Disney To Begin Renting Self-Destructing DVDs

from the doomed-to-repeat-the-past dept

In 1999 Circuit City ended up quietly killing Divx, their incredibly overhyped DVD-competitor that would have the DVDs self-destruct after a certain period of time, unless they paid to unlock them permanently (not to be confused with the completely different DivX video standard). Despite all the hype, almost no one had any interest in self-destructing videos, but that won't stop companies from making the same mistake. Two years ago another company tried to come out with self-destructing DVDs, but that technology hasn't caught on much either. Now some more major players are getting involved. Disney has now announced plans to release self-destructing DVDs themselves. They always say the same thing: renters will like this because they don't have to return the videos. Unlike Divx, there's no option to ever reuse this DVD. After two days, it's just not usable any more due to a chemical reaction when exposed to the air. It remains to be seen if consumers have as short a memory as Disney seems to have.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 16 May 2003 @ 2:28pm

    Leakage?

    So what happens if you buy one of these, get it home and discover that there is an air bubble under the protective coating, or a pinhole in the coating?

    Are you stuck with a mostly-usable DVD?

    Do the math - what's the cheapest you could make a disposable DVD that is sellable through multiple levels (i.e., maker, distributer, retailer) and at how low of a price level can you still make a profit? Don't forget to add a case with some basic artwork. Don't forget the special protective coating and shrink wrapping.

    $5? $6? Would you be willing to pay that to rent a movie for 2 days and not worry about late fees?

    I wouldn't. Heck, I hate paying the $3.99 that the BlockBuster closest to my house pays, I drive the extra half mile the other way to go to the BlockBuster that only charges $3.49. If I rent 3 movies (which I usually do) that saves me $1.50. Sometimes over a long weekend I'll rent as many as 6 or 7 movies, so that extra $0.50 adds up, and if it were to suddenly jump to an extra $1.50 - $2.50, I'll definately be renting a lot less movies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bbay, 16 May 2003 @ 2:46pm

      Re: Leakage?

      Do the math - what's the cheapest you could make a disposable DVD that is sellable through multiple levels (i.e., maker, distributer, retailer) and at how low of a price level can you still make a profit? Don't forget to add a case with some basic artwork. Don't forget the special protective coating and shrink wrapping. I dunno, AOL seems to do alright mass producing CDs and mailing them out for free.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Smokecat, 29 May 2003 @ 11:00am

      Re: Leakage?

      You're probably not the target market.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2003 @ 7:45am

      Re: Leakage?

      learn how to spell definitely

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 16 May 2003 @ 2:38pm

    I forgot one thing...

    If for $5 I can buy a 48-hour DVD in a fancy case, it might be worth it to buy it, duplicate it with something like 321 Studios product, discard the original disc and put my non-destructing duplicate in the fancy box...

    Hmm... it might just work out in our benefit in the long run...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    princeton, 16 May 2003 @ 3:36pm

    Vacuum

    Could you put the DVD into a vacuum to slow down/prevent the decay?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ed, 16 May 2003 @ 3:58pm

      Re: Vacuum

      No need for a vacuum -- just use some other gas to displace the oxygen. I'm sure that the hackers are already making their plans. Let's see... Lego mindstorms, a Seal-a-meal(TM), some plastic bags, and a tank of helium should do the trick.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2003 @ 8:37am

        Re: Vacuum

        Oooh! An opportunity:
        "Krylon Krytal-Klear DVD Protectant" The perfect choice for video left-overs...
        "No drips, no runs, no error messages."

        What are those folks at Disney smokin'?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      sharon, 28 May 2003 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Vacuum

      that's not the only thing in a vacuum apparently........

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2003 @ 8:42pm

    No Subject Given

    Didn't the Divx discs require special players and wasn't Circuit City trying to sell their players (which, iirc, could also play standard DVDs)? At least with Disney's stupid idea, you don't have to buy a Disney DVD player.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Laura, 21 May 2003 @ 10:10am

      Re: No Subject Given

      After reading up on this you can, it is true you can use any DVD player to watch these discs. You will be able to use them in your computer, gaming system and DVD player. There will be no need for buying a separate system like with Divx. I also think being able to watch these movies for $5-6 before I choose to spend more money on them is great. If I can buy gas and pick up a cheap movie at the same time, it has been a great day.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Bill gates, 30 May 2003 @ 7:25am

        You nuts?

