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Movie Studios OK Download-to-Burn DVDs 175

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the small-screen-miracles dept.
fistfullast33l writes "The Associated Press is reporting that today movie studios have approved Sonic Solutions' technology Qflix, which allows people to download movies and burn them to DVDs that include CSS, the method of encryption that protects all pre-recorded DVDs sold today. According to a press release issued by Sonic Solutions, they will be demoing the technology by appointment at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 8th. Apparently the DVDs will also be subject to DRM restrictions placed by download services such as limiting the times a movie can be played back and how many times the movie can be burned. Is this the death of NetFlix as we know it? Interestingly enough, the AP article mentions burning kiosks in the future and the Sonic release mentions Walgreen's as a partner, so maybe DVD burning is coming to a drug store near you. Sonic Solutions is the owner of Roxio, which produces a well-known CD and DVD burning software suite."
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Movie Studios OK Download-to-Burn DVDs

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  • DRM=WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoshJ (1009085) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:43PM (#17467696) Journal
    A limit to the number of viewings? What the hell? Limiting the number of burns is reasonable (as far as DRM goes) if the number's around 3 or 5, but limiting the number of viewings is outright inane. If you pay for a movie, you should be able to view it as many times as you want.
    • Re:DRM=WTF (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chyeld (713439) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dleyhc.> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:47PM (#17467752)
      If it's a DVD that you've burnt, exactly how do they think they are going to limit the number of times you've viewed it.

      It's not as if your DVD player has a built-in shredder. And most DVD players I know of don't have any ability to write to DVD's, so it's not as if the DVD itself will keep track of the number of time.

      So what gives?
      • Re:DRM=WTF (Score:4, Informative)

        by EvanED (569694) <evaned&gmail,com> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:03PM (#17467954)
        I don't see anywhere in either article that says they are limiting the number of times it's viewed. Can anyone clarify?
        • Re:DRM=WTF (Score:5, Informative)

          by Propaganda13 (312548) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:15PM (#17468064)
          Yeah, it's Slashdot. They didn't RTFA. They mentioned limited number of burns, not views. This would be similar to some DRM that's been used by certain online music stores already.
          • Re:DRM=WTF (Score:4, Interesting)

            by JoshJ (1009085) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:26PM (#17468154) Journal
            Hrm, good catch- the summary says "Apparently the DVDs will also be subject to DRM restrictions placed by download services such as limiting the times a movie can be played back and how many times the movie can be burned."
            • by zoward (188110)
              I have to think this was a misunderstanding on the reporter's part. Yes, I'm sure it's DRM'ed to prevent you from putting the file itself up on The Pirate Bay, but once it's burned to DVD, it looks like you have a standard DVD (they mentioned Sonic working to license CSS for burning software). If it wasn't a standard DVD ... well 90% or more of people viewing a DVD are viewing it on a standard DVD player that doesn't know jack about any other form of DRM than CSS.

              And why not allow people to burn a DRM'ed
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by thewils (463314)
            I only got as far as "OK to download and burn DVDs".

            That's good enough for me.
          • by Barny (103770)
            Hrmm, interesting to see if it will work with nero imagedrive (or other fake drive software with output to files), if so burn to imagedrive, load iso into dvd-decrypter and burn as many as you like without any copy protection at all.

            Of course makeing us actually burn them to disks just adds a step or 2 in there, more wasted disks.... worse for the environment....
            • by 1u3hr (530656)
              Of course makeing us actually burn them to disks just adds a step or 2 in there, more wasted disks,

              Use RW discs.

          • They mentioned the need for Windows Media player to limit the number of burns. They also mentioned the need for special blank DVD's to record standard CSS disks. The terms of CSS need to change to permit burning CSS enabled content. There are a few hurdles to cross of which most are political, not technical.

            From the article;

            With Qflix - and its studio-backed copy-protection system - consumers should have more options. But they'll need new blank DVDs and compatible DVD burners to use it.

            and

            Sonic Solutions
            • by drinkypoo (153816)
              I don't see why you would need a new recorded to write a disc like this. My understanding was that the CSS playing key was located on an area which simply doesn't exist on a CDR. Why can't that code be written to the disc, and then the Qffix application could just read the key, encrypt your movie to the key on the disc, and then send you the files? But there must be some reason why I am wrong, could someone please explain it?
        • by Zaatxe (939368)
          They put the limit in the EULA of the movie. If you watch it more times than the limit, you should send them a check with the fine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Andy Dodd (701)
        The limit is probably on how many times the unburned file can be viewed on a PC.

