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Movie Studios OK Download-to-Burn DVDs

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the small-screen-miracles dept.

Movies 175

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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DRM=WTF (5, Insightful)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467696)

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 (1, Troll)

microbob (29155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467710)

I was getting SO excited until I got the the DRM part.

Meh. Keep it.

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468422)

"I was getting SO excited until I got the the DRM part."

Me too..sort of. I mean....this being the death of Netflix?? Hardly!!

Netflix doesn't have any such stipulations...no late fees, no drm....you can do anything you want with your "backups"....

:-)

Re:DRM=WTF (4, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467920)

Maybe it simply won't play in any players that don't acknowledge the virtual-shredding capabilities?

Re:DRM=WTF (4, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (3, Interesting)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468154)

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."

Re:DRM=WTF (2, Insightful)

thewils (463314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468432)

I only got as far as "OK to download and burn DVDs".

That's good enough for me.

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468666)

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....

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469202)

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 Inc. is introducing on Thursday the Qflix system for adding a standard digital lock to DVDs burned in a computer or a retail kiosk.

The lock, known as "content scrambling system," or CSS, is backed by the studios, TV networks and other content creators and comes standard on prerecorded DVDs today. All DVD players come equipped with a key that fits the lock and allows for playback.


It may be the only place permitting a real burn is in a Kiosk to prevent end users from acquiring the CSS enabled blank CDR's and drives.

It looks like it will be priced to not undercut traditional DVD sales by price fixing just like I-Tunes.

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467956)

The only thing I can think of is the kiosks may burn to a DVD that begins to decompose as soon as it's burned, thereby limiting the amount of time it's playable. It would have to be a special DVD because, AFAIK, you can't encode a blank DVD-R/+R with CSS because of the way they're formatted. IMHO, this is DOA, if, for no other reason than it'll be quite easy to use a program like DVD Decryptor to break the CSS and copy the DVD's contents to a disk that won't expire. But hey, if they want to throw their money down another black hole, who am I to stop them?

Re:DRM=WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468114)

This is not hard to do, actually. It is also possible to manufacture organic dyes that will decompose after illumination by a DVD player laser (though it will be a PITA to store and transport those).

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468520)

They will force you to use some CMC or other low quality DVD-R's that won't last more than a week or two. Ha! But seriously, do you know about why Phillips made the device that let's you rip your vinyl records? This was years back. The machine would only accept Phillip's own Pre-Formatted Audio discs. It was about royalties. So in theory, they could supply(force you to use) their own specially formatted, shitty media. What a formula! On the other hand, you could hack your drive's firmware, and enable the ability to write those terrible sectors. Ooh, I see some corn discs. Gotta run.

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468834)

Well, there is a way to limit DVD viewing, though (cross fingers) probably not useful for burnable DVDs. A while back, someone came up with the idea of disposable DVDs as a competitor to rentals. The DVD would be made from a material that, upon exposure to air, would start to degrade. IIRC, it would take 30-40 hours to become unplayable. While still inside their packaging, they would be safe, but after opening the package, you would have a day or so to view it as much as you could manage.

If applied to burn-kiosks, customers would have to view the DVDs basically the same day as purchased.

Even if it would work, I do not think people would be willing to buy such disks from a burn-kiosk - or even burn them on their own PCs.

Ha Ha (2, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467758)

Oh look, it's DIVX [wikipedia.org] all over again.

Re:Ha Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468188)

Yeah, it's just like it with the one exception of it being nothing like it at all.

THERE IS NO LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF VIEWINGS (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468484)

RTFA Submitter.

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468930)

In the summary I heard about this topic on NPR tonight they alluded that the customer would have to 'update their DVD burner or get a new DVD burner' which leads me to believe that a DRM-'enriched' drive will be necessary, and might even have other 'features' to lock people into this companie's schemes. IOW: an amount of hardware-DRM pokes it's nose into the tent with this technology...

Re:DRM=WTF (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17470140)

There are a number of posts in this story talking about the CSS region of DVD-Rs. Currently, these regions are "pre-burned" with all zeros essentially, but this won't work for burning CSS-encrypted discs. Hence the new discs. (You could probably get by with just a firmware update in many current drives I would reckon.)

Re:DRM=WTF (1)

carl0ski (838038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469334)

DVD CSS technology doesnt have an ability to restrict number of times you play a DVD

The limit may cover playing the movie on your PC

How long before this is cracked? (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467698)

A few days?

