This DVD Will Self Destruct

Posted by Mehar Gill on June 5, 2008 
Filed Under: Format War, Rental, Retailers

We read over at Engadget that Staples will soon be stocking Felxplay DVDs. For those who do not remember, Flexplay was a disposable DVD previously sold at places like 7-Eleven.  After 48 hours the discs would destroy themselves via a chemical reaction with oxygen.

These things will retail for about $4 to $6, think of them like rentals that you won’t have to return. They are essentially just DVDs with a “kill switch”, so they will work in all devices that can read DVDs.

I’m not sure how well these things sold, but I guess they sold well enough for the studios to try releasing titles on them again. I think the price on these is way too high. They should aim for a sweet spot of $2-5 if they ever wanted these things to take off again.

For more info you can check out Flexplay’s official website

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17 Responses to “This DVD Will Self Destruct”

  1. Belard on June 5th, 2008 4:15 am

    $4-$6 for throw away plastic… Yet by going to many stores, you can RENT a DVD for $1 a day… and the disc is reused.

    Everytime they do this, not enough people buy them to warrant their existance.

  2. Tyler Pruitt on June 5th, 2008 4:34 am

    I guess Flexplay BD-50s are out of the question huh? heh

  3. Shawn on June 5th, 2008 5:21 am

    These are always the dumbest ideas…Remember Circuit City and DIVX

    Only thing this is doing is creating more landfill waste, well for the month or two of its existence.

  4. jason on June 5th, 2008 6:12 am

    Most retarded thing I’ve ever heard of.

  5. hate tank on June 5th, 2008 6:56 am

    what a terrible idea in times like these… prices for energy and oil soaring , but some morons produce throw away plastic discs just because some stupid lazy farts think it’s too hard a task to return a disc to the rental shop. i guess this society deserves to go down with all its suvs and shrink-wrapped goods…

  6. Justin Sluss on June 5th, 2008 7:36 am

    Tyler, LOL. I never see a BD-25, BD-50 on Flexplay ever a reality. Funny to think of though like you said. I wonder if any of these have ever screwed up and not “self-destructed” like they’re supposed to or have and caused some less than friendly results? :)

  7. Justin Sluss on June 5th, 2008 7:37 am

    This reminds me of Circuit City’s failed “Divx” format (not to be confused with the video compression codec of the same name). They tried this about 5 years or so ago I believe and it was a horrible failure to say the least.

  8. Mehar Gill on June 5th, 2008 9:23 am

    These things probably sold well enough to stay afloat for 2-3 years of not being available in North America.

    Hate Tank: These are actually earth friendly some how, the official site has more info.

    DIVX failed because it was not compatible with DVD Players, these are so it’s a different story.

    Give it 3 to 4 years for a Blu Ray version :)

  9. webdev511 on June 5th, 2008 1:22 pm

    This already failed as DIVX. Yes I know it’s different players, but it wasn’t the players that caused the failure, it was the failed stupidity that thought creating more garbage was a good idea.

    If it’s standard def dvd, then this is better than set top VOD how?

    People are greening up. this is doomed to fail…again.

  10. webdev511 on June 5th, 2008 1:40 pm

    HA! I just checked out their recycling process.

    put it in the recycling and hope they take it or “Mail in. To request a postage pre-paid electronic label to recycle expired Flexplay discs”

    Same resolution as VOD but with more transportation, More wasteful than netflix because the disc can be viewed only once.

  11. The Guardian on June 5th, 2008 9:08 pm

    It’ll be a little harder for them to do it with BD I would suspect, given the requirement for the hardcoating which, incidentally, would most likely keep the oxygen out :) and even if it didn’t, their costs would be much higher so would it really be worth it?

    They COULD do it with BD9′s perhaps?

  12. Jonsson on June 5th, 2008 10:58 pm

    I never rent any DVD’s. Those I want I buy and the rest I do not care about. Don’t really have the time to whatch more stuff anyway so…

    My first reaction is that this is just yet another wastefull piece of throw away item that we do not need.

    But then I start to wonder what is most wasteful and environmentally unfriendly? Chuck this piece of plastic in the bin or take a 15 minute drive (which is what I have) back to the store?

  13. merrick97 on June 6th, 2008 10:08 am

    Pure crap.

    Divx II: Not Learning From Previous Mistakes.

  14. Mehar Gill on June 6th, 2008 12:27 pm

    Merrick: Not really, since DIVX needed a special player to work, these don’t.

    And their really isn’t anyone forcing the consumer to return the packaging, they can throw it out if they really want. At this price point however these thing’s are a pass.

  15. Dave Cowl on June 6th, 2008 12:46 pm

    The last thing we need is more ‘disposable’ trash…

  16. Belard on June 7th, 2008 12:16 pm

    No, the main reason DIVX died because it was incompatible with DVD… Yes, you needed a DIVX player (Add $100 to the cost of the player – which CC gave their customers $100 back per player) – but because the video consumer fought the format.

    1 – You paid $4-6 to own a “Rented” disc you kept forever.
    2 – You needed a phone line plugged into the player to “phone home” and get your rental rights.
    3 – Discs were non-portable. Like taking it to a friends place to watch. (Why Downloaded videos are stupid idea for a main format)
    4 – The movies were P&S… I don’t think a single disc was widescreen.
    5 – There were NO features / extras on the discs… Just th movie. – Us video freaks wanted out extras and didn’t want DIVX to become a standard.
    6 – Disney Loved Divx… imagine, our kids who watch movies over and over again – so rather than make $15 selling a movie, a kid can end up making Disney $100~200 a year for a single title.
    7 – Since the player kept track of your titles, you couldn’t simply take your DIVX disc to another room/player in your home, much less a friends home… without paying for it.

    VOD or $1 KIOSK rentals are better. $3-4 VOD rental gives you 24hrs to watch. Kiosk = $1 a day… so if it takes 3-4 days before you come back, that’s still better than a 48hr death disc that costs $4.

  17. Mehar Gill on June 8th, 2008 11:41 am

    The only benefit this does have over DIVX and Kiosk service’s is:

    Divx: These have the extras and can work in any DVD player over the 48 hour period.

    Kiosk: These can be bought today and view anytime as long as it falls into a year after the manufacturing date.

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