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Movie Burning Kiosks Coming To Retailers 173

Posted by Zonk
from the halfway-and-no-good dept.
Vitaly Friedman writes "The motion picture industry is in talks with some major retailers about installing DVD burning kiosks in stores. It's an interesting idea, but one that almost entirely misses the point. Hollywood's movie distribution system is in dire need of a fix - very few will dispute that. Movie attendance has been suffering, DVD sales are slumping, and all the industry has managed to do is come up with a half-baked, unpopular download service and a scant handful of simultaneous releases. In another attempt to sort of give consumers what they want, the motion picture industry is thinking about allowing retailers to set up in-store kiosks for distribution."
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Movie Burning Kiosks Coming To Retailers

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  • Why would I buy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:42AM (#15465793)
    ...something that:

    * Will last much less time than a standard DVD before failing
    * Not play in all of my DVD players
    * Mean I have to wait around for it to finish burning
    * Probably cost as much, or more than, a regular DVD

    I won't, that's the answer to that. Get with it Hollywood, you need to offer movies to download at a significantly discounted price, or with no DRM. Offering me less for more, which is what you try to do at every step, doesn't make me want to give you my hard-earned cash.
    • by zidohl (976382)
      Well, the retail stores want to stay in the DVD buisness, and obviously, if they present a much worse product than the alternative of downloading it legally from the internet, they wont for long. So basicly it will be up to them to make a deal with Hollywood and present you with a better option if they really want to sell these DVDs.

      The cost could essentially become lower, if they actually want to lower the price, because you eliminate the need of transporting the fully packed DVDs, you remove them from the
      • by billstewart (78916) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:36PM (#15467881) Journal
        About 10 years ago I had a customer who wanted to set up movie stores like this - they'd always have the current movies in stock, and they'd always have every movie that had ever been made. (They'd done a similar model with record stores, and had some fast digital-to-VHS burning technology.) The main catch was that you needed an OC3 network connection (155 Mbps) to be able to do 5-minute downloads, which was laughably unrealistic at the time, as opposed to today when it's only fairly unrealistic. Since this was before DVDs, they also had issues with the costs of data storage for movies they had cached - 500GB was still pretty big, though there were some digital tape technologies that might work if you had a robot, or you could copy videotapes if you didn't mind the quality hit.

        On-Demand downloads weren't very practical - but pre-loading movies as they're released works quite well, especially since that's what you're most likely to sell. A 1 Mbps network connection lets you download 75 GB a week, which is about 15 movies, depending on resolution, 2-disk-sets, etc. Hollywood seldom produces more than 10 movies a week, and Bollywood's pretty similar. (The pr0n industry produces a lot more.) So if you've got a cable modem or decent DSL connection, you can keep ahead of the mainstream movies and have some bandwidth available for CD-quality ad-hoc downloads. Network availability can be a problem - the obvious place to put DVD burner kiosks is in malls, but they often don't have cable, and they're usually far away from telco offices so DSL bandwidth is lower. On the other hand, grocery stores are usually in/near residential neighborhoods, so they've usually got cable nearby and often have decent DSL.

    • by Kasis (918962)
      I agree, I dislike having to wait five minutes for my passport photos to be developed, I wonder how long this would take exactly?? In my personal home kiosk, it takes anywhere from half an hour to several hours to download a movie, then another quarter of an hour to decompress and burn it. And it's free...

      If I'm standing in a retailers and I feel that a movie is worth paying for, I'll pick up a ready-pressed DVD from the shelf in a glossy box, pay for it and leave.

      What exactly is the benefit of this servi

      • I haven't RTFA, but to keep people like you (and me) happy with minimal/no wait time, think of it as JIT manufacturing. Have all the movies already downloaded and sitting as disk images (or whatever) - do the updates at night, etc - and have 2 or 3 (or 20/30 for opening day big releases) copies of each already burned, ready to dispense. Replace them as they are bought. Minimal physical product that has to be kept around waiting for a buyer, no publisher warehousing, shipping, etc.