Re:How long before this is cracked? (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467896)

What is the motivation? The pirates just get the physical DVD's (or original films). I'm not going to crack it without motivation.

Never ever going to work (5, Insightful)

kentrel (526003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467718)

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.

Re:Never ever going to work (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468120)

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...).

Re:Never ever going to work (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468320)

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)...

Um, you do realize that there is a version of this that is meant for direct-to-consumer use, right?

Re:Never ever going to work (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469372)

Yes, and as I said, by the time it ships, I would very much expect some sort of crypto handshake (and maybe even kernel-level OS protections) to ensure that only authorized (and possibly signed) apps can use that feature of the drive. Either that or they'll use a new blank media type identifier so that you can't use existing discs with unwritten CSS regions and charge a piracy tax on the media.... Not sure which. I'd be truly amazed if they didn't do one of those two things, though....

Re:Never ever going to work (3, Informative)

Danga (307709) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Never ever going to work (5, Insightful)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469352)

"They are NOT going to pick something restricts their choice,"

You mean like an iPod?

limited plays? this is DivX all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467728)

doomed to failure. just like voluntarily paying more for "music" CD-Rs.

Re:limited plays? this is DivX all over again (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467866)

That was the first thing that popped into my mind. Divx failed once, I have a feeling its going to fail again.
I do like the idea of buying a movie online, downloading and burning it. What I don't want is to pay $20 and only get to view the movie a few times, or for a limited time. This is defiantly a "wait and see" technology. If there playback is unlimited, and the price is not insane, I'd be willing to buy movies this way.

Re:limited plays? this is DivX all over again (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468074)

I do like the idea of buying a movie online, downloading and burning it. What I don't want is to pay $20 and only get to view the movie a few times, or for a limited time.

What if it were $2 and the # of viewings or time was limited?

Voluntarily paying more for "music" CD-Rs. (3, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468354)

Actually, for many years I did own a home audio CD recorder which did require "music" CD-R's. They cost negligibly more than "data" CD-R's.

What absolutely totally pissed me off beyond belief was the day I brought a CD home and it wouldn't copy, because it had some damned kind of copy protection built in that triggered the SCCS lockout in my recorder.

I kept MY end of the bargain, God damn it. I paid for every copy I made. And I was totally entitled to make those copies under the Audio Home Recording Act. And both the publishers and artists were paid for every copy.

But, noooooo, that's not good enough for the music industry. They set up a one-sided bargain and then won't even keep their side of it.

Re:Voluntarily paying more for "music" CD-Rs. (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469988)

Sucker

Downsized Blockbuster... (3, Interesting)

John3 (85454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467732)

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.

But Ballbusters already eliminated late fees... (3, Insightful)

Cordath (581672) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:But Ballbusters already eliminated late fees... (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468544)

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 disks outweighs the extra media costs and time associated with burning the disks on demand. Certainly there would be benefits in a long tail market where storage and searching of a large physical catalog is more difficult than an electronic equivalent. There are also bound to be other savings that are not immediately obvious, for example it's quite difficult to shoplift an album that doesn't actually exist until you pay for it.

But Ballbusters didn't eliminate trash fees... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468820)

For the rental market this is OK(1), but for the ownership crowd it's not. There's still that life of pressed disks vs burned issue.

*I say OK with a cavet. It will fill our landfills with lots of oil-derived plastic disks. I already see plenty of the buggers in the gutters and lawns of the city I live in.

Re:But Ballbusters already eliminated late fees... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17469456)

I've often thought you could run a music store this way, burning CD's on site, on demand.

There was a proposal to do just this in 1992-3. A company was going to put a CD burner in listening stations and allow you to make your own mixes. A la carte pricing(as opposed to per MB like allofMP3) was going to average about $14/disc. The labels were a little lukewarm on it at the time and our store never got one and eventually the idea died on the vine. The labels started raising the prices on CD singles not long after by only selling them with a bunch of remixes of the same song and calling them maxis. Cassingles died their natural death and the labels returned to the model of selling albums of 10 crap songs with 2 or 3 good ones for 15.99 to 17.99. (Our wholesale price 11.70-14.30 IIRC)

As far as distribution is concerned, the labels generally don't give a rat's ass since that is borne by the retailer. The only time a store would receive a direct shipment from the label would be for niche-market new releases. Big releases came from our DC a week or two before they went on sale and held in the back room. Mom and Pops and small chains generally had distribution agreements with special-order wholesalers like AbbeyRoad and the like.

