Video Store Magazine article "Vialta Plans DiVX-like DVD Software Variant"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Lambert, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    [​IMG]

    [rant]Player Manufactuer Vialta Plans DiVX-like DVD Software Variant[/rant]

    DVD Console Maker Vialta Plans New DVD Variation

    Vialta, Apex Ink Agreement


    All bold emphasis added by the poster!


    Quote:



    In yet another variation on the movie distribution model, DVD console maker Vialta has announced plans to launch its ViMagazine discs May 1, offering consumers the chance to unlock hours of movies, music and other entertainment content to either rent or purchase.

    Vialta launched its hardware player, the ViDVD player, late last year. The machines feature traditional DVD playback, Internet connectivity, and the ability to play MP3s and karaoke discs as well as display digital photos. The $279-$299 players carrying the Vialta brand are available only at Micro Centers.

    But marketing and communications director Ken Tenaglia said the company recently introduced a new model with progressive scan and signed a deal with Apex Digital to bring out Apex-branded players. Both those moves, along with plans to add additional hardware makers, should enable Vialta to rapidly expand its retail outlets, he added.

    But the key to Vialta’s long-term strategy is the ViMagazine disc. The discs, which will be mailed to Vialta owners each month, are technically DVDs but use a proprietary non-DVD Forum-approved compression software that enables the company to pack 14 hours of content onto a single disc.

    Some of the content will be offered free to consumers but there will also be unlockable pay-to-access material, including movies, karaoke, cartoons, documentaries, concerts, cooking and other lifestyle programming as well as music. Much like the failed pay-per-pay Divx model, Vialta plans to have consumers go online after they’ve previewed the content and then unlock the content either to rent for a few days or purchase outright.

    While he would not go into detail on exactly how the company can get that much content onto a single disc, Tenaglia said it would be near-DVD movie quality. "You and I won’t know the difference, but technical people may," he said. He added that most of the movies will probably not include the special features of current DVD films, such as outtakes and director’s commentary. He suggested Vialta would at least initially not pursue day-and-date access to new releases but will instead focus on getting near day-and-date and catalog movies. But Tenaglia said the company is confident that consumers will be willing to overlook the lack of those features for the convenience of having 14 hours of entertainment at their fingertips.

    Company president and former Walt Disney and ABC executive Didier Pietri is in negotiations with the studios to license content. While he wouldn’t say which studios are interested, Tenaglia did say the company would be announcing its first content deal in the next 30 days.

    The ViMagazines will initially be mailed to ViDVD owners for free, but eventually the company will move to a subscription-based service, charging consumers a nominal fee to cover shipping and handling. Tenaglia said there are no plans for retail distribution of the discs, adding that could change if the number of Vialta installed grows rapidly.

    ViMagazines not only feature an index of content on that disc, but also a complete index of past issues, which Tenaglia said will make it easy for users to quickly build a library and locate the entertainment they want, all without leaving their homes.






    (shudder) Here we go again, folks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    "You and I won't know the difference, but technical people may."

    LOL

    I think he's talking about us.

    Wise men learn from others' mistakes...
     
  3. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    So that will be a DiVX-like player using the DivX;-) codec then? Bizarrely apt, really. On the bright side, I see this lasting about five minutes; the DVD installed base and back catalogue is now so large that this poor little thing with its 'near' DVD quality doesn't stand much chance.

    Oh, and have you ever seen a more unwieldy remote?
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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  5. Peter Overduin

    Peter Overduin Supporting Actor

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    So...I guess Shrek will not be on their list. Being a veteran of the Divx wars, I can only say this is one of the stupidest, most assinine things I have seen since the launch of the DVD in March 97; except of course for DIVX itself.
    Sometimes I don't know what to make of you Americans. You can often take a good idea and make it better many times over; but sometimes you can take a really stupid already failed idea, and just keep regurgitating it!! [​IMG] What's up with that?![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    This is a non-issue. Divx was a threat because DVD hadn't yet established itself. DVD is now firmly established, and no el-cheapo player with a bizarre proprietary format is going to affect DVD in the slightest.

    I think the issues surrounding mass-market DVD (dumbed-down special features, more P&S, etc.) are much more real at the moment.

    Ryan
     
  7. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    They should call this new format D.O.A..
    It's simply just not going to work. The only marketing plus for them is the initially inexpensive cost of the hardware. Exclusive content will initially be well...piss poor.
    Mention DIVX enough when referring to this "new technology" and it'll scare the major studios away very quickly.
    BTW: Has a Karaoke function ever been the deciding factor when purchasing a player? [​IMG]
     
  8. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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  9. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    Given the 'success' the NUON was, even with sticking to normal DVD playback, a reasonable price and Tempest 3000 (surely a killer app in a just world), this thing doesn't stand a chance. Also, at least DiVX had a bunch of Circuit City zombies going "buy it, don't get left out, everyone will want DiVX honestly! Your friends will snigger if you bought one of those smelly DVD players instead!" - this doesn't even have that.
     
  10. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    1. Better quality than DVD?
    No.
    2. Cheaper than the cheapest DVD player?
    No.
    This POS only has a chance if J6P buys it, and J6P will only buy it if it's ultra-cheap relative to DVD, which it isn't, and if the software catalogue is there for it, which it ain't. The HTF crowd won't touch it either.
    We have nothing to worry about!
    Pan/scam on "family" titles is still the biggest threat to our DVD utopia.
     

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