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Summary:

Qflix, a new service from Sonic Solutions (of Roxio fame), has reportedly achieved a feat which, frankly, is a few years past its due: a simple service where you pay a fee, download a movie, burn it to a DVD and watch it on any standard […]

Qflix, a new service from Sonic Solutions (of Roxio fame), has reportedly achieved a feat which, frankly, is a few years past its due: a simple service where you pay a fee, download a movie, burn it to a DVD and watch it on any standard DVD player. It only took agreements between Warner Brothers, Movielink, Akimbo, Verbatim and Walgreens to get the whole thing working. Ars Technica answers the question, “Why so many firms?”

Because Qflix requires a complete end-to-end system in order to function. Content providers must agree to having their content made available for DVD burning and download services must support the new standard. Burning software must be modified to handle Qflix, DVD recorders must be upgraded (some can do this with a firmware update), secure key servers must be deployed, and—we’re not kidding—special Qflix-enabled recordable media must be purchased and used. And you thought this was going to be easy!


The most interesting part of the service is that retailers will now be able to offer a much wider selection of movies from kiosks, making it easier for customers to purchase films from the deeper reaches of a studio’s catalog. Of course, people have been doing this for years using unauthorized methods, and I doubt those people are going to suddenly start replacing their DVD recorders and buying Qflix-approved blank media in bulk.

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  1. After some high executives admitted that piracy is just another distribution model to compete with, I was hoping they got a bit more insight. Plans like this show that they don’t. Let’s see: Update my DVD burner firmware or buying a new one, installing new software, buying special media (where?), and using a certain site, versus going to your favorite bittorrent site, and clicking a link. I know which is more convenient to most end users. If they want to compete with non-official downloads, it should be at least as convenient (if not more).

  2. IN-HOME
    Qflix requires a complete end-to-end system in order to function.

    1. Content providers must agree to having their content made available for DVD burning,
      a. SIMPLE – NOTHING NEW HERE, FULLY SUPPORTED BY STUDIOS
    2. Download services must support the new standard,
      a. SIMPLE – DOWNLOAD SERVICES HAVE BEGGED FOR THIS
    3. Burning software must be modified to handle Qflix,
      a. ?
    4. DVD recorders must be upgraded (some can do this with a firmware update),
      a. ?
    5. Secure key servers must be deployed, and
      a. ARE YOU SAYING SECURE SERVERS WERE NOT USED BEFORE
    6. Special Qflix-enabled recordable media must be purchased and used.
      a. DON’T PEOPLE REGULARLY BUY DISCS?

    So, it looks like items 3 and 4 require some extra work. No big deal.

    IN-STORE KIOSKS {this is where the immediate, very dramatic effect will happen}
    Retailers will be able to offer a much wider selection of movies from studio’s catalogs.

    • The price for a catalog movie will include the incidental cost of the Qflix-enabled disc. Where’s the problem that you are inferring here?

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