AfterDawn: Tech news

Disney to sell self-destructing DVDs

Written by Jari Ketola @ 17 May 2003 16:54 User comments (33)

Disney, the friend of the environment, will start producing self-destructing DVD-discs. The idea is that consumers can "rent" a DVD, or EZ-D, as it's called by the developer Flexplay, by purchasing the disc and then viewing it freely for two days. Once opened the disc's coating will start reacting with oxygen and eventually turns black. The DVD won't be readable after that.
Although the price for the discs has not been announced yet, there will surely be demand for low-cost rental DVDs that are available in numerous retail stores, and that you don't have to worry about returning. But the discs should obviously still be properly recycled. If the buyer is too lazy to return a rental disc, it's quite naive to think that he'd go further than his trashcan to dispose of the EZ-D. Pay-per-view HDTV would make much more sense to me. In any case, the EZ-Ds hit the stores this August.

Of course it is possible to extract the DVD to, say, hard-disk during the 48-hour period, as it is with any rental DVD.

Flexplay press release

Previous Next  

33 user comments

117.5.2003 23:15

Jari, that is *hilarious* !!! (Sorta) smacks of the old DivX scheme doesn't it? Oh YES, these little puppies are Prime Candidates for immediate backup to HDD for anyone knowing how to do it, right? (You have taught me well). Copyright issues aside, I can't imagine these discs will be the same price as a <normal> rental disc, due, simply, to the manufacturing costs involved (although, replication costs are probably so cheap nowadays, it won't make a huge difference. Expect this new idea from Disney to fail Big Time. -- Mike --

218.5.2003 3:16

And what will these new DVD's accomplish? They are obtrusive, they seem to make things harder rather than eaiser.

318.5.2003 4:53

the slightest breach of the package will ruin the dvd because it will be exposed to what if you buy it without noticing that it has a tiny hole but you dont actually open it till a few days later cause lets say you wanted to watch it on the weekend.your screwed cause the store will never believe you that it was already black.

When Did I Realize I Was God?
Well I Was Praying And Suddenly
I Realized I Was Talking To Myself.

418.5.2003 7:43

Bye-bye dreams for cleaner environment..

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

518.5.2003 8:17

Maybe I could watch it a little bit longer if I stored it in my fishtank.. Or took it took work and clear coated it... Would that work ? Matt

618.5.2003 11:27

Appyling a coating to the disc might work. It just has to absolutely even and optically invisible. The second condition might be easy to accomplish, but the first one.. If the coating is not absolutely evening it'll cause severe vibrations on the rotating disc.

Jari Ketola

718.5.2003 11:55

Disney? Who cares? I don't watch kiddy movies. How many people are going to actually recycle the DVD's? Tribal-T

818.5.2003 12:16

Anyone remember Divx? That was a much better plan than this crap. However, Divx failed horribly, I expect this new format to be much much worse.

you know only what you've heard and you hear only what you want to hear

918.5.2003 13:00

Umh, try to remember guys that Disney owns about dozen movie labels and produces big chunk of "non-kiddie" movies as well. Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and Miramax are all owned by Disney. It's pretty much same as thinking "AOL TimeWarner" only owns AOL dial-up services available in the U.S. (whereas they actually own Time, CNN, Warner Pictures, couple of TV channels in the US, dozens of Net companies all over the world, tons of newspapers/magazines, one of the largest record labels in the world, etc..). Consolidation, the trend of the new millennium.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

1018.5.2003 13:09

*spam* *user-and-post-deleted*

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 May 2003 @ 13:15

1118.5.2003 15:46

Hello This sounds very sad. It would depend if its an oxygen issue or a dye issue. It is possible to make the a disc unreadable after a couple of views by photobleaching the entire disc to read as a dark spot at any lazer intesity. If it only oxygen then every one will be putting clear packing tape on all the discs as this would stop oxygen, and is lazer friendly.

I am not a number
I am a Free Man

1218.5.2003 18:29

Well.....if noone rents the sons of biatches, then who's the winner? I choose to view my movies from other sources Disney.....or make that....I choose to view YOUR movies from other sources Disney.

1319.5.2003 0:24

The main question on my mind is: Have Disney realised that it's possible to coat the disks in something that keeps the oxeygen out? Or are they counting on this? What if there new philisophy is "At least there're paying some of the money!" or is this a trap to catch people?

1419.5.2003 1:27

See what I mean? I see all the arguments starting to form here, and I just don't think this idea is going to fly. At least, not for very long. (Disney is HUGE, yes). Someday, maybe, we'll be able to look at our little collection of black discs as sortof 'collector's' items. I bet there are some people still holding on to those old (original) DivX discs just for curiosity's sake, or perhaps in the hope that they may one day be able to figure out a way to decode them. (A hacker's delight). For myself, and yes, I know I shouldn't be saying this, but if and when these little self-destructive platters hit the market en masse, I will make it a point to back them up before they become totally fried. (Real collector's items, you know?) -- Moi --

1519.5.2003 2:10

As far as I have understood, the Disney's point is not to replace purchase-to-own DVDs, but to replace Blockbuster as a middleman. With rental discs that don't require logistics to collect them back or any information whatsoever about the person who rented the movie (in UK it seems that local video stores want to have 5 forms of identification, note of my annual salary and permission from my mum to rent anything), which would allow them to ""rent"" movies on lower price than Blocksters/etc does and via any possible retail outlet available. Thinking of Wal-Marts.. "'rent' 5 Disney DVDs for $5 and get two pounds of lard and 5 Chinese T-shirts for free"..

1619.5.2003 3:13

Petteri, my belief, especially when it comes to Walt Disney Enterprises, --- supreme money-grubbers that they are---, is that they simply want to put these discs into every grocery-store supermarket, drugstore, convenience-store (7-11), hobby shop, gas station, dentist's office, cop-shop, ice-cream bar, MacDonald's Drive-Thru, night-club, liquor-commission and street-corner vendor that they can possibly lay their mitts on. I will assume for the moment that Disney isn't stoopid enough to ignore the fact that dvd-backing up is becoming more and more commonplace every day, and they have taken some as-yet-unannounced steps to prevent 1:1 copying. HOWEVER, *IF* these dumb little discs adhere strictly to the established DVD standards, I don't see how they can prevent people from backing them up. If they release these things come August, you can bet I'm going to get an armful. -- Mike --

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 May 2003 @ 3:15

1719.5.2003 6:15

Well here on the heels of the most important dvd issue case to go to court (123 studio) we have a new use for their product. the next big test will be when Disney finally releases this new type of produt ... will walmart carry them? will pissed off people break the seal so thease things rot on the shelf? and will the Disney dvd and their name end up in every recicalling center just like those netorious indistucctiable diapers so we can leave that for the future generations to come? and that will be their new public image. well after I get enough coffee coasters and make that new wind chime then into the trash they'll go.....hey maybe some one will come up with a new office game called disney frizbee see how far you can throw one out the window ....

1819.5.2003 7:45

Well....maybe I need to rethink this. ANYTHING that screws Blockbuster is ALRIGHT with me. Death to Blockbuster!

1919.5.2003 8:43

hey another question what will happen if I leave it in my crive and it changes will there be resadue left on my lens?

2019.5.2003 14:03

I guess that gives a new project to people like me with chemistry degrees. I am not the greatest at hacking software, but I am sure I can find something that would counteract the oxygen degration. Can anyone say, "Thank you for the cheap DVD!"? I do agree with the others in this message forum with the environment issue. How many people actually recycle as it is? I dont think Disney will be thinking about biodegratible as well as oxygen degratible. Shouldnt Disney of all people be the ones thinking about future of our children with landfill waste? This idea is going to crash and burn very quickly.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benjamin Franklin
Time is never wasted when you are wasted all the time. - Catherine Zandonella
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol. - W.C. Fields

2119.5.2003 23:36

Hi MaryJayne! :) (Is you a girl)?? We don't get nearly enough ladies in the forum here. (Why was "mystic" flushed down the dumpster?) I must have missed all the good stuff. Maryjane, I honestly believe that this 'horrific' dead-disc landfill pollution stuff is a bit overblown. I'm not insensitive to environmental issues, but I believe in the overall scheme-of-things, it's not an issue at all. (People were predicting the end of the world with the original DivX discs). -- Mike --

2220.5.2003 1:22

In Australia, Blockbuster is a rippoff, charging $7AUD and more for a new release. While I can go to my local independant video store and get anything for $2.20AUD. How can Disney compete with that? I guess they just have to rely on the fact that not many people know about these "cheap" stores.

