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July 17, 2006

Will Downloadable DVD's Finally Be Viable?

Sonic Solutions and Movielink have come up with a deal to allow buyers to copy downloaded movies to a DVD.  The deal includes mechanisms for encoding multiple DRM systems on the final product.  That ought to appeal to Hollywood as there can never be too many hoops for consumers to climb through to legally watch content.  Aside from the technology being feasible, none of the studios have yet to agree to have their movies made available this way.  Those deals have yet to be worked out. 

According to Sonic spokesman Chip Taylor the final product would be "not unlike a DVD you'd get from Blockbuster today."  That's good because in the last iteration of download options, movies were limited to specific devices, archive options were limited, and the price did not include multiple audio options such as 5.1 surround sound and any extras that might be on the commercial release.  Oh, and that was for a price that was comparable to list even though the consumer supplied everything but the file.  Pricing for this technology hasn't been announced but common sense suggests that it has to be competitive with Amazon, Best Buy, and the other discount options and locations.  Previously viewed discs from Blockbuster anyone?  Let's see if the distributors get this one right.  It would be a nice change and might actually make it worthwhile to spend 8 hours or so on a broadband connection downloading the movie.

See stories in PC Magazine, ZDNet, the San Jose Mercury-News, and Internetnews.com.

July 17, 2006 | Permalink

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