        Er.... You know you could by USED DVDs for about $5~10 at blockbuster? They have a RETURN policy if the used DVD doesn't work. Plus you can BUFF out many scratches.

        These cheap DVDs will be like dvix, featureless, low quality picture. The DIVX packaging and discs were cheap. The discs only had the movie, period. Maybe not even scence selection, I don't remember.

        In Asia, you can by DVDs dirt cheap, $2~3USD. these are NOT DVD-Rs. A friend returned with some discs. Its a little neat, but I do want to buy legit stuff. But it proves that the Studio pays less than a buck to make a 2-disc set and makes a ton of profit. If they want to stop piracy and increase sales - sell them new for $10~12. I and twice more likely to buy a NEW DVD on sale for $15 than $20. At Wal Mart, they usually do this for the first 3 days of a NEW major title (Harry potter, ET, Lilo & Stitch etc) and I scope them up...

        BTW, one of the movies he brought over was a Minority Report. I happen to bring over my LEGIT USA version. The picture quality was 99% as good as mine. But was was ODD, was that the MENU interface was DIFFERENT!

        We figured out that it was a pirate version of an EARLER DVD, a beta-version. It looked VERY COOL, different from the normal... but not quite as polish. Hard to read some things. Then he pops in his Harry potter, and it was easily filmed in a theater - looked & sounded like crap.

        Because of crappy economy and such, I typically buy the $20 for 3 DVDs at Blockbuster... And when I had a bad disc, they happly exchanged it for another or credit towards another disc.

        TO Diseny - this DESTRUCTIVE DVDs makes me angry that you're doing this stupid stuff again, like with DIVX, for which Diseny was a major backer of the format (Back then, there were NO disney DVDs!) Imagine, Diseny on DIVX only and your children having to constantly "rent" the discs 1-2 times a week. They saw $$$ in their eyes! You paid about $10~12 for these discs, that were featureless!!! Take them to a friends house and you would have to re-rent them again.

        Its the same with these destructive DVDs, but dumber in different ways. This kind of stupidity and greed make me NOT to want to buy another Disney DVD again! And I own at least 8 titles.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Greg, 16 May 2003 @ 11:34pm

    Disney DVDs

    This is not DIVX, and it's aimed at a very specific brand of client: big stores which want to rent videos but don't want to deal with returns. You'll see these in supermarkets, Wal-Marts, Best Buys etc. You won't see them in Blockbuster or your local video store, because they want their customers to return so that they can rent another movie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sum.zero, 18 May 2003 @ 12:35am

    No Subject Given

    just what the world needs: more garbage =(

    companies that produce products like this should be sued into oblivion.

    my two pennies.

    sum.zero

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Nnagflar, 15 Sep 2004 @ 11:42pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      I work at a blockbuster, and there is no way that this program would create as much trash as blockbuster does. We throw away so many plastic dvd cases a so much styraphoam (how on earth do you spell that?). Maybe you should sue blockbuster into oblivion.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Esquid, 19 May 2003 @ 4:03pm

    GE self destructing DVDs, refrigerators, radios...

    GE perfected the art of making it just last past the warranty date. I will never buy another GE product again, they just end up in the landfill like these DVDs. They claim it is recyclable - you have to mail it back!
    (the plastic on these is a GE invention)
    The complaints people will have on this one will be huge - high off the shelf failures, for one - And how will they know if it was ok when you tried to watch it? Please give me another one free...
    These will tar anyone associated with them with the gooey residue of consumer ill will.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeffrey Johnson, 20 May 2003 @ 5:06am

    Self-destructing DVDs

    Why do we Americans insist on producing more and more non recylable waste? Do we not understand the state of our current environment. The production of self-destructing DVDs hits on another point; we Americans are LAZY. No wonder our obesity rate is so high in the US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    [[x]], 22 May 2003 @ 12:38am

    Self Destructing DVD's

    Ummm wouldnt ppl just copy the dvd much the same way as they do now ? i for one will be scratching the surface of every DVD that i rent that comes out like that (after ripping it to VCD first of course)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ZeffriN, 27 May 2003 @ 5:12am

      Re: Self Destructing DVD's

      'Ummm wouldnt ppl just copy the dvd much the same way as they do now ? i for one will be scratching the surface of every DVD that i rent that comes out like that (after ripping it to VCD first of course)'

      That's the point... you can put it in the microwave and stare at the crackling for days. They certainly aren't going to call you looking for their self-destructing dvds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.