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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  1. D....

    Nice!!

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

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  3. Stuart Duel
    Thumb Down

    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.

  4. Solomon Grundy

    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?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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..

  6. Mike Richards

    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.

  7. Sandpir8

    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!

  8. heystoopid
    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 !

  9. Pete "oranges" B.
    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.

  10. Tom Adair

    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...

  11. Aditya Krishnan
    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...

  12. 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.

  13. Lawrence Ficek
    Thumb Down

    Son of DIVX?

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

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

  14. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  15. Herby

    Return to Mission Impossible!!!

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

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

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

  17. Rich
    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?

  18. Dave Bell

    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.

  19. Paul

    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.!

  20. Mike
    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...

  21. Martin

    @ 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

  22. Jaap Stoel
    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?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    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 :,(

  24. 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.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    um...

    DIVX?

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

  26. Nick Stallman
    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.

  27. Nexox Enigma

    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 : -)

  28. david Bronze badge

    Self burning DVD's!

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

  29. Alex

    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.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Bowl of water?

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

  31. Rob McDougall
    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...

  32. Squits

    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.

  33. e4tmyl33t
    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.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  35. James O'Brien
    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.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watching in a vacuum

    How are you supposed to hear it?

  37. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    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.

  38. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    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.

  39. Sillyfellow
    Thumb Down

    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!

  40. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    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...

  41. Mage Silver badge

    Spray

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

    The reading will still work.

  42. Paul Canavan
    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.

  43. Thunder Lizard

    Errr,,,

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

  44. Boris

    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.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  46. Patrick B.
    Thumb Down

    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.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  48. Steve Button
    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

  49. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  50. Campbell

    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.

  51. Gildas
    Paris Hilton

    Look out...

    here come the tree huggers.

    Paris because you need to be as daft as her to actually think that consumer packaging waste is the real problem facing the planet.

  52. Wibble
    Dead Vulture

    What a waste

    What about all the electricity wasted producing these dvd's

    Surely it is more ecologically sound to make one dvd than can be rented by hundreds of people than hundreds of dvd's that can each be used by one person.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "not long enough to copy it"

    Well gee.....since I can read a disk to image 8x faster than I watch a dvd....I THINK IT IS!

    Not to mention....WHY WHY WHY? why would anyone want a DVD that rots? just so that it doesn't have to be returned......We live in the era of postal DVD rental and streaming media. These guys owe me a new idiot meter, the last one just exploded.

  54. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Down

    No...

    Just...

    No...

    Seriously.

    No.

  55. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down

    Can anyone else spot the flaw?

    Back when I was just 8 years old and Prince Charles was a single man, I worked out all by myself how to modify an audio cassette so that it could only ever be played once. (ROT13: V vafregrq n fznyy cvrpr oebxra bss sebz n ynetr ybhqfcrnxre zntarg va gur cngu orgjrra cvapu ebyyre naq gnxr-hc fcbby.) I had dreams of the record companies bowing down before me, as people rushed to buy more and more copies of the same songs on one-listen tapes.

    But only for a few seconds, because I soon realised that there was a tiny imperfectionette in my plan. Well, alright then, more of a massive flaw. OK, then, if you insist, there was a hole you could get a bus through sideways.

    One playing was still enough to make a copy; and the copy presumably would be made on a normal, reusable-as-many-times-as-you-want cassette. Thus rendering the original self-destruct mechanism about as relevant as public opinion under a Labour government.

    Anyway, this is exposing a rather large bullet hole in the film studios' boot. If they can afford to sell DVDs with this expensive chemical coating for €3.99, then they obviously can afford to sell them *without* the coating (and so viewable forever) for *less* than that.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Airport "rentals"

    Why don't they just have an office at the other end where they collect?

  57. Ian Grant

    Suitable for government use

    Maybe government depts can use them for sending peoples personal details by snail-mail; at least they'd be able to stop looking for them after a couple of days...

  58. Sillyfellow

    @ Gildas

    your comment:

    "you need to be as daft as her to actually think that consumer packaging waste is the real problem facing the planet."

    is a really really uber-daft comment. there are many many many problems facing the planet, and they are ALL real.

    the view you present of choosing one particular problem and ignoring the others is not very smart at all..

    ..do you mean that it's humans who are the problem that should be eliminated or delt with? if so, since we can't do that easily on a practical level, we'll have to settle for having to deal with the many various problems caused by us humans, as well as trying to educate people to not do those things in the first place.

  59. David Gosnell

    Failure in 2004

    According to your report on one of two previous incarnations of this, back in 2004:

    "demand for EZ-D has fallen completely flat, and the retail chains carrying the discs have decided to stop stocking the format"

    Why would this fare any better third time round?

  60. Tim Jenkins

    Not a new idea

    Half my CDs from the '80s and '90s have self-destructed. Took about 20 years for some, although you can accelerate the process with exposure to windowsills/car glove compartments/children. And they wonder why we want to be able to duplicate them...

  61. Bill Gould

    Vaccum?

    *imagines little bastards poking pin-holes in entire racks of these while still on the shelf*

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Throw Away World

    Yes... hmmm good... more garbage, just what we need.

  63. galbak

    vacum?

    *me ponders the fun, for a bored supermarket worker, with time in their hands, and a safety pin, "sorry, you cant return it, cos it was still sealed when you bought it"

  64. steogede
    Pirate

    Reaction

    Might be better if they figured a way that the reaction was triggered by exposure to light (ideally only laser light).

    Also to those that talk about it taking less that 48 hours to rip a DVD, why would you pay £4 to rip a DVD when you can just download it of a P2P. The only reason I can think of is convenience it is a more convenient way to pirate and more profitable for the studios, the more I think about it the better it sounds - it could be a win-win situation.

  65. ratfox Silver badge
    Unhappy

    More trash

    It is quite sad that it's cheaper to use throw-away stuff rather than find a way to reuse it. Unfortunately, the only way to change that is to impose huge taxes on throw-away stuff. We don't really need that either...

  66. chris
    Boffin

    Polycarbonate, schmolycarbonate

    It's not the plastic, it's the fact that it's permanently stuck to a metallic coating. That makes it as recyclable as a TetraWak carton (recyclable cardboard + recyclable plastic = landfill).

    You could replace the polycarbonate with polylactic acid from fairly traded organicly grown butterfly-attracting flowers and this would still be an irredeemably shit idea.

  67. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Boffin

    Alternatively...

    Is there any chemical that will break down polycarbonates at room temperature that isn't also massively hazardous to the touch?

    My guess is that the coating applied is one that hazes over as time passes, rather than one that actually breaks down the surface.

    If that's the case, I wonder whether one of those gadgets for polishing minor scuffs out of CDs would be sufficient to remove the coating, restoring the disk to full-lifetime use...?

    @ Sandpir8

    "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!"

    _We_ Yanks

    1 - rarely say "whilst";

    2 - may receive assistance _checks_, and;

    3 - and studied _math_, not "maths".

    Are you a ringer, or are you just trying to posh it up for the Reg?

  68. Michael Nielsen
    Linux

    Self destructing DVD.

    Actually you don't even need to haze the polycarbonate, as the data carrying layer is the thin layer onto which you have the label printed, all that has to be done is add some thing that will destroy that layer, which is not polycaronate (afaik).

    But the whole idea stinks, I get told to save power, don't drive so much, you have to watch your CO2 and meanwhile anyone in buisness who wants to protyect their copyrights are wasting energy in magnitudes I couldn't even dream to produce if I tried, in an effort to protect their precious copyrights.

    DRM = more cpu cycles wated = more power (read CO2) used to use the data.

    Selfdestructive DVD's = more energy wasted for items with limited usage, because you need to produce more.

  69. A J Stiles
    Dead Vulture

    @ Michael Nielsen

    " ..... [T]he whole idea stinks, I get told to save power, don't drive so much, you have to watch your CO2 and meanwhile anyone in business who wants to protect their copyrights are wasting energy in magnitudes I couldn't even dream to produce if I tried, in an effort to protect their precious copyrights."

    EXACTLY. Have a cigar!

    If they can make a profit by selling "self-destructing" discs for €4, then they can obviously afford to sell otherwise identical "everlasting" discs -- made by a process with fewer steps -- for the same amount or less. Methinks this is worthy of investigation.

    Personally, I'd like to see it made law that any "disposable" item must not be sold more cheaply than a reusable item intended to perform the same function many times over (so zinc-carbon batteries should cost no less than NiMH ones, cardboard plates should cost as much as china ones, a fountain pen would not cost more than a non-refillable ballpoint, and so forth) with the revenue raised from the "disposability tax" used as a subsidy on reusable goods.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stuart (et. al)

    So what's too wasteful and should be banned, then? Presumably the list of things you don't happen to like?

    Are you going to ban music concerts? All the people driving, lots of power, big speakers, paper cups... imagine the waste!

    How about banning sports - all of them? Totally unnecessary, and incredibly wasteful. The same goes for art.

    Are you going to ban computers? They get replaced every two years, or worse... they use tons of power just for some games and spreadsheets when you could just as well use a 486. Imagine the waste!

    Who gets to decide what gets banned, then? I guess it must be YOU. How lucky that the world has you to provide your expert counsel on what is and is not too wasteful to be legal; otherwise we might have to continue on with the shreds of personal freedom still left to us.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @David Wiernicki

    That's just silly letting Stuart decide.

    I think it should be me.

    That way I can ban the things I don't like, but not ban the things I do like, or involve those who will pay me lots of money.

    Why do I keep sounding like BT, Phorm, NuLabour?

    Joke Icon because...well...NuLabour, but not because I should be the one who decides. Remember, The current President of the United States of America once said, "Deciders do the deciding and I'm the Decider". or something very similar.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    run it under the tap

    which washes off the stuff which makes em rot... problem solved.

    This is an immensely stuipid and wasteful idea.

  73. Pete "oranges" B.
    Alert

    @ Stiles

    "Personally, I'd like to see it made law that any "disposable" item must not be sold more cheaply than a reusable item intended to perform the same function many times over (so zinc-carbon batteries should cost no less than NiMH ones, cardboard plates should cost as much as china ones, a fountain pen would not cost more than a non-refillable ballpoint, and so forth) with the revenue raised from the "disposability tax" used as a subsidy on reusable goods."

    A brilliant idea actually, excepting the batteries, for two reasons:

    1. Wiki says zinc-carbon batteries are inferior to newer alkaline chemistry batteries, which could explain why I never see zinc-carbon batteries for sale.

    2. Even ignoring the above, NiMH are not really equivalent to either chemistry, due to their higher rate of self discharge, different performance under load, and different nominal voltages.

    So while they make a good replacement for disposable cells in some applications, they are completely unsuitable in others, such as flashlights, emergency radios, remotes, etc. because of the self discharge and can mess with devices which demand exacting voltages.

  74. Martin Usher

    A silly idea

    The US version could be preserved in the freezer.

    I'm fundamentally opposed to generating waste. Its bad enough that AoL used to carpet bomb us with CDs (mercifully they've stopped these days) but this is stupid. They're not cheap, either. In the US we don't rent movies from Blockbuster at $5 a pop, we get 'em from the supermarket at about a third that price (typical rental cost is $1.99 or lower for older movies). Its the best anti-piracy mechanism I know of -- once your rental cost gets down to about the cost of a blank DVD its not worth bothering to copy the disk any more!

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @Pete "oranges" B.

    There is already such a product in the market.

    It's called AnyDVD.

    Pop it into the DVD-ROM drive of any AnyDVD-installed PC, make a copy (onto hopefully* longer lasting DVD+R) and Viola!

    *Hopefully, because I've seen crap quality DVD+/-Rs that self destruct on their own due to lousy manufacturing process.

  76. regadpellagru
    Coat

    Good business case

    "DVD-D Germany Ltd has high hopes for its home country market. Disposable DVDs have already been successfully introduced in France, Italy and Scandinavia, it says. Others believe the concept is dead in the water, as on-demand online rentals will kill movie DVDs, of whatever hue, soon enough."

    France ? Never seen any. Scandinavia ? I don't see any of those folks buying wastes just to polute the planet and their country some more. Germany ? With so many of them voting green, yeah of course, a new business is born </sarcasm>.

    Those guys are under drugs to be so optimistic, let's watch them fail !

    The only valid use would be (as others have pointed out) to perform large data transfers operated by hopeless morons, but they would need to make it a writeable solution, which is not easy in the aforementioned environment.

    Mine is the one with the pockets full of self-burning DVDs.

  77. Josh
    Thumb Down

    Netflix?

    Sounds pretty wasteful to me. Netflix anyone?

  78. Lief Larson
    IT Angle

    Why not?

    When you're talking about the U.S., 90% of U.S. Households have DVD players and in the rental process, you make a trip to the rental store, then return again to drop the movie off. Just the oil and gas alone has a much higher carbon footprint than a limited life DVD. The same goes for Netflix. These things go in the mail stream and go back in the mail stream.

    This is a convenience-based product. I think the bigger issue is what happens to all the plastic packaging and the disc itself after use. Consumable Media is another company in the U.S. that has developed limited life DVD technology. Theirs works without all the extra packaging. Rather than being triggered by oxygen, it is affected by the laser in the DVD player. Pretty cool stuff.

    Maybe I'm a contrarian here, but I don't think this technology is bad at all. What I do think is that it's a means to gap consumer demand and habits today until we reach the type of digital download adoption that combats these problems tomorrow. Let's remember here, 80 million households rent movies. Until they move to movies-on-demand or digital download, there's no reason why this technology isn't a solution if it prevents them from driving their SUV's around for special trips to the video store.

  79. geekazine
    Paris Hilton

    Too little, too late

    Might as well just create VHS tapes that you can't copy. Or a telegraph with a SSL certificate.

    I have a Blockbuster account, but the funny thing is I've had the last 3 movies for a lot longer than I usually do. My "On Demand" does well, and if not, I have the internet to keep me entertained.

    Oh well. back to my Apple IIc.

  80. Helen-LG
    Thumb Down

    Very eco-friendly!

    Why oh why?

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Yes you can copy it, but you can also copy 'normal' rentals

    Why is the copying going to be the death blow?

    You could copy any normal rental dvd anyway? (and with the 1,2,3 month free intro intro rental by post you 'could' copy 20/40/60 dvds for nothing, and then cancel)

    This might work, If for example you could pick from 1000's of movies in a vending machine, for just a quid (have it burnt in few minutes while paying for petrol). i only watch the things once or rarely twice anyway.

    On the Eco front, not great, but you could say the same for any dvd you buy.

    Any real diffrence on the eco front than if the price to buy a normal dvd was just a pound or two? and the packaging would be more then too.

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