We even paid for the shipping of defective product back to the labels. Except for Sony, who decided in '92 that retailers were being too generous with their return policy. They even refused to accept genuinely defective discs with missing aluminum. Of course this came back to bite them in the ass. We started buying and selling used CDs later in the year and once the used Sony CDs started piling up at the DC, the DC set up a line to give them cutouts and sent them back to us with used-CD labels. You could pick up a week old Sony release for 5.99-6.99. No long box and a hole punched in the SKU, but still guaranteed defect-free by us. Yeah, I knew Sony was evil even before it was fashionable.

Incidentally, that's where those ultra-cheap CDs and cassettes you see in the supermarket and video store checkout line come from. The label holds onto their returns and overstock until the titles fall off even the back-catalogue charts and ship them out to have the cases opened, the bar code hole punched or pasted over with a generic SKU and rewrapped and sold by the thousand.

Now for burnable DVDs, I see the same issues with this as with the kiosks for music back in '92. The burn times are too long. A 4x CD burner still took 15 minutes per disc. A dual layer DVD even at 16x would be about the same. Try selling that the day after Thanksgiving.

Downsized Differences. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467946)

Actually Krogers and Marsh (grocery chains) already have do-it-all rental kiosks. The only limiting thing is the selection, but with the growth of broadband around here. Even that problem could disappear.

"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."

What's the difference between "tossing it" and buying it, and how do you enforce that difference?

---
HDHomeRun-Networked Digital HDTV Tuner [9thtee.com]

Re:Downsized Differences. (1)

John3 (85454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468474)

The DRM mechanism in the DVD will prevent it from being played more than a few times. The average consumer won't mess with any available cracks.

Re:Downsized Blockbuster... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467980)

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.
Then how would the rental companies ensure that the customer destroys the rented DVD instead of keeping it forever? What you suggest would work fine for selling discount DVDs, not renting them out.

Re:Downsized Blockbuster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468168)

Does anyone know what the bandwidth costs for something like this would be if it were actually successful?

Per week, you're talking about downloading and burning hundreds of DVDs, which means you're using terabytes of bandwidth in a week... even if you save the most popular ones locally, so you only have to download it once, you're still talking about either a huge number of downloads, or requiring a fairly huge on-site storage space (though I guess that comes down to what % of movie rentals are not the 50 or so most recent releases)

To be honest, I somewhat hope this doesn't take over... Netflix is great, but there still are some times you just want to be able to wander around a physical store looking for a random movie

Re:Downsized Blockbuster... (1)

Flwyd (607088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468452)

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 check out an obscure film and see if it's interesting. But all of this assumes that Blockbuster cares about interesting and obscure movies, despite their name.

Re:Downsized Blockbuster... (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468636)

> 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 stores first opened.

Unfortunately DVDStation has pretty much tanked, and any business plan with a distribution model that doesn't include something like Netflix and/or downloads is still doomed, small store footprint or not.

Please include CSS, oh please (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467746)

Because we all know how well that works.
/surfing from Myth which plays DVDs, thanks Jon

they still don't get it... (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467772)

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:they still don't get it... (2, Insightful)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468008)

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:they still don't get it... (2, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468106)

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 source? It'd take days if not weeks of downloading in the background. Plus, now I've got a hard drive full of 4/8 gig files which are essentially useless once they've been burnt.

The general populace might see this as an alternative to going to the store and buying a DVD and I can see people simply queuing up DVD's on a wishlist to download at their leisure, but this is no where near the sort of thing that compete with the NetFlix model of business.

Re:they still don't get it... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468152)

How fast would I get the DVD if I'm downloading it from one source? It'd take days if not weeks of downloading in the background

Don't assume that. The fastest transfer rates I've seen are from single, high-powered sources. 3 MB/s from Napster at one point (this is the "new", subscription Napster, not the old one; I had a "free" subscription at the time from my university, though I was off campus at the time I saw this) is my all-time high. 800 KB/s from Microsoft last night is the higest I've seen since from non-LAN sources.

They'd certainly need beefy servers and an enviable connection, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Re:they still don't get it... (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468310)

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).