        Of course, theres still
      • The benefit to this is having movies that are not currently available on DVD! All those great old "B" movies that are not economic to release, because the costs of production, warehouseing, sending to hundreds of stores each of which may sell one copy, all eat up far more than the potential profit. On the other hand, the cost of making and storing a DVD image file is negligible, sell a hundred copies and you make a profit, sell a thousand and it's pure gravy.

        I for one would jump at the chance to repl
        • I agree. That's what would make me a happy customer too. But I think you'll see that if you're thinking of movies produced within the Hollywood studio system, the same movies -- or fewer -- that what's available today on DVD will be available here. You have the same issues with digitizing movies from original prints/negatives here as you have with DVD releases, so the basic costs will be the same whether you think of using the digital version for DVDs or digital download.
          • True as far as it goes, although I think even the cost of digitizing from original films is small compared to production and marketing costs for commercial DVDs.

            BUT if the movie was ever released on VHS, or ever shown on TV, going to DVD is almost free. After all, I can buy a $200 gadget that will copy my old VHS tapes to DVDs - use a more professional version of this gadget and start with a really clean copy and you should get a very good DVD (far better than I could get with a $200 burner and a 2
            • But would you be willing to pay for the quality of a VHS/TV based release? I'm not sure that I would.

              I remember in the early days of DVD, the market was flooded by VHS based DVD tranfers -- lo-res 4:3 pictures with 2.0 stereo sound. I don't think anyone would accept this quality today, even clearly branded and at a bargain price today, when you can pick up a fairly recent and in every aspect high quality DVD such as Return of the King for less than $10.
              • Sure if the price is right.

                Not sure why everyone says the production and marketing costs for DVD are alot.

                Someone is printing and selling the DVDs of very old shows at 7-11 for $1.00. I see the box of them empty and refill quite often. (alot more often than the rack of $25.oo new releases, in fact) It would seem the expense is not the physical but IP part :( Add another buck for prettier packaging and stuff then the physical part is $2.00. I doubt it would work as well if it wasn't such an impulse item, i t
        • That's an excellent point, and reminds me of Janice Ian's points about out-of-print music. But I don't find that the MPAA thinks this way. Making it easier/cheaper for niche markets to get permanent, durable copies of weird movies isn't a big priority. They seem to think DVD release happens in exactly one way: establish the market potential for a film, pad "extras" of immense-to-zero value, and put a $22.99 sticker on it.

          I wonder whether it's partly because they can't/shouldn't admit that there are second

      • If they make the movies four bucks, why not?
    • ...something that:

      * Will last much less time than a standard DVD before failing


      It would depend on the cost.

      * Not play in all of my DVD players

      New players cost as low as $50. There is Divx certified player at costco I saw recently for $50.00.

      * Mean I have to wait around for it to finish burning

      If it was connected to an online warehouse it could be worth the wait. If it just dispences the usual hollywood crap then it probally wouldn't be. I can imagine it would be handy to those who wanted for example to b
    • How this could work (Score:3, Informative)

      by Simonetta (207550)
      All the points above are valid and each will nulify any business plan that Hollywood had planned for this service.

      This plan can only work if the films being distributed are:
      - Not available from Hollywood. This is great for the thousands of films made in Europe and India that don't get any distribution or review in the USA. The disadvantage of distributing films (or anything in the 'long tail') in this manner is that noone knows which few titles are good, and which of the remaining ones are
      • It doesn't even need to be ebay-complicated (and there some people necessarily go home without buying somthing.. so the printing machine isn't really doing it's job if that happens)

        Let it be "airline" complicated. Sell a fixed number of dvds at various price levels. compute the starting price level for each film based on the previous month's national volume.
    • Get with it Hollywood, you need to offer movies to download at a significantly discounted price, and with no DRM.

      Fixed it for you.
    • Pay per view is hands down the best moving viewing option available at the moment for my taste. DVD's are way expensive for most of the mediocre movies out today. Theaters are far to much hassle and money other than maybe for a date. I'll pay $4-5 dollars to watch movies that are good but not great, I wont pay $20+. DVD's are a good diversion for a on a long trip but I favor a good book on an airplane, its way less hassle.

