back to article This DVD will self-destruct in 48 hours

A German company has introduced a disposable DVD that can be viewed for 48 hours, then thrown away. The DVDs will sell for just €3.99 ($6.44 /£3.20). So, it's about the same price as a new video rental in Europe - and it used to be about the same price as in the US, before the Mighty Dollar shrank into the Pygmy Dollar. But …

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Nice!!

I like to have more methods of increasing my carbon footprint.

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Boffin

Airport "rentals"

The ideal market for this is airports. Buy one before departure, watch it on your laptop, throw it away at the other end.

Lots of US airports already offer rental of conventional DVDs (and even DVD players) -- I'm amazed they get any business at all given the inconvenience of having to return the disc on your return journey.

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More useless junk to litter the planet

What a daft idea. As if there isn't enough rubbish generated by human activities and consumerism polluting the planet.

Surely the EU has a law which prohibits or restricts the manufacture of wasteful disposable things such as this? If not, there bloody well should be.

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Silver badge

Vacuum Pack

So does this mean that I can put my DVD player inside a vacuum chamber and as long as I opened the pack inside the chamber it will never go bad?

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Coat

hmmmm

So its even more crap we get to throw out into landfills? woohooo

Its a "rubbish" idea!

The tin foil jacket on the left please..

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Hmmm

There's a handy rule of thumb that the speed of a chemical reaction doubles for every ten degree increase in temperature. So it'll be interesting to see if people in Alicante are complaining their disks have gone tits-up before the 48 hours expires, and if the frozen inhabitants of Kiruna are smugly watching their disks for a week.

In any case - 48 hours is a lot longer than it takes to rip a copy.

Choose piracy; the ecological choice.

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Too expensive!!!

Even with the almighty dollar now relegated to the position of a pygmy vs. the Euro, us yanks (whilst jobless and subsisting on our public assistance cheques) can rent DVD for $1.00 / day. One dollar vs. six plus??? You do the maths!

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Boffin

Hmm

Hmm , actually under German Trash friendly plastic package laws , I would not be unsurprised that most if not all used expired units will be sent collect mail back to sender for proper disposal !

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Pirate

In other news...

... a company has introduced a new product: VidiFix! Just spray on the surface of your disposable DVDs as soon as you open the packaging and the video stays for days and days! Now in Fresh Lemon and Forest Pine scents!

j/k of course, though I would not be surprised if such a thing was created.

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price

Considering you can get a lot of DVDs (that you can keep indefinately) for a few quid these days, I dont see the benefit? Let alone the environmental impact...

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Paris Hilton

@ Mr. Grundy

It's probly more to do with oxygen exposure. So when you took it out of your vacuum chamber, the clock initialises...

SHe knows about self-destruction.. oh yes indeedy...

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Ash

Quick enough...

... to copy a DVD?

Unless they're expecting you to use a magnifying glass and etch the pattern by hand with a compass needle onto Vinyl, I don't think it'll take any more than about 20 minutes.

That's 'think'...

Rubbish.

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Son of DIVX?

Hmm, sounds suspiciously like a certain failed venture from the late-90s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX

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Anonymous Coward

Not dissimilar from DIVX

This doesn't seem much different than the failed DIVX attempt back in 1998. Granted you do not need a special DVD player for this one, but I don't really see it going much further, especially since we are gradually moving toward streaming content.

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Return to Mission Impossible!!!

This message will self destruct in......................

Or "please dispose of this message in the usual manner" (usually burning it!)

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Literally a rubbish idea

With the current reliability of CD/DVD burning, I was beginning to worry about my future supplies of coasters. Now, I'm relieved. Well done, then!

It seems they've forgotten about the colossal failure that was the original DIVX format.

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Coat

Sounds great

I can watch a DVD while drinking my self-cooling beer..

http://www.engadget.com/2006/04/20/miller-to-introduce-self-cooling-beer-cans-next-year/

Do you think they'll offer "An Inconvenient Truth" in this format?

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Bronze badge

Recycling: theory and practice

A lot of plastic is recycleable, and marked to tell you what it is.

My local council issues wheelie bins for plastics and cardboard.

But, for various reasons, they don't want most of the plastic. They can only handle three types.

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ideal for astronauts

@solomon grundy

this will be ideal for astronauts as they can simply put their dvd player outside in the vacuum along with the DVD player and the disks will last forever.!

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Boffin

Extending the time period...

My guess is it reacts with either oxygen or nitrogen (oxygen I'd guess) in the air to cause the degradation... so you should be able to improve the duration by putting it in the fridge (slow the reaction) or putting it in another container and flooding it with something inert (carbon dioxide or nitrogen)

Mines the white lab coat...

