Knots Remain in DVD Download Plan

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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