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Studios unveil 'films to download' - (New Divx?)


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#1 of 54 Sam Davatchi

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Posted November 11 2002 - 03:52 AM

Five major Hollywood studios have launched a service that will allow movie fans to legally download films over the internet....

....Users will download the film from Movielink to their own computer hard drive.

The film can sit on the user's hard-drive for 30 days without being watched.

Once the user starts viewing it, they have 24 hours to finish watching it before it is automatically deleted from their computer.

http://news.bbc.co.u...ent/2440233.stm

#2 of 54 george kaplan

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Posted November 11 2002 - 04:45 AM

Posted Image

I agree this is just a rehash of divx only without the coaster, plus you're limited to watching on your computer, and have to deal with download hassles.

No thanks. I'll stick with dvd and hd-dvd. I want to own my films, not lease them on a pay-per-view basis for eternity.
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#3 of 54 MikeM

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:05 AM

I hated divx, but this idea actually makes divx look good. At least with divx you didn't have to wait for the long download, watch the the damn thing on your PC monitor and have to deal with potential software playback problems (lack of RAM, PC only, mac support, corrupted file, etc.)

If it would be in a truly high resolution format, in the time that one could download the movie, they could probably run to the video store, rent the DVD, watch it, and return it.

Makes no sense.

#4 of 54 Kami

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:05 AM

Worst. Idea. Ever.

Shows you how out of touch some marketing people are. My God...


#5 of 54 Jeffrey Gray

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:13 AM

Well, look on the bright side...at least this project isn't intended to be a rival format to DVD...and at least it isn't the exclusive format of certain studios. And it certainly won't REPLACE DVD...

#6 of 54 Richard Travale

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:17 AM

I am pretty sure that this is targeting the folks that download pirated movies with crappy quality and watch on their computers anyway. This way, they pay a few bucks and watch the movie in what I would guess is DVD quality or close to it. Everyone is happy, people see the movie and studios recoup some of their lost earnings.
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#7 of 54 streeter

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:41 AM

Gee, is it just me or do we get one of these announcements about once a month? And every time, USA Today, WSJ, etc. make a big deal out of it... even though it's the same piece of news recycled every single time. Is there really anything new here?
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#8 of 54 Dmitry

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:43 AM

Quote:
I would guess is DVD quality or close to it

I'm somewhat tempted to download one just to see how bad it is. I ran through their "tutorial", seems to be P&S. Plus one of the screen shots in the tutorial says that 1.27 GB is space that's enough to hold 2 movies — can't be even close to DVD quality.

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#9 of 54 John_Berger

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:54 AM

Quote:
This way, they pay a few bucks and watch the movie in what I would guess is DVD quality or close to it.
Posted Image Not.

The only two media available will be Windows Media Player and Real Player. You can expect resolutions and image quality that is roughly akin to VHS.

Also, the requirements are WINDOWS and INTERNET EXPLODER ONLY! Netscape, Mac, and/or UNIX/Linux users need not apply - even Real Player for UNIX is not accepted.

Of course, I need not mention that the Digital (lack-of-user-)Rights Management protection will be cracked within a matter of days, but we'll let Hollywood continue to think that this is a viable alternative to DVD or VHS.

#10 of 54 Todd Phillips

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:57 AM

HA.

People download movies BECAUSE it is free,
not because they like to download things.
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#11 of 54 John_Berger

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Posted November 11 2002 - 06:06 AM

Quote:
People download movies BECAUSE it is free,
Sorry, but we're going to have to slightly disagree on that. Free is good - don't get me wrong on that - but if I could download a movie that is DIVX encoded with enough of a bit rate to fit on a CD-R, is in its own theatrical aspect ratio, and priced so that it is a lot cheaper than a DVD, I would likely buy it.

For example, if a movie that I really don't like but don't hate is available on DVD for $19.99, I won't buy it. But if that same movie is available for download for $3.99 or so, I would probably download it. My 1.6 Mb DSL would have that downloaded in a few hours, which is no big deal, and I can burn it to CD-R or whatever.

But if there is any kind of DRM involved, forget it - not because I'm looking to pirate but because if I buy a movie I want to be able to watch it on any PC in my house. DRM prevents that.

And $4.99 for a 24 hour rental? Hello? I can rent a genuine DVD from Blockbuster for five days and pay $2.99. Gee. Hollywood + restrictive DRM vs a real DVD rental at a lower cost. You tell me what the better value is.

#12 of 54 Steven K

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Posted November 11 2002 - 06:22 AM

Regarding the belief that movies which are encoded in DivX are of bad quality, this isn't necessarily the case.

I'm not going to go into any specifics because of forum rules. And, I may be treading on this ice now, but I'll continue and if need be, a mod can remove what I post.