Re:they still don't get it... (1)

gustafsd (1006935) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468768)

Have you tried downloading a full sized DVD and burning it?
Yes, and it takes about 15 minutes... You guys really need to step into the next century ;)

Re:they still don't get it... (0, Troll)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468996)

And you need to step out of your broadband-empowered dorm room and into the real world.

Somebody doesn't get it... (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468460)

Qflix and Netflix use exactly the same DRM system.

Also, you are ignoring the difference between renting and buying.

Burning Kiosk? No thanks ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467778)

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.

Start your clocks! (1)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467780)

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:Start your clocks! (2, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468846)

It's already hacked; they admit as much. Burn to CSS-protected DVD, use DeCSS.

Netflix will live on (5, Insightful)

D4rk Fx (862399) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467794)

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.

Re:Netflix will live on (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468262)

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 assumed to be already connected to a TV, and was meant to be there.

Re:Netflix will live on (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468498)

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.

No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467808)

Netflix will always be around. I can't imagine downloading a movie. recently I bought a movie from itunes store. I played it back in comparison with the actual dvd I had rented from netflix. The itunes movie quality is HORRIBLE. Also I don't think they're going to be placing all older movies on this download service. This download service will be come a complete failure to anyone who truely loves movies and actual film quality.

The end of Netflix my ass (4, Insightful)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:The end of Netflix my ass (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468580)

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 building, which causes the slot to be suspended for about a month.
  4. Movies don't get delivered for 5 days even though they are shipping them from the same city you live in.
  5. Stolen (aka lost in the mail) movies mean that you don't get special features such as shipments immediately after you mark a movie as returned.

Re:The end of Netflix my ass (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17469104)

People like my mother use Netflix simply because she doesn't like buying movies.

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.
Yo mama is so fat, Netflix has a shorter turnaround time.

At what stage is CSS actually added? (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467874)

The article tends to be hazy on where the actual encryption takes place. At one point, it sounds as if it would be a hardware-independent solution (I mean, encrypted or not, it's still just a filesystem, right?) but then they go on to make it sound like it requires specific firmware abilities.

Either way, if the CSS is as easy to break as the that of existing DVDs... Sign me up.

Hehe (1)

kentrel (526003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467892)

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:Hehe (2, Insightful)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468044)

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.

Key that fits the lock! (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467898)

"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 rest of us wouldn't so it can be very useful/profitable to media owners.

Hopefully this is the opposite direction of most of the downloaded movie services like amazon who's EULA will make your hair curl. http://www.defectivebydesign.org/en/blog/670 [defectivebydesign.org]

Re:Key that fits the lock! (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467992)

"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] !

Glad they've finally OK'ed it. (5, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Glad they've finally OK'ed it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468308)

They'll be glad to know that the RIAA has OK'ed it.

You can tell how much somebody knows about the subject at hand by how readily they misuse terminology, acronyms, and initialisms. Geeks are notorious for being pedantic about this.

Not a DVD-Video. (1)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467974)

"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 only play on windows or off-standard DVD players.

Re:Not a DVD-Video. (3, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468030)

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, but can then be burned to DVD, at which point it is converted to DVD-Video and will playback on any DVD player. But the number of times you can do that burn from the original file (as opposed to copying the resulting DVD) is limited. Just like the way that iTunes will let you burn AAC-encoded files to CD some limited number of times.

Re:Not a DVD-Video. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468200)

Just like the way that iTunes will let you burn AAC-encoded files to CD some limited number of times.

Only that iTunes lets you burn those files an unlimited number of times.

The only limit is on the number of times you may burn the exact same playlist.

Re:Not a DVD-Video. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468242)

Hmm, apparently I've had the wrong impression.

I don't use iTunes, so don't have firsthand knowledge. (I rarely get new music, and when I do, it's usually full albums, so I buy the CD.)

Re:Not a DVD-Video. (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468222)

Nothing to stop you writing a virtual burner that spits out an ISO image... it's fairly trivial in fact.

VOD Anyone? (1)

Line_Fault (247536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468062)

How about video on demand?

With the increasing deployment of digital set top boxes, and new services such as IPTV running on VDSL lines that can receive 52Mbit/s, and service prices continuing to drop, video on demand is a more viable solution than anything involving someone having to actually burn a DVD!

By the time these kiosks are setup so you can get a DVD burned at the Grocery store, you probably won't bother because you could just watch it at home for less than $5!

It's also a lot easier to let your content provider deal with the legal implications than even thinking about DRM!