      Pay per view the only drawbacks are:

      - you have to watch on their schedule unless you
    • I won't, that's the answer to that. Get with it Hollywood, you need to offer movies to download at a significantly discounted price, and with no DRM. Offering me less for more, which is what you try to do at every step, doesn't make me want to give you my hard-earned cash

      Fixed that for you.

      You can't expect people to pay to download movies and not be sure that they'll play anywhere they take them. You can hit people with a couple bad experiences, but it won't work in the long run. In fact, the only reas

    • This would be pretty sweet for the airport.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:42AM (#15465797)
    Hollywood found out they can sell you a product that self destructs.
  • Adaptation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:43AM (#15465800)
    FTFA: Retailers are concerned that digital downloads might spell an end to the sale of DVDs, and see the download-to-burn kiosks as a way to keep them in the DVD business.

    If only could they realize they gotta adapt instead of run hacks to keep the good ol' days.
    There weren't plenty of typing machine manifacturers that started making keybaords and mice as well I think. They just tried to keep the old ways and ceased to exist.
    • Re:Adaptation (Score:3, Insightful)

      by patio11 (857072)
      There weren't plenty of typing machine manifacturers that started making keybaords and mice as well I think.

      Yeah, who ever heard of a rusty old anachronism like that typewriter manufacturer International Business Machines competing in the new economy. [etypewriters.com]

      • Insightful, my ass. Look, the GP had said "there weren't plenty of typing machine manifacturers". Is IBM plenty? Olivetti, Smith-Corona et al. don't seem to be the hottest stocks.

  • by MadFarmAnimalz (460972) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:43AM (#15465801) Homepage
    For a second, I thought this had something to do with the proper disposal of movies like Battlefield Earth...
    • Same here - I had visions of turning up to such a kiosk with a bootleg copy of "The Davinci Code" and waiting in line to dispose of it. After all, I'd hate to see it fall into anyone else's hands...
    • Battlefield Earth is quality...compared to Gigli. Unfortunately what we need for these movies is selective memory erasure, incinerating the discs can't make you unwatch the abominations.
      • No, what we need is an MST addon for TVs. You just plug it in and it automatically starts riffing bad movies.

        The more expensive versions could come with a DVD furnace, though.
    • All you really need is a blowtorch, a fume cupboard and a stack of crap movies.

      Now theres a movie burning booth people would queue up for!
    • And my first thought was an incinerator where folks were expected to bring all their movies, Fahrenheit 451 style....!!

  • benefit? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How is this better than buying the DVDs as one does now? You get to wait in the store for the DVD to be created, and pretend that it's more convenient than picking it off the shelf?
    • How about getting rare DVDs that the store doesn't stock? It would need to be at a discounted price.
      It might be nice if they sold high quality DivX files of TV episodes burned onto DVD for cheap. Of course, they would never do that
    • The benefit is that with this option, if it's done right, you can have access to many more movies than any retailer would ever want to keep in stock.

      Imagine this. A store like Target still has a traditional display of DVDs in shiny cases, and it has one of these machines. The machine would have maybe a thousand or two movies in its local storage. It also has access, via high-speed connection, to a databank of hundreds of thousands of movies.

      You know you want to buy a movie and you're going shopping at Ta
  • by babbling (952366) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:44AM (#15465804)
    Now that Skype [skype.com] offers free calls to US numbers until the end of the year, why not drop the MPAA a line and let them know what's on your mind? Maybe we can all check in on them daily and thank them for their efforts!