DivX 4 and DivX 5 formats (as well as the new XviD) are capable of MUCH better quality than the old DivX Posted Image 3.1, which is probably the only introduction that people have had to DivX.

I have several movies in DivX 5 format, all of which are near DVD quality (literally, they are better than even SVCD). A 2 hour movie can fit on one CD (around 700 MB).
I will not state which movies, because we don't need to start a legal discussion. Let's just say that these aren't pirated (legal backups) nor will I state how I acquired them.

I can honestly say that the picture is 90% of DVD quality. There is some artifacting (very little), and the sound is only MP3 stereo, but still, very nice presentation. Again, if the original source of the movie is a medium such as DVD, a DVD-rip of a movie in DivX will be very nice.

Of course a movie encoded in DivX is going to look bad, if the original source was a tape from some jackass in a theater with a camcorder. But, this is not a limitation of the DivX format.

#13 of 54 John_Berger

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Posted November 11 2002 - 06:58 AM

Who said that the DIVX codec is bad? Quite the opposite! It's a fantastic codec! My point is that because DIVX is not a DRM-based codec, it will never be adopted.

Because this new movie rental service is not DIVX or Sorenson based (the two best codecs, AFAIC), you can expect the quality to be incredibly bad, particularly since they're talking about a full movie on about 600 MB of space. 600 MB with Window Media or Real? { shudder } Spare me the pain!!

I wonder if this is actually a lame duck situation that's doomed to fail so that the studios can say "See? We tried on-line rental, like everyone's been bitching at us to do, and it didn't work, so now we can just crack down even harder on everyone else!"

#14 of 54 Ryan Wright

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Posted November 11 2002 - 07:56 AM

Quote:
But if there is any kind of DRM involved, forget it
My thoughts exactly.

The people behind this are going to lose their investment, and then they're going to blame their customers. "They're all stealing from us, those no good customers, that's why this didn't work." Posted Image

When will the media companies wake up and smell reality? People don't want DRM. I absolutely will not buy anything protected by DRM unless a crack is available. And I'm not advocating illegal activities, I'm advocating my fair use rights. I didn't sign on to the recording studio's MP3 download service because of DRM, and I won't sign on to this, either.

#15 of 54 John_Berger

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Posted November 11 2002 - 08:11 AM

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I absolutely will not buy anything protected by DRM unless a crack is available. And I'm not advocating illegal activities, I'm advocating my fair use rights.
Exactly. If this new scheme was $4.99 for infinite use with the ability to transfer the movie to another PC, I might buy into it only if (A) the quality was acceptable and (B) it's in OAR.

But $4.99 for a low-quality transfer in VHS resolution that I can only watch for one day?

No, I'm sorry. That is not a viable alternative to running down to the local rental store and renting the real thing.

This plan of theirs might be a good thing inthe short run as people satisfy their curiosity, but in the long run, like DIVX (the Circuit City version), it's doomed to collapse on itself.

#16 of 54 george kaplan

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Posted November 11 2002 - 08:11 AM

I think there may be two different 'divx's in this thread. I was talking about CC's idea that we killed off a while ago.
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#17 of 54 John_Berger

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Posted November 11 2002 - 08:17 AM

Unfortunately, both types of DIVX are valid topics of discussion regarding the topic of this thread. Posted Image

#18 of 54 Neil Joseph

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Posted November 11 2002 - 08:18 AM

I haven't read the rest of this thread but like it or not, this will be the future of movie watching and gameplaying. I am sure the studios would love this to death, not to mention companies like Nintendo, Sony Corp etc.
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#19 of 54 John_Berger

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Posted November 11 2002 - 08:27 AM

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I haven't read the rest of this thread but like it or not, this will be the future of movie watching and gameplaying.
Not a chance. This has been tried before, particularly with "pay as you play" games or "pay as you use" software over the past 10 years, all with dismal failures.

Having this as the only option available, as you imply, will never fly with customers.

#20 of 54 Ryan Wright

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Posted November 11 2002 - 08:28 AM

Quote:
I haven't read the rest of this thread but like it or not, this will be the future of movie watching and gameplaying.
No it won't.

Case in point: BMG's recent decision to copy protect ALL of their CDs in Europe. This doesn't affect me yet, but with this announcement, I made the decision to stop buying any CDs from any of their labels. I've been downloading more and more (legal) MP3s from mp3.com and from unsigned artists that put their work up on the web. I am perfectly content to do without BMG's products.

If the movie studios go the same route, I'll stop buying DVDs. As will the vast majority of the Home Theater Forum's membership, I'd bet.

Look at DIVX - the public backlash beat that down, and DIVX wasn't all "pay per play". They actually gave you the option to purchase. Claiming that pay per play is "the future" is like Chicken Little and the whole "sky is falling" bit. This would be the end of the world as most of us know it, and it won't happen. Even Joe and Jane six pack won't buy it.


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