        Which is really nonsensical since the first thing most people are likely to do is burn it to an "unlimited" DVD-R.
    • Ha Ha (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nasarius (593729)
      Oh look, it's DIVX [wikipedia.org] all over again.
  • by kentrel (526003) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:45PM (#17467718) Journal
    This might fool the media, but it can't fool us. Nobody is going to adopt any technology that requires you to buy a special DVD burner and discs. It's crazy. We live in a more or less free economy where the consumer has so many different choices. They are NOT going to pick something restricts their choice, particularly something as stupid as this.

    I want downloadable movies, but not like this. It's still not an excuse for piracy (in case anyone gets funny ideas) but there are so many better solutions to this.

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:22PM (#17468120) Journal

      It won't really require a special DVD burner. Your DVD burner already burns zeroes over the CSS area if that area isn't pre-burned on the media. As best I can tell from a Google search, this is done for both DVD authoring media and DVD+R media. Thus, it would require nothing more than a firmware change with existing media to enable writing of CSS data.

      Of course, they will tell you that it requires a special drive because they will want to keep the cost extremely high (so that it is only affordable by people running kiosks) to prevent people from buying the drives, installing them on their PCs, and doing byte-for-byte copies of movies including the CSS region....

      My guess is that before this becomes available to your average consumers, they'll come up with some cryptographic handshake that only authorized software can perform, and will use this to prevent unauthorized software from writing to the region. That aspect of it might require updated burner hardware, but not because of any hardware changes needed to support the burning process itself.... That said, maybe they'll just relent, realize that CSS isn't stopping piracy in any useful way, and simply allow all the DVD burners' firmware to be updated to support burning CSS (and maybe pigs will fly, and...).

      • by Danga (307709) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:23AM (#17469520)
        It won't really require a special DVD burner. Your DVD burner already burns zeroes over the CSS area if that area isn't pre-burned on the media. As best I can tell from a Google search, this is done for both DVD authoring media and DVD+R media. Thus, it would require nothing more than a firmware change with existing media to enable writing of CSS data.

        I write cd/dvd burning, data recovery, and forensic software for a living so I can try to clear this up a bit.

        You are correct in a way but from what I understand what is really going on is the "CSS area" or Control Data Zone (CDZ) is pre-recorded at the factory on DVD-R (general) and DVD-RW media and with DVD-R (Authoring), DVD-R (version 1.0), DVD+R(W) media the drive firmware does not allow writing to the CDZ and overwrites it with dummy data as well as portions of the sector headers (which I think is used by CPPM). So like you said theoretically the manufacturers could release a firmware upgrade to allow writing to the CDZ on DVD-R (Authoring), DVD-R (version 1.0), DVD+R(W) media and possible do the same with DVD-R (general) and DVD-RW media although all of your old DVD-R (general) and DVD-RW media would be useless and you would have to purchase the new DVD-R(W) media that does not have that portion of the disc pre-recorded.

        My guess is that they will release new DVD-R's (general) discs that do not have the CDZ pre-written and only allow the drive manufacturers to release firmware to write the CDZ on those discs. This way they can charge extra money for the discs and not just be able to use old DVD+R(W)'s. The drive manufacturers could make some extra money too by not releasing firmware that allows this on older drives and marketing "new" drives that have this ability.
        • I agree (Score:4, Interesting)

          by novus ordo (843883) on Friday January 05, 2007 @08:44AM (#17472014) Journal
          Take a look at this sonic shill [screendigest.com]. What you will notice is that they include Qflix certified equipment and DVDs. So essentially it's going to be that you need a special Qflix box to download and (20 min to) burn to a special disc that you can play on a *different* device. How stupid does this sound? Also notice that their "market requirements" include:

          • Able to support multiple content protection solutions
            CSS, Macrovision RipGuard, SecureBurn, X-Protect, CPRM, AACS, ACP
          • Forensic watermarking
          • Multiple DRMs & encryption
            WMDRM, mpDRM, Helix, Coral, DiVX, AES, Verimatrix



          In other words, all the beautiful technologies we have grown to love! If you think all they are going to do is put CSS on disks you are greatly mistaken. They do seem to care about quality of disks but not your ability to archive or back them up. On a side note, this might not be that bad for kiosks, but I would rather buy a *real* DVD than wait 20 min for this thing to come out. Like I don't have better things to do.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by elrous0 (869638) *
          Wow, a chance to buy an expensive new drive and media that let's the MPAA and RIAA control what I burn on it! Where can I preorder?

