AfterDawn: Tech news

Disney begins trials with disposable DVDs

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 10 Sep 2003 7:43 User comments (30)

Disney begun its first commercial trials with disposable DVDs yesterday in the United States.
DVDs that aim to challenge the rental discs, are wrapped in air-tight packaging and once opened, the disc will become unreadable after 48 hrs. The idea behind this environmental catastrophe is the fact that such discs can be sold virtually anywhere without worrying about returning them back to the store after viewing. By using these discs, local grocery stores can compete against likes of Blockbuster and the discs would benefit people who are simply too lazy to return their movies back to the store on time.

Discs will carry a suggested price of $6.99 and are available in Austin, Texas; Peoria/Bloomington, Illinois; Charleston, South Carolina; and Kansas City, Missouri. The technology behind the concept is developed by a company called Flexplay and the format is called as EZ-D and is claimed to be 100% compliant with current DVD-Video specs.

Source: Reuters/MSNBC

Previous Next  

30 user comments

110.9.2003 11:11

How are they going to compete with rental places with a price of $6.99? I'd rather rent for half the price.

V9 PS2, flip top, SMD, DVDLoader
Pioneer 107, ritek g05
DVD Shrink, DVD Decrypter, Nero

210.9.2003 11:14

but if you dip it in clear laccour then it'll last forever......... kewl beans......

310.9.2003 11:19

The whole concept makes me feel ill.

We mustn't lower ourselves to the level of those we loathe, lest we become loathsome ourselves.

410.9.2003 11:24

Rip it to your hardrive first!

510.9.2003 11:31

Of course rip it to your harddrive, but why pay $7 to do it, when you can rent it for $3?

610.9.2003 11:55

make a couple svcds, but blockbuster has a movie freedom pass on a month by month basis of 20$, you can rent 2 at a time and keep bringin em back for 2 more, it pays for itself.

(adrenaline Is the closest Total freedom)

710.9.2003 12:40

I want to go and puncture the plastic wrap on every disk that I find... oh, wait... some other little kid will do that for me. Gotta love little toddlers for wanting to play with everything. Hey, won't that make the dvd's unusable? Dang the luck of Disney when they find out that their dvd's won't sell because they are all expired and that they are costing more money to produce than they are getting from sales. The dvd's won't be on the market long enough for most people to know that they exist.

810.9.2003 17:48

$6.99 is too much. I'm actually quite amused that they will be trying to compete against Blockbuster, who offers DVDs that last more than 48 hours ;) And for a lesser sum as well!

Everyone is entitled to their own true opinion. Either respect that or don't.

910.9.2003 18:46

so you can actually circumvent the chemical erosion on the dvd by dipping it in the clear laccour stuff? What the heck is that? Rip 2 your hard drive and watch as many times as you want looks like the best idea.


1010.9.2003 21:16

GOD, you guys keep saying "Rip to your harddrive", come on, for $7.99 f@ck that!. Ill rent it for half the price, then rip to my harddrive.

V9 PS2, flip top, SMD, DVDLoader
Pioneer 107, ritek g05
DVD Shrink, DVD Decrypter, Nero

1111.9.2003 1:23

Oh, I just luvvit! 'Bring 'em On!' I say. Can't wait to tear them to shreds, "testing" them, ripping them, dipping them, scotch-taping them, painting them....... Despite the fact that Disney are money-grubbers even at the best of times, it will be interesting to see how resistant to copying (backing-up/ripping, whatever you want to call it) these flexplay things are. We *may* get fooled initially. From a distance, it *seems* like a BoneHead product, but hey - ya never know. But you guys are right.... even assuming the discs can be ripped with your eyes closed, 7 US dollars is way way to much to pay, simply for the convenience of not having to return the thing. Should be interesting, and I'm sure you gents will post all your findings here as soon as you can. :)

1211.9.2003 2:09

They should be $1.99

1311.9.2003 3:06

One should naturally assume that Flexplay would have long ago done everything in it's power to assure Disney that the discs would not be rippable by any standard means. I'm certain they are both aware of all the freely-available ripping softwares on the internet. It could be folly merely to assume they are willy-nilly rippable as-is. I'd pay $7 *once* (which is roughly $10 canadian) just to have one of these doomed little collector's items in my possession, and to run a few tests on it. But after that, at 10-bucks-a-pop, I can assure you the novelty would wear off pretty quickly.

1411.9.2003 4:34

I can rent DVD's at 2.30 in my local rental shop, im not spending more than 3 on a disney disc, novelty or not :D

1511.9.2003 8:17

Disney.... eeeeeeeeeeew.... hehe.

ASUS A8V Deluxe, A64-3500 @ 2.65
1GB KingMax PC3700
640GB [4x160GB, 7200, 8MB]
XFX 6800GT 256MB
Rules and Policies:

1611.9.2003 8:31

Does anyone remember Dvix and how long it lasted? I see the same thing happening here.

1711.9.2003 12:29

zx2er, BINGO!

1813.9.2003 4:13

I wonder if when you insert the disc Mickey Mouse will appear and announce; "you've got 48 hours to watch this movie after which this disc will self-destruct" Cue for me to sue Disney as I left the disc in my DVD player overnight and it melted...

