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Disney To Test Self-Destructing Discs (1 Viewer)

Robert Dunnill

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Mods, if this has already been posted, I apologize.

The following appears courtesy of Hive4media.com.
=====================================
Disney To Test Self-Destructing Discs
Author: HOLLY J. WAGNER
[email protected]
Posted: May 16, 2003

Buena Vista Home Entertainment will use Flexplay Technologies, Inc.’s flexible play DVD technology to make movies available to consumers in test markets beginning in August, Flexplay reported today.

The introduction of the product, branded "EZ-D," will include titles The Recruit, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Hot Chick, 25th Hour, Heaven, Equilibrium, Frida and Signs.

The goal of the EZ-D product is to expand the overall home entertainment market by appealing to consumers whose rental consumption has diminished due to the perceived inconvenience of the current rental process.

"We are very excited to be utilizing Flexplay's technology to introduce EZ-D,” said Buena Vista Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek. “This is a great opportunity for us to test consumer receptiveness to this new product in a live market setting. We believe consumers will enjoy the benefits of EZ-D without the inconvenience of making extra trips, returning movies, and paying late fees."

EZ-D will incorporate Flexplay's proprietary flexible play technology into a standard DVD. A Flexplay-enabled DVD is similar to a conventional DVD, except that it has a 48-hour viewing window that begins when the disc is removed from its packaging. Consumers will then be able to enjoy the movie as many times as they wish during this time frame. After 48 hours of play, the DVD will no longer be readable by the DVD player and can then be recycled. A Flexplay enabled DVD works in all players, DVD drives and gaming systems designed to accept a standard DVD.

EZ-D will give these consumers easy access to recently released titles in places they already shop and the opportunity to watch them at their convenience without worrying about returns, late fees or scratched discs. EZ-D offers retailers the opportunity to expand their existing DVD business; and for first time DVD retailers, easy entree into the growing DVD category.

"We are thrilled that EZ-D discs containing Buena Vista Home Entertainment content will be available to consumers beginning in August," said Alan Blaustein, CEO of Flexplay. "We believe that EZ-D will become synonymous with Flexplay's innovative technology and that consumers and content providers will soon appreciate the convenience and ease that a Flexplay enabled EZ-D will offer."

GE Plastics has been a key strategic collaborator in Flexplay's proprietary technologies, developing a new patented Lexan resin co-polymer essential to the flexible play design.

The Lexan resin co-polymer used in the EZ-D is an essential component of the flexible play technology and is a result of a two-year strategic collaboration.

"This is a breakthrough in the DVD manufacturing process and the introduction of EZ-D represents a major technological achievement for the industry," said Flexplay president Art LeBlanc.

"Our strategic development efforts with Flexplay have resulted in yet another innovative product milestone for our Lexan resin," said John Dineen, VP and Global Lexan Business Leader for GE Plastics. "This is exciting new technology that can help revolutionize and expand the DVD marketplace. We are fully committed to maximizing this technology globally."
 

Todd Calhoun

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Since I never seem to watch the movies I buy more than once, and I hate late fees and returning discs, this sounds like it might be interesting.

But the question is: pan and scan, or letterbox? Are they expecting J6P or HTF to go for this? And what about all those wasted discs? Will there be a recycling program?

Edited: I see there will be some sort of recycling program.
 

Edwin-S

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If they really are testing this technology, all I can say is....they can take this shit and shove it. I really like their "selling" feature for these discs.......that they are recyclabe. So what? First, you have to have some kind of collection system to accept these discs for recycling. Are they saying they are going to have such a system in place when they roll this 'technology' out, or is their idea of recycling what I think it is.........throw useless disc in nearest trash can, so it can be 'recycled' to nearest landfill. As if there isn't enough garbage going into the environment as it is.
 

Craig S

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This is a horrible, horrible idea. Even if they implement a recycling program, you know most of those discs will end up in landfills.