          -Eric

        • It sounds to me like the same deal with CD-R music disks.
          There is no reason that you should be forced to buy a new drive,
          unless it's not possible to add the required functionality to the
          drive with new firmware, or the drive can't have it's firmware upgraded
          (in rom instead of flash). The special DVD's would probably ONLY be
          available in the R (not RW) versions, and would cost a bit more
          (for the same reason as CD-R music disks, a kickback to the studios).
        • by julesh (229690)
          My guess is that they will release new DVD-R's (general) discs that do not have the CDZ pre-written and only allow the drive manufacturers to release firmware to write the CDZ on those discs. This way they can charge extra money for the discs and not just be able to use old DVD+R(W)'s. The drive manufacturers could make some extra money too by not releasing firmware that allows this on older drives and marketing "new" drives that have this ability.

          I don't think so - wouldn't this allow DVD-DVD duplication t
          • by drinkypoo (153816)
            Frankly CSS is pretty irrelevant, technically. It's easily broken. It's the other copy protection schemes that actually prevent you from properly copying discs today. CSS is just there to get you to violate the DMCA.
    • by Spritzer (950539) * on Thursday January 04, 2007 @11:57PM (#17469352) Journal
      "They are NOT going to pick something restricts their choice,"

      You mean like an iPod?
      • by kimvette (919543)
        I can buy an iPod, sync my music to it using amaroK, in MP3 format, and be done with it. I can either rip my CD collection, or buy from allofmp3.com, or run itunes in a qemu session and strip the DRM from them. How does an iPod remove choice?
      • by rolfwind (528248)
        If you mean iTunes, then it does make sense for the consumer in some cases - buying a single $0.99 song they like versus an entire album which is probably going to mostly suck or just not their thing.

        So consumers are actually doing the smart move there though I still buy CDs (just wait a couple months and get them used really cheap.)
      • My wife wanted an Ipod because it looks good.
        Got her one.
        Put all our mp3s on it and reripped all the CDs that we'd converted to .ogg before.
        BTW, the .ogg files did convert to native apple, without audible loss, but she's a purist and itunes works for what it's meant for.

        Videos, too--anything we want--if it's not already in the right format, just use ffmpegx and it fits.

        Not seeing the restriction, here.

        Oh, and it does look good. She says it sounds good, too; I wouldn't know--she's the musician.
  • by John3 (85454) <john3 AT cornells DOT com> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:46PM (#17467732) Homepage Journal
    Instead of a 5,000 square foot store Blockbuster and Netflix can work out deals with Walgreens, Wal*Mart, and other retail storefronts to place a DVD-burning kiosk in their stores. All they need is power and a high speed net connection and they'll be good to go. Blockbuster could also eliminate in-store inventory altogether....bring the empty DVD case to the checkout and the clerk burns you a DVD to take home in a paper sleeve. When you're through watching the movie you toss the DVD. No shortages of the top hits, and the customer never needs to come back to return the DVD and pay a late fee.
    • by Cordath (581672) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:59PM (#17467922)
      If you're late, they just sell you the DVD and bill your credit-card. While this DVD-kiosk idea would certainly help them cut back on retail space, staff, stocking costs, etc. it would also completely eliminate their "sales" division.

      Besides, this kiosk idea is so far removed from the traditional experience of "roaming the racks" that it would leave absolutely nothing to distinguish between downloading a movie and going to the store to rent it, except that you have to leave your comfy couch to do it and, most likely, pay a bit more. Really, only the technophobes are going to be going to rental stores in the near future, so why alienate them? Of course, the shift away from brick and mortar rental stores is definitely coming. Blockbuster et al. are most likely going to find some way to carve themselves a slice of the pie, but one can't help but wonder how long there will be actual Blockbuster corner video stores in operation.
      • You could still allow people to roam the racks to make a selection of popular titles, just a couple empty cases would suffice. Then use a barcode or RFID tag to tell the kiosk which title it is. For anything rare, use the kiosk's built in search.

