You remeber hearing about those self-destruct DVD's right?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason Adams, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    A clever marketing gimmick for MGM's James Bond juggernaut is providing a high-profile demo for a new technology that could create markets for promotional and one-time-rental DVDs.

    MGM used Flexplay Technologies' special DVDs for 5,000 promo discs mailed out this week with about 25 minutes of material from "Die Another Day." The Bond mailer warns, "Once removed from its packaging, the DVD will self-destruct in 36 hours!"

    The line might have been better used by Paramount for marketing "Mission: Impossible," but nonetheless, the technology allowed MGM to send the music video of Madonna's theme song along with numerous featurettes about the film's cars, crew, gadgets and more, without undercutting their long-term value for inclusion in the movie's inevitably huge DVD release six months from now.

    The Flexplay technology uses special coatings when creating discs that, when exposed to air, causes them to become unusable after a preselected time period. Because a DVD player's laser is precisely calibrated to shine through a disc's protective plastic sheathing at a specific angle and read information pitted onto the underlying aluminum plate, any change in the sheathing affects the disc's readability. Depending on which coatings are used, the discs remain usable eight to 60 hours before the plastic deteriorates, making it then impossible for a laser to read the disc, said Flexplay CEO Alan Blaustein.

    Flexplay has pushed the technology for promotions and music, scoring deals to include Flexplay discs full of music videos with the official program of MTV's Video Music Awards Latin America. Atlantic Records is the first music label to create a Flexplay-based promotional version of Nappy Roots' DVD.

    The company also is touting opportunities for single-use DVD movies priced at rental rather than sale levels, though Blaustein said the company won't pursue that possibility initially because of its modest resources. Such a product could tap impulse buyers waiting in line at drug and grocery stores, for instance, expanding the already huge market opportunities for DVDs with a cheap, single-use alternative that doesn't require the infrastructure of a video rental store.

    The concept echoes DIVX, the failed venture backed by Circuit City and a Hollywood law firm. DIVX used on-disk software to encrypt DVDs, and special players with an Internet connection to manage billing and decryption. Unlike DIVX, Flexplay discs work in any regular DVD player, Blaustein said.

    The New York company, which is privately held, has raised "several million dollars" since its 1999 founding from investors led by GE Capital. Blaustein credited co-founder Art LeBlanc, a replication-business veteran, as the main developer of the chemical coatings that cause the discs' timed degradation.

    The technology faces some potential downsides, such as the environmental consequences of no-longer-playable discs. The company hired an environmental consultant whose analysis said if Flexplays comprised 10% of the DVD market, they would eliminate air pollutants equal to 82,000 cars but generate solid waste equal to 4,900 households. The company is trying to devise ways to recycle the used discs.

    Mmmm...controlled DVD rot.
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Here's the update on the situation:

    "Thousands of discs have been recalled after exploding in DVD players, causing players to burst into flames. Executives from MGM accidentally hired Explodo-Corp instead of the software company. EC maintains the stance on that they wanted self-destructing discs."
     
  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, but how do they keep it out of a DVD burner during those 36 hours? [​IMG]
     
  4. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    More waste for the planet, yay. [​IMG]
     
  5. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Exactly what I thought, tho the company's desire to come up with a way of recycling the discs is noble, the average consumer probably wont bother - unless the packaging included a mailer to send the disc off to be recycled. Like HP will send you an envelope to mail back used inkjet carts.

    I wonder what the potential damage would be if the disc were left in your player during the time the disc started to decay?

    -paul
     
  6. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    What’s the point? If a TV program wants to run a story, it has only few hours to make it? Should it copy all the material before the destruction? Then if everybody should copy it first what’s the point? This is a very bad idea!
     
  7. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    S-T-O-O-P-I-D!
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  9. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    These have already been around for a while- they were laserdiscs made by Sony USA! [​IMG]
    Seriously though, this is a dumb idea. I can see how they might want to send out promotional or confidential material on a disc and not have it get sold on Ebay, but that's still dumb.
     
  10. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    I know we're not supposed to discuss copying DVD's. But if this becomes mainstream, that may need to change. If they do this market-wide it would be an outrage.
     
  11. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  12. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    What's the big problem with this format? It's not like they're going to stop selling titles for retail on normal DVD and switch to this new format...enough with the paranoia.
     
  13. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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  14. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Well, yeah, they are bad for the environment...I guess I misunderstood all this, remembering the huge freak-out caused by DIVX. Sorry...and I don't advocate these, either.
     
  15. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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    How in the world is this supposed to be a step up from DVD? Imagine the guy who only has a VCR. He goes to Best Buy one day to upgrade. After all, he's realized that tapes suck. He is greeted by the Best Buy employee.

    "May I help you?"

    He replies, "Yes. I'm looking to upgrade from my VCR."

    "Excellent choice," the zit-faced employee says. "You know, DVDs are all the rage right now. Everyone loves them. In fact they are outselling VHS!"

    The customer scratches his head, "Hmmm, yes. What's an alternative?"

    "ExploDVD!"

    "COOL! Sign me up!"
     
  16. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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  17. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    There was an article in our local paper about this yesterday. The article projected what the landfill impact would be if this invention got 10% of the DVD market (optimistic, aren't they?) When they asked the Flexplay spokesman about the negative environmental impact of all those "dead" DVD's in our landfill, here's what he had to say (I paraphrase):

    "Any negative impact to the environment is offset by the fact that there will be less polution because people won't have to drive their cars back to return their rentals."

    I don't see how he could say that with a straight face!

    As my wife said, it's not like there are consumers out there saying "You know what I really want? A DVD that's useless after 36 hours!" This will fail even worse than Divx.
     
  18. Joe McKeown

    Joe McKeown Stunt Coordinator

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  19. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I can see Michael Eisner rubbing his hands with glee over this. "Since kids like to watch our movies every day, let's make these discs expire after three days! Not only will we be releasing these in pan-and-scan only, but the parents will continually be forking out money just to keep buying our ExploDVDs." (Sorry, Brenton, but I like that term. [​IMG])
    Before you think that Eisner would never do anything like this, I need to remind you that Disney was at one time making movies available only on DIVX, and not open DVD.
     
  20. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    Could be the perfect medium for the Mission Impossible DVD's.
    Attention movie fans, WARNING, this disc will self-destruct after 3 viewings! [​IMG]
     

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