Re:VOD Anyone? (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468280)

Unfortunately (in the US atleast), not everyone has 52Meg DSL available to them (Or even close). The town I live in 7M is about the highest, in the town I work in 1.5M is the highest. Add to that the push for HDTV, which requires even more bandwidth and you've pretty much slaughtered any possible use of IPTV in the near future. On top of this is the fact that almost every ISP in the US oversells their bandwidth. I know my provider does. I pay for "Up to 7Mbit cable". During the day when no one is on, I can pull around 6-6.5Mbit, not too shaby. From 4PM to 11PM (I would guess this is where most people watch tv), I get 500Kbps normally, 1Mbit if I'm lucky. Just my 2 cents.

Why put it on a disc? (2, Funny)

CaffCoder (1045308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468088)

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?

The only thing to see here is FUD..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468102)

Which basically means there's nothing to see. Move along.

Studio's like this? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468118)

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? (1)

twbecker (315312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468138)

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 value? Even over broadband, downloading that much data takes a while.

Re:Death of Netflix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468890)

considering the cost of blank DVD media

Yeah that fifty cents extra is gonna be doom for this....

not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468144)

This technology is a few years too early to have a serious impact on Netflix.

First off, a 9 GB download still takes quite a while. Assume a 6 megabit connection (a spherical cow with no mass?) which is capable of a sustained download rate of 500 K/s (which is unlikely, given my experience with my local provider). You're looking at 9,000 / 0.5 = 18,000 s = 300 minutes = 5 hours. Who in their right mind is going to feel good about waiting 5 hours for a movie download?

Now, this is before we even get started on the addition DRM crap they want to subject their customers to.

In order for this to be successful, they are going to need to (a) wait until 50 megabit connections are common and (b) allow consumers to download _exactly_ the same bits that they would get if they bought the DVD in a store.

Re:not a chance (4, Interesting)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468212)

This technology is a few years too early to have a serious impact on Netflix. ... Who in their right mind is going to feel good about waiting 5 hours for a movie download?

The same people who have to wait at least a day for Netflix to mail you a movie you want?

Now, this is before we even get started on the addition DRM crap they want to subject their customers to.

Which for practical purposes is no more DRM than Netflix gives you. Once you take a file you download and burn it, you have what Netflix would have sent you except on a DVD-R instead of a pressed disc. (I think the bit of the summary about limiting playback is FUD; I don't see anything in either article mentioning it, and two other posters as-of now concur. I think it's just an iTunes-like thing: you download a DRM'd file, then can burn it.)

In fact, in some sense, you can do MORE with this file because you can gave it on your computer hard drive without running the DVD through DeCSS first.

Re:not a chance (2, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468518)

More likely it will be a 2GB VC-1 file which your computer will convert to a 9GB DVD ISO image before burning - sort of like ratDVD but legitimate.

Cool concept, if the price is right. (2, Interesting)

KIFulgore (972701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468184)

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.

Re:Cool concept, if the price is right. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469976)

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 (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Can't.... resist.... (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468318)


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

    Oh, wait. WITH css. Oh, well.

steve

Burning Kiosks? (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468388)

Bonfires of destruction targeted at the DRM?

I PRTFA.

Movie Time (4, Funny)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468406)

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.

USB? (1)

qzulla (600807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468870)

Some burners can be updated, Sonic said, and companies such as Plextor, a Qflix partner, are expected to market Qflix-enabled DVD burners that connect with a USB cable.

Yeah.... buffering... that wor... buffering...ks for.... buffering.... me

qz

DVD lifespan (2, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468918)

I'm guessing that burned DVD's won't last as long as pressed DVD's, as is true with CD's.

Re:DVD lifespan (1)

sadler121 (735320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469980)

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.

From VLC 0.8.7 changelog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17469130)

Changes between 0.8.6 and 0.8.7:
Decoders:
  * Qflix support

Hello future! (1)

agent0range_ (472103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469138)

Goodbye environment!

Burning kiosks already exist in the US (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469360)

There's one in the grocery store in Coopersville, MI.

01/09/07.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17469612)

I'd say in less than one week, Apple will announce that movies purchased in the iTMS will be burnable to DVD, and that any required CSS changes to drives will be a free firmware update (available via Software Update immediately after the keynote) for all Macs w/ internal DVD burners.

So, now that iTMS announcement is decoded, on the the iPod phone(s)... ;-)

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