2320.5.2003 5:46

I've thought of a way out for Disney if they make it posible to send them back say send in 10 and get one free then they wont end up in the landfills.... kind of like when its black send it back...... so there would be an insentive for the return... and dont think people wont do it they collect bottles in most states to return , hey I've even seen people on the side of the road picking them up ..... so if there was something in it for everyone then they would return them,.....

2420.5.2003 13:50

Blockbuster is a rip-off in america too.

2520.5.2003 15:16

Would someone please explain the issues with the original dvix discs?

This is an amazingly imformative site with many places to find information and help. Please support it.

2620.5.2003 15:21

DIVX (the DivX was actually play of the original DIVX's name) was a pay-per-view DVD format where your DVD player had to be connected to your phone line and dial-up to the Circuit City's (who owned the format) central server to see if you have still viewing times left for the movie you're about to see. If not, your credit card would be charged for viewing the movie. In short: pay-per-view DVD. Pretty much different from this (Disney's) idea anyway.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

2720.5.2003 18:16

A_Klingon: I like ladies does that count? Sure I may have been a bit overdramatic about the environment issue, but I dont think we need snakes slithering around with used DVDs on their necks. It may become a fashion trend though...ya never know. I still think that this idea should be left in the developing stages for at least a few hundred decades. A big waste of money and time.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benjamin Franklin
Time is never wasted when you are wasted all the time. - Catherine Zandonella
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol. - W.C. Fields

2822.5.2003 8:24

"MaryJane" wrote:

A_Klingon: I like ladies, does that count?
Oh, You Bet! (couldn't make it without 'em). <<So like, you is not a girl???>> Frankly, I think that discarded jewel-boxes make more of a mess than dead-discs. I've thrown out cardboard boxes of them simply because I couldn't purchase the blanks without the damn cases. And old dvds/cds are, from what I read many years ago in a magazine article, made of a high-quality plastic which can be easily recycled. (Football helmets, believe it or not, were mentioned as one possible use. I'm confused: Member 'mystic' (above) is apparently deemed 'inactive', and yet his/her (newer) post still appears? Hmmmm....... -- Mike --
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 May 2003 @ 8:30

2922.5.2003 14:56

A_Klingon: Yes I am not a female. Wait let me check again. Ayup, defidently not womanish. Unless I have one hell of a growth on my crotch.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benjamin Franklin
Time is never wasted when you are wasted all the time. - Catherine Zandonella
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol. - W.C. Fields

3022.5.2003 21:17

(I think you can take a pill for that). :-) -- Moi --

3130.5.2003 7:13

Disney : there morons what else can i say! They just love to make more wast in the world in order to make a buck! nobody will recycle there stupid CD's or buy them for that matter - The whole world will boycot disney's dumb ideas! we will not buy there crap or go to there lame parks, no more micky no more daffy no more dumb ideas! people who want to make a buck will put stuff on a regular cd. I wouldnt use a cd if it turned unusable and neither should u. It is my right not to have wastfull usless crap - get with it, if you think that its not your right to make your demands know then grow up, stop just sitting by like a worm and letting companies do stupid crap. JUST DONT BUY that crap, and if every movie in the world out of the act of some stupid act of divine stupidity all get put on this type of disk, then just go to the movies, its way better anyway, SCREW U DISNEY - WALT WAS COOL but all the new micromanagers there are complete slithering scum bags of the earth.

3218.6.2003 4:25

Disposable Razor blades Disposable nappies Disposable pens ...Now disposable DVDs... ...What is next? Disposable corporate executives :-D Paul.

I'm back...
...can't you smell the fear?

3323.6.2003 14:33

What would be really neat is if you could control when the disc self destructs, like when any of these dumb Disney movies start! Ya know, save us from the hell that is Nemo or Lion King or some crap like that!

----life is short...BURN HARD!....ok, not so hard.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive