatings, but it's not clear that they would want to. Even if that happens they would have to price competitively with DVD rentals to make any sense and there isn't a lot of margin in that business (for the renter). And, the throw-away DVD providers would have the extra cost of continuously replacing inventory.

So they probably have higher costs than competing rental places so to make up for it they would need to deal in higher volume. Maybe it's just me but I actually enjoy walking around Blockbuster and seeing what's new and popular and reading the boxes, etc. More than likely the degrading DVD idea will flop. It just isn't a good idea to enter into an entrenched market unless you have a clearly superior product, and for my thoughts this is an inferior one.

P.S. I can't help but wonder how long you might keep the disks alive if you put them under vacuum between uses...

I know what I'd do with them... (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972766)

Those once used discs will be added to my open-hanging door fixture. Along with all of those useless AOL cd's.

Now to add a window and blacklight to the player, and my place will be 'da pad.'

Be bad if you wanted to rewind... (1)

AcidDan (150672) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972767)

person a: "Hey can you rewind? I missed what that guy said"

person b: "too late, it's been wiped..."

Also, what would happen if you paused the DVD - would it still degrade?

I'm sorry, but I think it's a bad idea. In addition, what about all these wasted/junk DVD disks? Plastic Bags are enough of a problem, what about millions of junked DVDs?

/me shakes head

-- Dan :|

yeah so (1)

prizzznecious (551920) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972777)

The only time I've ever seen something stupider than this was when my dog ate his shit right after dinner.

oh thank god... (1)

esoterus (66707) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972779)

Even with AOL's heroic efforts I was greatly concerned about the amount of coasters in the world... My friends, we may be safe after all.

Moderate paranoia (2, Interesting)

Forager (144256) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972782)

I'm assuming that this "film coating" is the same tech we heard about a while back that causes the DVD disc to corrode into uselessness shortly after the film is exposed to reader light ...

Is anyone else worried that this film might "rub off" onto your DVD tray, and get onto one of your other discs afterward? I'd certainly be pissed to discover that the rental DVD I purchased destroyed the discs I already own... I don't think there's a conspiracy here, but I don't think this film is a good thing, either.

To be honest, if I want to rent a DVD, I go to blockbuster, or Hollywood Video if there's one near by. It's cheap, it's pretty painless, and there's no risk of the disc destroying my setup

One thing that is VERY nice about DVD rentals is that you can watch the movie one year or eight years after the video store acquired it, and -- provided the disc is readable -- you get the same experience ... digitally identical playback, every time, unlike VHS, which corroded and is useless after a few years.


This technology was already pioneered... (5, Funny)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972783)

... on Mission Impossible. Jim sticks in those shiny discs in and it self destructs after it plays once...

Poor 'ittle planet... (2)

mlk (18543) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972790)

getting shat on even more...

Obscene (2)

fleener (140714) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972792)

At a time when cities are striving for a 50 or 75 percent reduction in waste going to landfills it is downright disgusting to be engineering throw-away technology. We have enough AOL CDs occupying our landfills. We don't need DVDs there too, especially when the consumer doesn't even want limited-use tech.

I bet within 5 years there is a special "waste tax" on every unit manufacturered (sorta like tax on soda cans) because we know the items will end up in the landfill.
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