        I've often thought you could run a music store this way, burning CD's on site, on demand. With perhaps some popular albums being pre-burnt, or pressed off-site. I certainly expect this to happen where the cost of production, transportation and storage of pressed di

    • by Flwyd (607088)
      I've advocated this before. Rather than your neighborhood Blockbuster holding the same limited set of movies as the one a mile away, they could have the same stock on display and a file cabinet of download/burn movies. You can order any movie ever digitized. If they don't have the movie you want, they download it and give you a copy. When you bring it back, they keep it to hand to the next person who wants your obscure flick, saving the download time.

      They could also have preview stations where you can c
      • by nuzak (959558)
        > Rather than your neighborhood Blockbuster holding the same limited set of movies as the one a mile away, they could have the same stock on display and a file cabinet of download/burn movies.

        Make "on display" mean a browsing kiosk and lose the download/burn part and keep the file cabinet and you have DVDStation. Fits a video store into about 50 square feet. The only reason Blockbuster has all those shelves is because touchscreen kiosks weren't around or weren't accepted by the mainstream when those st
    • Or all they need is power, a large hard drive, and a slightly less high speed internet connection. You can fit a couple hundred movies quite easily in a terabyte hard drive without compression and allow "requests" to be made for movies to be added to the queue. Add DiVX compression or just store the movie without extra fluf and the number of movies stored skyrockets.
      • by John3 (85454)
        Forgot about the fluff...interesting to consider that the local store could sell ad space on DVD's they burn for consumers. So instead of a few trailers for upcoming DVD and movie releases the DVD you rent might have an ad for Bob's Dry Cleaning Service.

    • by jandrese (485)
      Blockbuster's checkout people are already exceedingly slow. I can't imagine adding a 20 minute burn process to the checkout. Frankly, I don't want to hang around in a Blockbuster for an additional 20 minutes every time I check something out--In fact, I don't want to hang around in them at all, that's why I have Netflix.

      Where I could see this coming in handy is an in-store kiosk that has an enormous catalog of the movies that aren't already available for rent in the store. Something where you select wha
    • And all those people who worked in Blockbuster and Netflix who have been replaced by the machine get new jobs in Walmart! It's win win.

      Am I the only one who remembers Divx?

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:46PM (#17467746)
    Because we all know how well that works.
    /surfing from Myth which plays DVDs, thanks Jon
  • It would've had the possibility of being the death of netflix. That was right up until they said it would include DRM. Divx didn't work, why do they think this is any different? They just never learn *shame*.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ISurfTooMuch (1010305)
      But remember, this is a manufacturer trying to sell this to a studio. They probably know full well that this will be cracked within 30 minutes, but as long as those 30 minutes occur after some studio has signed a licensing deal to use this scheme, they don't care, as long as the check clears.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chyeld (713439)
      This could kill Blockbuster. It might put a hamper on brick and mortar retail outlets that have branched into selling DVD's, but this could never kill NetFlix.

      Have you tried downloading a full sized DVD and burning it? Come on, I don't have the time or patience required to do that via bittorrent (which maxes out my connection and prevents me from doing other things online if I want the DVD as fast as possible) and that still takes several hours. How fast would I get the DVD if I'm downloading it from one so
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica (681592) *
        Have you tried downloading a full sized DVD and burning it? Come on, I don't have the time or patience required to do that via bittorrent

        Not everyone shares your opinion. Some people have the patience even to download whole TV series as DVD ISOs (for an hour-long show, that would be about 7 discs per season).

      • Somebody doesn't read alt.binaries.dvd too often...
      • by Inda (580031)
        Have you tried downloading a full sized DVD and burning it?

        Yes.

        It sometimes takes me longer to unpack the RARs and burn it to a blank DVD-R than it does to download the DVD ISO depending on which PC I'm on (The P3 450 takes an age to unpack the RARs if someone's choosen the highest compression ratio.)

        Why does everyone think BitTorrent is the fastest kid on the block?

        DVD from U..... to hard drive in less than 60 minutes.

      • by Zerbey (15536) *
        All the time, and it doesn't max out my bandwidth in any way. It's trivial to limit the amount of bandwidth BitTorrent uses. Look at the help.
      • I tried burning DVDs - I could never get the damn things to play in my DVD players around the house. After lots of forum searching, I found that burning a DVD is really a black art.

        So now I don't bother anymore.