As far as I'm concerned, Flexplay goes right up there with DivX in the home video Hall of Shame.
 

John_Berger

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SpectraDisc isn't going to be too happy to hear this.

So, shall we all start to make wagers regarding how long it will take for Disney to make this their DVD standard, particularly on kids' titles?

Better yet! Let's guess how many pieces of non-biodegradeable plastic will now be added to the world's landfills each year because of this revolutionary new idea!

And what about disc cases that managed to get damaged in shipping or storage so that the 48-hour period starts before the customer actually goes to watch the disc?

Then of course we have the customers who will open the case, not reading the instructions to not open the case until they actually plan on watching the movie, and then complaining why their disc is unreadable a week after purchase.

Yessir, this is so-o-o much better than just renting a DVD locally or through NetFlix -- and with NetFlix you don't even have to go past your mailbox!

Disney just can't seem to get away from the Circuit City DIVX mentality, can they?

I see there will be some sort of recycling program.
These will ONLY be as good as those people who take part in said recycling program. I see that as being a dismal failure. If less than 10% of people who qualify for rebates actually take advantage of rebates wheer there is a financial incentive to the customer, I have a very difficult time believing that recycling, where there will be no financial benefit to the customer, will entice more than 5% of their customers.
 

Sathyan

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It will depend on how they price this. Right now it costs me $1.50 ($21 monthly fee / 14 avg. rentals) per rental for Netflix with returns as near as my postbox.


Disney is competing with the rental, not the purchase market. I wonder what copy protection will be included.

Like Todd, I don't rewatch many of my purchased DVDs.
 

Edwin-S

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I do not see any indication in the release that states there is going to be a recycling program in place; only that the discs can be recycled. If there is a program, are they going to pick these discs up at peoples houses? If they aren't, there goes the "no extra trips" advantage.

This is a bad idea. Most people don't recycle as it is. There is no way they are going to go out of their way to recycle these discs. All that is going to happen as a result of this 'technology' is an increase in the amount of plastic debris entering landfills.

The only place where this 'technology' makes sense is in the 'screener' copies that are provided to people who judge for awards reasons.
 

Jeff Kleist

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Disney is competing with the rental, not the purchase market. I wonder what copy protection will be included.
It's a standard DVD with a chemical coating on it

Betting 90% of them end up going in the trash, and with a street price estimated at $3-4 a disc you're STILL going to be saving with Netflix.

At least with DiVX you could "rent" it again
 

Simon_Lepine

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With Video on Demand and other Pay-Per-View sytems gaining in popularity, I just don't see the potential with this format. It's awfull for the environement, and would a small place like my local video store have enough room to stock thousands of copies of movies for sale?

I hate the idea just for the waste aspect and I hope the projetc dies or that someone figures out an easy way to stop the degradation with a chemical agent, so they actually lose money with this project.
 

Carl Johnson

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ditto. While I rent very few DVDs and buy most of my titles used for less than $10 I just might give the format a shot if (and that's a big skeptical if) movies are OAR with DVD quality picture and sound and are priced comparable to local rentals.
 

John_Berger

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There is no way they are going to go out of their way to recycle these discs.
The only way that this could really be recyclable for most consumers to want to utilize it is if they're type 1 or type 2 plastic (some areas recycle type 6 from what I understand) and that the chemicals that are being used are bio-degradable. That way the discs can be thrown in with your milk jugs and soda bottles. I am not a chemist or plastics molecular engineer; however, I find it very hard to believe that such chemicals can/will be bio-degradeable and that type 1 and 2 plastic can withstand the pressures, such as centrifugal forces of the disc spinning, that are necessary for a DVD to properly operate.

But that again assumes that your municipality even has a recycling program.

This whole notion makes a hell of a lot of assumptions, most or all of which are improperly made.

As Jeff pointed out, at least DIVX discs could be used again thus making DIVX a superior DVD format to the SpectraDisc/Flexplay concept -- and we all know what happened to DIVX.
 

