back to article IBM to shove ads onto DVDs

IBM hopes to slip commercials onto your DVDs. Big Blue has asked the US Patent Office for the exclusive rights to a "system and method of providing advertisements during DVD playback." If this thing ever shows up in your DVD player, your discs won't be ad-free - unless you shell out some cash for some sort of digital certificate …

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@Chris

That whole post is satire, right?

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Go

Missing the point?

Ok, why not give the DVD an option to turn ads on and off? when they are turned on, they pay you for each ad you watch (interactive part in the ads, to check you are acctually watching). It would allow you to pay for the DVD (eventually) and it keeps it pure for those who don't want to watch them. Problem solved!

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lol

first cinemas, now that..

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Stop

Have they thought this through?

Let's see what advertisers do on TV - oh yes, they keep changing them to make sure that the advert matches the product.

So in 2 years time when I decide to dig out my DVD of my favourite movie, adverts for a product that is no longer sold is going to really make the company who are trying to promote it shine in my eyes.

At least it will remind me never to buy anything off them again - problem solved.

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Ash

Solution

Stop giving them money for the shit they churn out on a daily basis.

It's that simple.

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Paying for ads?

The notion of paying to watch media that includes ads is absurd. Add this to region encoding, non-skip trailers, and the insistence of anti-piracy warnings on paid-for discs and the format will be dead within months!

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Free or almost free DVDs with ads? No chance.

You just have to look at the games industry for that model. For 20 years we enjoyed games without advertising in them (yes, yes, "licenses" don't count). Now through our beneficent masters, we've got dynamic advertising in games (thanks Massive, love you too).

The vague reasoning from the publishers when this was first introduced was "value to the consumer" and "cheaper games from the second source of income". Have gamers seen any price reductions on their titles? Take a wild guess.

Profits are up though. So that's all right then.

So don't expect your ad-laden DVDs to be any cheaper.

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Happy

Yest another excellent reason...

To downgrade to VHS, or maybe celluloid.

I would have thought that paying £15 for a DVD entitled you to pester free playback, maybe I just expect too much.

Then again I'm assuming such a system would require a DVD box capable of pulling down the advertisments, YAY! long live my clunky old monolith size DVD player :D

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Anonymous Coward

I for one...

...welcome our new ad-ridden DVD overlords.

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Mars

Multi Region

Now how will this work for Multi Region disks? Will I get French adverts as well as Dutch? Will I understand them Looks like Region 2 disks will have to be advert free.

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Coat

Send me all your money!

I've just applied for a patent to put adverts on the insides of your eyelids, of course, you can opt out of this by sending me £5... per eye... per year!

"This time next year Rodders..."

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Go

Dead easy to rip and strip....

.... if they rely on key frames to trigger the Ads.

Advertising = motivation to be a criminial (not really a proper criminal though unless you throw in a bit of violence and drug dealing as well).

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Boffin

A storm in a teacup

None of this will ever happen to DVDs, so I don't know what the majority of people are worried about. Even with blu-ray and HD-DVD, the standards are too set in stone for the manufacturers to go back and say "Ah, all change - need to build in an advertising system..." For DVD, it would just be insanity - nobody is going to make discs that only work in newer, crippled players - nobody would buy them. I personally can't help but wonder that there is someone in IBM that really, *really* hates ads, and has decided to patent this so that nobody else can use the technology.

Stranger things have happened. :)

DVD has a long and shining future ahead of it. Not only is this HDTV thing so new that it will take 10-15 years to *really* take off, but there will be so many non-HDTVs in peoples households for years to come that DVDs will always be useful. Look at VHS - it's lasted nearly 30 years, despite looking terrible compared to DVD. Then there's the availability of tools like DVD Decrypter (if you know where to look) and AnyDVD (if you like giving Antiguans your credit card details), and DVDs are practically an open book, especially now that region protection has been well and truly cracked for a while now. Sony didn't learn that consumers weren't so happy about region protection, and as a result blu-ray looks like it's going to become the new Betamax. Then there's the fact that DVD has become as cheap as chips, thanks to the hard work of all those pirates. No, I think DVD is going to be here for a long time.

As for the Philips patent, that's just laughable. No consumer in their right mind would buy a television that "forces" them to watch an advert - so it's debatable as to whether the patent will ever be licenced. So far, Philips haven't been stupid enough to market such kit - which only proves that it's already a dead duck long before it ever reached the market. It's a broken, silly concept - what next? Digital handcuffs that the user must wear to enable movies to be played, so you can't get up and go to the loo or do anything productive while the ads are showing? There's a reason why retailers are complaining that sales of DRMed movies and music have plummeted through the floor. Consumers don't want it - and you can bet that consumers won't want an advert in their face every five minutes, either. Will they pay for it? (Do I need to point out the obvious?)

The idiots like Chris "Avoiding adverts is a criminal offense" need to realise something, and that is that no job is for life. I originally worked as a software engineer, and when my job was outsourced to Indians working for 1/100th of what I took home (£19k - not a lot), I simply learned some new skills and moved on. Now, I earn in excess of €150k per year, doing something else. I didn't get all uppity and start lobbying government, saying "My job is under threat, so you must make X, Y and Z illegal - or I can't feed my family!" Attitudes like yours about compulsory advertising are the exact reason why I run a registered version of AnyDVD on the media PC I use for playing my DVDs. I no longer put up with Prohibited User Operations ... including all of those pointless piracy adverts, copyright warnings and other guff that just make watching a DVD a chore instead of a pleasure. One tap of the Skip/Menu button, and they're gone.

Am I worried? In a word, no.

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Thumb Down

God Damn It!!!

I get pissed off enough by all my DVDs accusing me of being a thief, adverts would be the final straw, I'd turn to pirate copies if they had the ads stripped out.

How much more of this are supposed to take?

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Boffin

Go Straight for the Throat..

When one of these DVD's pops up an advert, you simply take down the name of the product and go straight to the advertiser. Usually a nicely phrased letter, saying that you are so disgusted with the advert interrupting your viewing pleasure - it made the experience of the show/movie so terrible, that you are never going to *consider* their product or company worthy of your business again.

A written letter on paper works best. Also, to make the point, you can mail them the offending DVD, since it's worth shite for the ad technology in it.

One thing I know, from being in the Nielsen Homescan Shopping and Nielsen Television surveys for years is that the advertisers DO pay VERY close attention to what works and what pisses people off. (A bigger group of whores you'll not find on the planet.) All the consumer has to do is demand certain things for their business patronage, and they'll get it.

Consumers have the upper hand over business, we just have to realize this and act accordingly.

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MTT

They want to kill DVD

Have any of you considered that this is a win-win for the industry?

I mean, DVD tech is already "broken" from an industry perspective: it is virtually impossible to stop ppl from ripping and sharing movies; DVD burners are ubiquitous; companies like Netflix can not only mail movies but stream non Hi-def movies easily, making DVD purchases less attractive; OnDemand cable services provide a similar service; and on and on and on.

I think they don't mind if DVD gets killed because they still have some control over next-gen discs (for now.)

So consider this:

(1) If they get the patent, they cram ads on DVD discs.

(2a) Ppl either watch the ads or don't, though I bet a good portion of the population will still buy DVDs and just tolerate this shit the way they do everything else.

So they get a little extra bang for their buck (or cents, if you count production costs.)

-Win-

OR....

(2b) Ppl decide *not* to buy ad stuffed DVDs because the "industry" offers you a compromise...

buy hi-def BluRay or HD-DVD with no ads! You get netter video quality, no obnoxious ads, etc. etc.

-Win Again-

Probably not the case, as I doubt IBM and MPAA execs are that scheme-worthy (though they are certainly evil enough.) Still, allowing for a momentary spark of brain activity, I wouldn't put it past any of these guys to chalk it out like that.

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Coat

I don't see the economic model for this...

I'll start out by saying that I can't comment on the European situation. However, here in North America, save for your cable fee, most television is free to view. As we don't have a TV tax, the "basic" channels (without cable) are free to watch. Therefore, I don't mind spending almost 25% of my viewing time watching advertisements in exchange for the other 75%, which is presumably a program that I enjoy. To me, that's a fair exchange.

However, when looking at DVD, the entire model changes. I have now paid money in order to view this program. That is, I have spent time at my job to earn the money so that I could turn around and purchase this DVD. Fair enough, I will spend money so that I can watch this program uninterrupted (as well as being able to pause, re-wind, rewatch whenever, etc. - features which are quickly becoming devalued with the use of PVRs, but I digress...). Now, according to this proposed model, I will first pay money (which I have already exchanged my time for) to acquire said DVD, and I will then pay with my time again having to watch the advertisements. In essence, this model proposes to increase the 'cost' of watching a DVD program.

The only way I can see this model working - and just barely working at that - is if the initial purchase price of the DVD was reduced by a commensurate amount vis-a-vis the amount of advertisements included in the program. Following the television model, where the program to advertising ratio is 75% to 25%, your typical movie will increase from 90 to around 110-120 minutes. How do you put a value on 30 minutes of time spent watching advertisements? Do you use the wage rate? Arbitrary amount?

I feel that they won't be able to reduce the price of a DVD low enough to keep the 'cost' neutral. This will only lead to the increase in the 'cost' of watching a DVD program.

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Hah. It's not what you think.

The MPAA/RIAA and obivously now IBM have got it into their heads that consumers will swallow ANYTHING. Its our fault for not whining loudly enough about DRM etc etc.

Fuck with the common man's DVDs, and he'll go and get the VHS out of the attic.

We, your customers, are not here to be abused, we're here to be appeased. Without us you're nothing, remember that.

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