        I just bought a Dlink MediaLounge for Christmas. I now fetch the media off of my 400GB hard drive and display it directly on my TV, skipping the step of making a DVD.

        I think downloading DVDs is great - but I don't need to burn them to a DVD to play them, and I'm not interested in paying for any med
    • Qflix and Netflix use exactly the same DRM system.

      Also, you are ignoring the difference between renting and buying.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's still going to take 15 minutes to burn and read test the disc ... unless they want to risk sending someone home with a coaster. Throw in some time to LightScribe or print a label, too.

    Also, I doubt they'll spring for TY 8x +R media bitset to DVD-ROM ... they'll probably use the lowest bidder and end up with crap media. Bonus - each disc will self-destruct in a fairly short time. People will consider them disposable, so no one will complain.
  • Here's my bet: someone will have Qflix hacked before the first content provider moves it past the beta stages. This certainly isn't going to prevent movie copying/sharing/pirating, although it probably will limit the percentage of the population savvy enough to pirate them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by russotto (537200)
      It's already hacked; they admit as much. Burn to CSS-protected DVD, use DeCSS.
  • by D4rk Fx (862399) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:50PM (#17467794) Homepage
    Death of Netflix? Unfortunately for some of us, (me included), The USPS has greater throughput than the only reasonably priced internet connection. So... Netflix will live on. At least for a while.
    • But this isn't a rental model. Unless the rentals are like $2, it's not going to compete very well against the local rental store unless the renter accepts that they will have to let it download for a while first. I don't think studios would allow renters to burn to DVD because that's not really renting. As far as renting is concerned, I just don't expect many people to plug in a computer or media extender to their TV. Microsoft does have the XBox video rental service, but that's a console that's assume
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        But I'm not paying to rent a downloadable movie until I can watch it on my home theatre, which hollywood told me to buy, without some complicated wiring set-up. I don't want to run wires from my computer to my TV, because they are in different rooms. I don't want to be required to buy special hardware to get the movie to display on the TV. I already have a DVD burner that can burn movies that will play on my DVD player.
    • by rho (6063)

      I've got a nice, fast cable modem I'net connection, and I'll still use Netflix. Netflix is like a bag of holding for DVDs, only with a day or two latency. I still do buy the occasional DVD, but I pretty well limit my purchases to real classics.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Death of Netflix? Unfortunately for some of us, (me included), The USPS has greater throughput than the only reasonably priced internet connection. So... Netflix will live on. At least for a while.

      Yeah, I can only get dialup or VSAT. I could maybe get hughesnet satellite but it's got a $600 startup cost (less $100 instant and $100 mailin right now) and it's $100/mo and up. VSAT would still require sending over my phone line for $209 startup (equipment, shipping, etc) and $40/mo, and with about a 3GB cap

  • by photomonkey (987563) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:52PM (#17467822)

    There is no way this will beat Netflix. People like my mother use Netflix simply because she doesn't like buying movies. It costs her a few dollars to see a movie through Netflix, where I doubt that these 'download' movies will be less than $12.99USD.

    Riddle me this: Do you really think there are more people out there willing/able to download and burn a full-length DVD (including those who know what DRM is) than willing to hop on a website and order movies to their homes? Hell, for as fast as Netflix is in getting movies out, you could likely order one and have it delivered before your download of the same movie would be completed.

    Somebody wake me when I can go online or on my TV and order any movie I want on-demand.

    Oh, and the DRM scheme of limiting the number of times you can watch the movie on your computer is about the most fucking stupid thing I've heard today. This is another industry trying to ensure that you will NEVER own anything.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I don't know. This does have some advantages over Netflix. These are a few of the reasons I quit Zip.Ca, The Canadian Netflix.
      1. You get exactly the movie you want, and not some random movie picked from your list.
      2. New releases are never able to be delivered anywhere close to the release date because of such high demand.
      3. You don't have to worry about movies that were "stolen" (AKA Lost in the mail) that never ended up in your mailbox, even though it's a locked mailbox because you live in an apartment buildin
  • by kentrel (526003)
    So this is what they're reduced to? DRM in its worst possible form.

    It would be less inconvenient to the consumer if they forced us to do twenty situps before downloading.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by photomonkey (987563)

      If you're living in America, Home of the Obese as I am, we might find that forcing people to do sit-ups before a movie would improve our declining life expectancy numbers.

  • "All DVD players come equipped with a key that fits the lock and allows for playback."

    This is the equivalent of leaving your front door key underneath the mat. It won't be long at all until the crack is widely available.

    Where this will get implemented is in blockbuster stores. The good news here is the kiosk will probably run windows, so I'm thinking the boxes should be owned pretty quickly too.

    I think the point is there are a few bad people that really would look under the mat and go into the house. The
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by EvanED (569694)
      "All DVD players come equipped with a key that fits the lock and allows for playback."

      This is the equivalent of leaving your front door key underneath the mat. It won't be long at all until the crack is widely available.


      Wow! Yeah! Those hackers are so cunning they got a crack done 7 years ago [wikipedia.org]!
  • by NineNine (235196) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:00PM (#17467926)
    I know people who have been downloading full DVD's for several years, now. They'll be glad to know that the RIAA has OK'ed it.
    • Do those people know they're fucking over the human beings who spent a year making those movies? Or do they not give a shit about being inethical leeches and sucking the blood from the artists of society?
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Do those people know they're fucking over the human beings who spent a year making those movies? Or do they not give a shit about being inethical leeches and sucking the blood from the artists of society?

        Did you know that a small handful of people get almost every penny made on making a movie, and most of the people who work on them get the dregs left in the bottom of the barrel?

        If you want to rail against someone for unfairness in people getting paid for working on movies, maybe you could complain t

  • "apparently DVDs will also be subject to DRM restrictions placed by download services such as
    limiting the times a movie can be played back
    and how many times the movie can be burned."

    The first limitation is not possible, unless DIVX really won against DVD.
    The second limitation is also not part of the DVD-Video standard, and it means that you probably need some windows program that downloads the video in Arbitrariy-proprietary-DRM-format-173, then converts they to a a non-standard DVD you can
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EvanED (569694)
      The first limitation is not possible, unless DIVX really won against DVD.

      I don't see anything in either article that says they limit playback.

      The second limitation is also not part of the DVD-Video standard, and it means that you probably need some windows program that downloads the video in Arbitrariy-proprietary-DRM-format-173, then converts they to a a non-standard DVD you can only play on windows or off-standard DVD players.

      You're half right I think. My reading is that what you download isn't DVD-Video,
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        Nothing to stop you writing a virtual burner that spits out an ISO image... it's fairly trivial in fact.
      • what you download isn't DVD-Video, but can then be burned to DVD, at which point it is converted to DVD-Video and will playback on any DVD player.

        You bring up a good point. If it is converting some file format such as H.264 or more likely WMV to create DVDs, the quality is going to be awful. That may be acceptable for iPods and ripped movies, but it is not acceptable for bought-and-burned DVDs for watching on your home theater.
      • Just like the way that iTunes will let you burn AAC-encoded files to CD some limited number of times.
        Actually it's the playlists themselves that have a limited number of burns, so you can't make unlimited copies of whole albums. Unless you happen to make a new playlist, or so I've heard.

  • So wait... you wait hours and hours downloading a dvd sized video and then you have to burn it to a disc? Sounds awesome, maybe after we burn it to disc we can copy it to a stack of floppies. Why not put a NIC and a harddrive in an entertainment center?
  • Which basically means there's nothing to see. Move along.
  • I understand why. If they could encode the films with whoever payed for and downloaded them. Then you know who's sharing. Kinda like coding pre-released films they send to the academy so they know who leaked them.
  • Death of Netflix eh? I don't think so. I really, really don't get why companies are dying to offer movie downloads. The product is exactly what you'd get at your local megamart, which you can walk out of with a DVD for 10 bucks. Music is a different story, the online retailers are offering a per-song model, something not available otherwise, and the prices are right. Are the online movie folks really going to be able to beat $10, or even match it considering the cost of blank DVD media? Where's the v
  • Being able to download and burn DVD's at Walgreen's would be great for all the Moms and Pops who aren't computer-savvy and still have a 5-year-old E-machine as their PC. Without the DVD packaging, shipping, and cost of shelf space, they could be offered a lot cheaper too... as long as the price is right and inane DRM restrictions don't ruin it.

    Simplicity is always the key to mass market.
    • You know, a home computer should be able to last at least five years. That's only one order of magnitude in capability worth of moore's cycles. Which.. are we still following moore's law even?
  • Reality check (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:30PM (#17468202)
    Listen up folks, the limited viewings are not for DVD, read carefully because two seperate concepts got mangled in the summary.

    What is interesting about this is that Hollywood is close to giving up on CSS. They are about to permit hardware makers to market a drive capable of writing the CSS blocks and writable media to leave a factory without the CSS blocks preburned to zeros. While I suspect they have a DRM trick up their sleeve we know it won't work in this case, as there really isn't a way to retrofit around the flaws in CSS and remian compatible with the installed base of DVD players.

    Ding dong the witch is dead, but of course it has already been dead and the body is pretty smelly, enough that Hollywood couldn't ignore it anymore. I think this is a good idea actually. Not for everything and everybody, but I can imagine cases where I might actually use it.

    Scenario 1: Downloads. I could see paying to download and burn vs paying to have physical media shipped. If there was a big enough price gap to make the slightly faster delivery enough better to offset the loss of the professional screen printed artwork and such. Or if it were used for obscure titles that wouldn't rate a production run and the choice is between a DVD-R and nothing.

    Or try Scenario 2: Go to a website, pick the titles you want to purchase and pick up the media (which could even be dye sub printed and cased) at your friendly neighborhood retailer (the article mentions a deal in the works with Wallgreens) later the same day. Note that this scenario would even allow Hollywood to tightly control distribution of totally blank burnable media.

  •     They're giving a demo of DVD shrink, BitTorrent, and Nero?

        Oh, wait. WITH css. Oh, well.

    steve
  • Movie Time (Score:5, Funny)

    by mattwarden (699984) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:58PM (#17468406) Homepage

    Apparently the DVDs will also be subject to DRM restrictions placed by download services such as limiting the times a movie can be played back

    We're sorry. Viewing restrictions on this DVD are such that you may only watch Star Whores Episode II - Attack of the Bones between 2pm and 5pm, when your wife is at work.

  • DVD lifespan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Thursday January 04, 2007 @10:59PM (#17468918) Journal
    I'm guessing that burned DVD's won't last as long as pressed DVD's, as is true with CD's.
    • by sadler121 (735320)
      So...? Once it is a DVD, rip it with DeCSS and store it on a RAID'd server.

      Or you could find a way to break the encryption on the original image if you are that concerned about littering the environment with DVD's.
  • by msimm (580077)
    I've seen them here in San Diego (Vons). It made me laugh. They look corny and the whole idea of having a movie dispensed like a soda can kind of turns me off. If the speed is alright (I'm sure its kind of tedious now) it might fly, but they will definately have to do better product/marketing wise. I feel cheap just looking at the thing.
  • Seem to be two systems idea here. One is that you can download and burn a DVD as you currently do with iTunes (with a limit on the number of burns), the other using a booth to allow you to burn your own DVD.
    Now I've no problem with the limited burns, as once you've burnt it once, you can copy/rip the DVD using the existing de-CSS stuff.
    What IS interesting is the involvement of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray people. Retailers aren't too keen on HD stuff yet and REALLY don't want to stock identical content on two diffe
  • New Era (Score:3, Interesting)

    by s31523 (926314) on Friday January 05, 2007 @08:28AM (#17471922)
    is this the death of NetFlix as we know it?
    Not necessarily... Whenever I burn a DVD, it takes forever, sometimes doesn't work quite right and just isn't quite the same as a nice and polished commercial DVD. Sure, if I really knew what I was doing and had awesome equipment maybe things would be different. For the average Joe downloading a movie and burning it to a DVD to watch, in most cases, once is too much of a pain in the ass. Most people would rather just pick the movies they want in a list and have the real deal sent to them.

    Now video on demand however, is a spin of the downloadable content and could put NetFlix down. If these movie download websites integrate with other equipment (think TiVo or some type of set top box) that can be rented or purchased, then we might have a winner. Sitting in front of the TV and clicking "Play" with a remote and having the content stream in is pretty cool. I loved having this on my old cable network and if a third party offered something similar, it would be healthy competition, especially if the service offered popular TV show archives as well.
  • All of this reduces THEIR cost of distribution, liners, extras, shipping, production, etc.

    I'd bet none of it reduces YOUR cost of actually getting the DVD and taking it home.

    This doesn't benefit the consumer. It benefits the studios and distribution companies. That is it. Move along.

    -M

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