Robert Dunnill

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we all know what happened to DIVX
With all due respect, that's not a valid comparison, because Divx was a separate format, requiring its own special players, discs, a central billing system, and most importantly, special licensing from the studios (the lack of title support is what brought it to an end).

In contrast, these self-destructing discs work on any standard DVD player, and although the licensing is a little different, with DVD now the dominant home video format, that won't be an issue for the studios like it was in 1998-99, when VHS was king.

As for the recyclability of the discs, a new process that just went commercial in the last few weeks will easy handle them. Click here for how.

RD
 

Ken-Ha

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Apr 15, 2003
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BAD BAD BAD IDEA. I bet Disney will end up loss money on this project. The problem with these hugh companies' executives are that they live in their ivory tower for too long by themself, they kind of loss touch with the general public.
 

David Lambert

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Some of you may recall I mentioned a while back an initiative I heard in Calf. to ban this type of disc due to environmental impact.

Have any of you Calf. residents heard anything more about this lately? I can't find any info or updates about the bill (if it actually reached bill status, or was just an idea).

In the meantime, I'm sure the "recycle" mention was mostly to short-circuit any backlash on the environmental front. I'm 100% certain there is no plan to have the makers, sellers, or studios involved in recycling. "Just dump it in the bin with your 2-liter Coke bottle empties", they would probably say. :rolleyes
 

John_Berger

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With all due respect, that's not a valid comparison, because Divx was a separate format, requiring its own special players, discs, a central billing system, and most importantly, special licensing from the studios (the lack of title support is what brought it to an end).
Both DIVX and this method are targeting the same market - people who can't (or won't) rent the discs through normal channels because they're either physically incapable or they're (to be blunt) too flippin' lazy.

Both DIVX and this method still require the ability to somehow purchase the disc, which is more than likely going to involve having to go to a store.

Both DIVX and this method prevent the need to return the disc.

Both DIVX and this method pander to a crowd that currently can utilize one of several DVD mail-rental facilities, not the least of which is Netflix.

Just like DIVX, this method is meant to be used to curb piracy in an attempt to pander to those who do not want to pay $20 for a movie they'll watch once, which I'll grant you is totally understandable; however, since the DVD can still be ripped before the coating becomes opaque and DVD-Rs can be found for less than $1...well, you figure it out.

So, yes, it is a completely valid comparison, except that this new idea has a far more environmental impact than DIVX since people were not expected to throw away DIVX discs, although I'm sure that they have by now. :D

This is just a bad, bad idea that is completely unnecessary as there are many mail-order rental outfits that can fit the same bill.
 

Thomas Newton

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Bad news:
The introduction of the product, branded "EZ-D," will include titles ... The Hot Chick ...
The self-destruction of this title, and subsequent reduction in the number of existing copies at the time it goes public domain, can probably be seen as a blessing in disguise. :D
 

Jeff Kleist

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Thomas, you may be right :)

the lack of title support is what brought it to an end).
It wasn't lack of title support, heck some stuff on DiVX STILL isn't out on DVD

It was Pan and Scan and the specialized hardware that was $100 more expensive killed it
 

Clint B

Second Unit
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Jul 14, 2001
Messages
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WTF?!? This is ridiculous! Although this idea isn't a perfect match for DIVX, the similarities are such that whoever thought of this scheme, after knowing about how abysmal the failure of DIVX was, probably needs to be fired.
 

Adam Tyner

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Sep 29, 2000
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So, shall we all start to make wagers regarding how long it will take for Disney to make this their DVD standard, particularly on kids' titles?
Nah. Kids are very, very prone to watching the same movies repeatedly, and I'm sure Disney recognizes the harm in limiting the number of times their younger viewers can check out their product.
 

John Berggren

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Pretty ridiculous if you ask me. John Berger already summed up my feelings on this one, so if anyone needs to hear them, go reread his first post again.
 

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