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@ Stuart Duel

"Surely the EU has a law which prohibits or restricts the manufacture of wasteful disposable things such as this? If not, there bloody well should be"

Yes, because newspapers, disposable pens, disposable razors, nappies etc etc are all illegal.

/sarcasm

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Happy

Well yes but....

In response to: "So does this mean that I can put my DVD player inside a vacuum chamber and as long as I opened the pack inside the chamber it will never go bad?"

Your DVD might not go bad. But you would not fare as well in a vacuum.

*pop*

And now the sci-fi fan inside me is wondering, would a DVD player that plays in a vacuum overheat?

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Pirate

carbon footprints??

So I guess that the carbon footprint of a jiffy bag (ohh plastic!) and posting the disk back (cos the post office use those lovely long chain hydrocarbons were all so addicted to) is acceptable?

Personally I would like to see the movie/music industry execs round up and shot, for crimes against hypocrisy, and to then get on with drm'less streaming.

But until that day comes people are going to keep trying to make disposable disks, and I'm sure if they need to they can make the disk bio-degrade in a reasonable time frame if the demand for these things is high enough.

And yes Mr ISP, I did say streaming. I pay for my bandwidth and I expect full access to it. Cap it all you want but tell me what the caps are, charge me a reasonable amount to extend it if I download more than normal and DON'T sodding well throttle/shape/tamper in any form what so ever the link.

(if any one cares there is an ISP that offers this last bit already, Zen, and very good they are :)

Miffed that piracy is still the best way to watch a sodding film. (Who wants to pay for a film to be told how you could go to jail. I have never seen that notice on films I download)

</errm off topic rant...>

AC

jolly roger... more of the the roger and perhaps we would have less rants :,(

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tim

screw it guys

just reaslise, you movie moguls, that if you make a movie then someone is going to rip it, crack whatever drm or self-protection system you put in place, and stick it up for bittorrenting in short order. If you have disposable dvd's in petrol stations, then people will put a laptop in their car or build a dvd-ripping in-dash player which will rip the dvd, wi-fi it to the torrent network, and the DVD can then be thrown out the window of the freshly fuelled car and onto the highway.

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Dead Vulture

um...

DIVX?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX

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Happy

I love this idea

This is great! They are finally pricing the movies at how much they are actually worth.

It also doesnt take 48 hours to copy them. :)

Pop the vacuum bag, straight in to the computer.

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Divx?

Doesn't this sound exactly like those Divx discs that came out in the late 90s? They were supposed to expire after a week or two somehow, and they crashed completely. Probably because they wouldn't play in normal DVD players.

But yeah I hope that theres a method for recycling these things. 48 hours is plenty of time to rip a dvd : -)

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Bronze badge

Self burning DVD's!

I never burn DVD's anymore - I get the ones that burn themselves...

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Can't wait for the disposable PC

...running Windows Vista of course

Switch on PC, watch it grind, crash, then throw in landfill....

and of course it can be recycled, as can everything! The great thing is that the amount of petrol and resources it takes to do so (e.g. transportation etc) means it benefits recycling companies pockets (and not the planet )...

The only things that are worth recycling are cans and bottles. Period. Other materials should be buried in fully sealed landfill sites, stick a pipe in it, and the methane given off should be used to produce power.

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Boffin

Bowl of water?

If I keep my disc underwater, when not in use, will it extend the life?

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Stop

Holy crap.

What a massive waste.

OK, great so someone thought about recycling them...?

What they forget is, recycling takes up a shitload of energy too (it has a carbon footprint)

So, what's better than recycling your DVD's?

Downloading them? Could be... I'm not sure if servers take up more power than recycling plants...

Either way, I hope this crashes faster than George dubya in his DUI days...

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All we need now

Is a dvd reader that is a closed unit, pop the disk in, done. You can take as long as you want.

But as already said, ripping takes no time nowadays, so not even any need for prolonging the discs life.

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Coat

Flexplay

I've seen Flexplay discs at a local Choice gas station/cigarette dealer. They usually run for about 4 dollars or so, and do exactly this. 48 hours and they're gone. I've never really gone for it, because if there's a movie I want to see, I'm usually going to just buy the disk anyway.

Mine's the one with the DVD reciept in the pocket.

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Joke

Re: carbon footprints?? by AC

"So I guess that the carbon footprint of a jiffy bag (ohh plastic!) and posting the disk back (cos the post office use those lovely long chain hydrocarbons were all so addicted to) is acceptable?"

Thing big man! Why not drive the disc back to the rental store in a SUV?

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Coat

I bant believe no one said this yet

What about going into an airport buying 1000 of them, for the "flight" 46 hours ahead of time? Then you have your own bomb, supplied of course, by a MPAssA. Wonder if that will change a few minds. I dont think they want to be responsible for downing a plan full of Americans.

/mines the one with the disposible DVDs strapped inside.

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Anonymous Coward

Watching in a vacuum

How are you supposed to hear it?

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In space no-one can hear your dvd.

Some materials contact weld in vacuum. Most lubricants evaporate in vacuum. If you put a DVD player in vacuum, it will jam up before it overheats. The current drawn by an electric motor is reduced by the motion, so the peak current is used when the mechanism is jammed. The control software might be sensible enough to give up when the disk is stuck, but I am not going to test this with my DVD player.

If you solve the lubrication problem, you will have to deal with the lack of air cooling. An inert gas is cheaper than vacuum, and copying the DVD is cheaper than an inert gas (except for the dozen people who get caught).

This is just another solution looking for a problem. The easiest way to reduce the price of DVD's is not to buy when they are first released.

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OK if cheap enough

I have no problem with the idea, but the price needs to be lower! € 3.99 is way too much: real DVDs sell at about that at the discount bin. € 2 for such disposable fun sounds just about right. It can be paid for with a single € 2 coin, so you could easily sell these in vending machines at airports, railways stations etc.

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just wasteful

more rubbish to add to our epidemic of plastic bags and bottles.

sure stuff can be recycled, but at what cost? more pollution?

this idea only serves a few money greedy corporations and individuals.

besides, i have a dvd recorder as well as a dvd player. nuff said!

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Reykjavík

The only place I ever saw self-destructing DVDs was in a supermarket in Iceland... I guess they can afford to dispose of them as they can just dump them into the nearest volcano when they stop working...

@Jaap Stoel: "And now the sci-fi fan inside me is wondering, would a DVD player that plays in a vacuum overheat?"

It most probably would - at such low temperatures convection is one of the main components of heat transfer and there is no convection in a vacuum...

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Spray

What happens if you spray it with clear acrylic or polyurethane or shellac?

The reading will still work.

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Coat

Identity theft

If only the UK government used them.

Then we wouldn't have to worry about who's stolen our identity when the CD with the 20 million names and addresses on, gets lost in the post!.

Maybe it's in Milan courtesy of BA.

Getting my coat, see ya.

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Errr,,,

couldn't you polish off the chemical coating, say in a DVD repair kit?

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recycling

"Polycarbonate, Flexplay argues, is a fully recyclable plastic"

Well maybe but you would struggle to find anywhere in the UK recycling polycarbonate. Most councils are still struggling with polyethylene and PET.

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Anonymous Coward

Faults

What happens if your disk packaging has a little hole in it? Can you imagine returning it?

"Hi I bought this disk 2 days ago and it never worked."

"Yes sir, can you please prove it never worked"

"I can't"

"Sorry sir, we can't replace it."

What there should be is an online shop where you can download the dvd and then write it to a disk once using special software only. None of this crappy XviD or DivX or whatever new format they can come up with.

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Not big in Japan

A company tried this in Japan, under the name 48DVD, and sold such 48-hour DVDs in convenience stores in 2005. 3 titles were released at the price of 480yen (currently £2.35/$4.69), and it was all over.

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Paris Hilton

Great, more garbage !

If all these boffins spent as much brainpower to come up with ways to actually SAVE precious materials and energy as they do on creating more disposable crap, te world could actually be a better place.

Paris, because equally she doesn't have a clue...although none of the folk in thes picures actually have.

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Go

What about FREE DVD's with advertising.

They could stick adverts in these DVD's and make it so you have to watch them (I guess you could look the other way while they are playing, or go and make a cuppa) and then give them away for free.

Not everyone's choice perhaps, but you could always pay the £3.20 to watch the non ad supported version.

As long as the ads where short + entertaining, I think this could really make it work. It would have to be proper good pucker films that you'd actually wanna watch though.

Even better, make you pay £1 for the first one and then you can get the next one for free if you bring back your old smoked DVD for re-cycling by the outlet.

SteveB

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Anonymous Coward

@Boris

""Polycarbonate, Flexplay argues, is a fully recyclable plastic"

Well maybe but you would struggle to find anywhere in the UK recycling polycarbonate. Most councils are still struggling with polyethylene and PET."

But it gives the manufacturers the "not my fault" defense.

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No

Stupid Jerrys, technology for technology's sake. Utter lunacy, there is already a veritble MOUNTAIN of crap on the planet, in the ocean and now, as we find out, in space.

Scrap this idea and throw the idiots resposible in the Cooler for a month or so to contemplate their, literally, rubbish idea.

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