1917.9.2003 0:49

If anyone's interested in these self-crippling discs, there's an official Flexplay website here: Flexplay calls their new discs "EZ-D" discs. The site has a pretty good FAQ, and there's a "What's Available" and "Where-To-Find" section. Right now the discs will only be available in a few select cities on a test-basis. As far as I'm concerned, at US$7.00-a-pop, they can keep 'em, whether they're rippable or not. Here's the first 8 titles. (I don't recognize a single one of them): ------------ If anyone gets a chance to buy, test, or rip one of these things, please let us know how you made out. Thanks!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Sep 2003 @ 0:55

2017.9.2003 8:30

Goes to show disney, The first test movies are all crap. Well I guess it doesn't matter if you postal guy cuts into it with a knife or if it gets riped open during delivery. As a blank disc would be better than watching any those movies. I would love a little mickey mouse screen saver that would come on and say, "You have 48hrs before this compter self destructs" Then counted down the time. I would be reminisent of the Apple virus when I was in grade 3. It would just count down the time, give you a boom on the screen and then every thing in your trash got deleted. That was a good one.

I am not a number
I am a Free Man

2119.9.2003 12:53

They are a huge enviromental E waste as dvds are so durable!It means 1 DVD per person(waste) as apposed to 000's at a rental store(no waste).If you have to post them or return to a shop to recycle, or return to the shop for another one, why not just rent one?Most vid rental shops have rental periods longer than 48 hours + bonus options.EZ DVDs cost too much.

2219.9.2003 12:57

+ EZ DVDs don't give you the fantastic extra features.

2319.9.2003 13:34

On more serious note, EZ DVDs are made with Lexan Polycarbonates, which contain Phosgene and Biphenol- both toxic chemicals. Phosgene, was used during World War 1, killing by Pulmonary Edma and is never broken down. Bisphenol A, promotes certain types of cancer and is almost non detectable.

2422.9.2003 6:51

Whatever the chemical-composition of these things, I doubt very very very much they would have any toxic effect on consumers. That would just be suicide. Anyone manage to pick up a Flexy-Poo yet???? But think about something.... all of the chemical changes (the 'darkening' or clouding-up) would have to take place on the surface of the disc, right? It is the interaction of the chemicals plus Oxygen that 'does the damage'. (Or so we are told). In practice, the oxygen never reaches into the substrate layer. Maybe if someone could figure out a way to dissolve the exposed chemicals or........ Well, let's put it this way.....people are gonna be experimenting with these things BIG TIME. Hang on to your "dead" discs; ya never know.....

2522.9.2003 9:44

The problem from the toxins arise when the DVDs are not properly re-recycled and left to decay in dumps.

2622.9.2003 11:40

A_Klingon that may not be true. The outer edge of a disc is exposed, and if it is an oxidation proccess then it may just react from the outer edge to the inner edge, giving you the 48hrs. I would assume the dye that is used to provide the one`s or zeros (opaque or not opaque), is what is being oxidized to make it all opaque. So I would think the data to be gone. However if it is the outer edge that allows for oxidation then all you would need to do is seal it. But I don`t know, I am only guessing.

2722.9.2003 12:52

The very, extreme, outer-most edge of the disc (it's rim) may or may not be exposed to the atmosphere, but there is no way oxidation can take place throughtout the disc's radius, from edge to center from within the disc substrate. The substrate is a solid layer, molded and sealed. The self-defeating effects (discolouration) would have to take place on the disc surface, the only place where the chemical(s) can come into contact with the air. (I guess).

2822.9.2003 14:52

I can give you examples for why thats not true. There are a lot of newer pourous plastics which allow air and micro water particles through. This technology was developed for lettuce here in Canada and USA. Yes pourous plastics that allow moister and air to pass through so your lettuce does not go bad when stored for multiple days in the store. Also Iron will oxidize and its a solid surface, and you can get through oxidation of chemicals as the lattice (similar to a crystal) is open and allows really small oxygens molecules through. The radius of oxygen is really small and can pass through something with really big radus like sugar. You can get oxidation through a solid block of glucose as it has big rings and can allow oxygen through. So Now that I think about it, all you need is a new plastic that is really pourous and a simple oxidizable dye (has iron in it) and it will go completely opaque. That may be how they are doing it. I would have to see what colour the disc turns after contact with oxygen and I may be able to see what they used. If that is it then similar reversible chemisty could be used. Like place the disc in Carbon Monoixde enviroment to rip off the oxygen. Or Heat the disc up or Drop it in Liquid nitrogen to reverse the reaction. Could be fun to play with these things. Just some more Ideas for the masses.

I am not a number
I am a Free Man

2923.9.2003 3:30

Hmmmm..... well, since this is the first time I have ever heard of 'porous plastics', you may indeed have a point there, Prisoner. Up until now (and indeed, likely even still now), dvds and cds do not use porous coatings -- but since this is a whole new disc-marketing concept, you never know. If so, it would tend to answer the question 'how do they do it?'. Myself, I think the answer lies elsewhere though -- we just haven't figured it out yet. :-) (I'm from Canada too!)

3023.9.2003 7:43

This page seems to describe, but not in the detail I would like how the discs go black.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive