CE industry approves download-to-burn technology for ripping own DVDs

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dvd.jpgA group of consumer electronics companies, operating as the DVD Copy Control Association, has approved the technology making “download-to-burn” services a reality.

The technology will allow consumers to create a DVD of a film they’ve bought from an online service, which is then playable in any standard DVD player. However, the actual hardware and discs required to create these DVDs are proprietary.

I’m not convinced that such a system is going to take off. Anyone already purchasing movies online is likely to store them on their hard drive and watch them via their PC, which may be connected to their TV.

If they’re inclined to put them onto DVD to watch on a portable player or round at a friend’s house, they’ve likely already got the necessary software and skills to create their own DVD. At very least, to transfer the file to their laptop and simply take that with them.

The concept isn’t a bad one, but I think it’s come a little too late in the day. The majority of consumers either buy physical DVDs, in real shops or online, or they download movies with no intention, or desire, to burn them to DVD.

Maybe there is a market for the system, but I don’t think it’s a large enough one to warrant the creation of a new set of hardware and discs. This simply adds to confusion and cost.

Even if it does take off, there’ll be plenty of hackers waiting to crack open the system – highly likely as there are apparently quite a few restrictions on what can be done with the material, including not allowing it to be watched on a PC or portable video player (isn’t there a certain irony in not allowing a downloaded movie to be watched on the PC that downloaded it?) And we all know how much hackers hate restrictions.

What do you think?

(Via Digital Media Wire)

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Andy Merrett