    Oh, and if you'd be so kind, could you also let them know that The Pirate Bay is back up? They seem to still be under the impression that it's down... (PDF link) [mpaa.org]

    Oh. You might need their numbers [mpaa.org]:
    Washington: (202) 293-1966
    LA: (818) 995-6600
    New York (listed as their "anti-piracy office"): (914) 378-0800
    • Oh, and if you'd be so kind, could you also let them know that The Pirate Bay is back up? That's the impression I'm under... No hits due to politics The search function will be back later today. That's all I see when I do any sort of search.... sure, they're offering some ads, but later today has lasted more than a day or 2 now... I'm not doubting that it will come back, but why is everybody already claiming that the bay is up and running?
  • by fluch (126140)
    Hey! When will they learn, that one makes bussines by giving value for money and people will buy it? Why should I download a movie from the movie industries distribution channels if it costs nearly as much as a DVD, I can only watch it on my (non-existing) Windows PC and don't get any bonus material and won't get any nicely done packaging and that nearly for the price of a DVD?

    If DVDs are sold for a reasonable price (here in Finland that is definitely not the case), then people buy it. And if the DVD burnin
  • by AudioEfex (637163) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:51AM (#15465820)
    I already have a movie-burning kiosk in my home.

    It's called BitTorrent. :)

    AE
    • by Xugumad (39311) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:13AM (#15465876)
      *sigh* /.'s attitude of "It's okay to copy anything I want" is really, really getting tiring.

      Look, yes, the movie companies are almostly solely producing overpriced undifferentiated mush. However, it's clearly mush a lot of you want. As such, is it so crazy to suggest you either pay for it, or if you genuinely feel it's over priced, make a stand by neither buying nor copying? All you're doing by copying movies/music/games/etc. is saying to the producers "I want your product, but don't want to pay for it".

      The MPAA/RIAA are both fairly clearly evil incarnate, I agree. However, copying everything you want is not actually going to help, it's just going to give them more legal leverage. If you actually feel things need to change, stop buying, and stop copying. Go read a book or something :)

      • All you're doing by copying movies/music/games/etc. is saying to the producers "I want your product, but don't want to pay for it".

        Halleluia. Then we better keep copying, in case they figure out the way is by releasing free copies over the internet with ads in them. Movie shows are doing pretty well running just with ads for their income.

        Price is part of the problem, availability is much larger. If I can neither buy it since it's not available nor watch it in the cinema, what options do I have? Yea go figur
      • by pla (258480) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:56AM (#15465989) Journal
        /.'s attitude of "It's okay to copy anything I want" is really, really getting tiring.

        While I somewhat agree, you need to realize that (unlike most geek-oriented issues), that attitude reflects what the majority of humans feel.

        People do not, and did not ever, respect the concept of copyright as more than a good idea in theory if not in implementation. But until very recently (historically speaking), individuals didn't have the option of violating copyrights on any significant scale, so the system remained basically intact.

        Even prior to last 50 years, "piracy" still occurred (how many hand-painted copies of the Mona Lisa exist? I recall reading a number in the thousands recently). It just took much longer, and the resources necessary to pull it off on a large scale almost guaranteed detection.

        But from moment photocopiers gained widepread availability, college students have photocopied textbooks. The introduction of the cassette tape also saw the introduction of massive music sharing - likewise for the VCR. As soon as software-compatible PCs appeared, everyone swapped software among friends. When CD burners appeared on the scene, they just replaced the cassette tape, and likewise for DVD burners.

        And when the internet made piracy ever so much easier, people flocked to using it for exactly that purpose. When P2P made finding and downloading copyrighted content as close to trivial as any user-initiated action can get, the P2P networks turned into nothing short of massively distributed digital radio stations with the users as the program directors.


        So why do I write the above? For perspective. You say that in-your-face piracy as a form of civil disobedience won't work for swaying minds - But no one's mind needs swaying. Society has seen the idea of copyright, and rejected it outright whenever physically possible.

        We don't need to win mindshare buy-in - The media producers need to come up with a model that allows them to make money while accepting that people will copy their work regardless of the law.



        And if P2P scares the RIAA, wait until the next step. Some wireless-enabled portable music players already allow sharing songs actively, but it still takes too much effort to consider more than a quirk. When (not if) that turns into a passive action, compatible with devices just about everyone has (whether iPod-like players, or cell phones, or PDAs, or wrist watches, or some new killer toy we haven't even imagined yet) - When everyone you pass in rush-hour traffic, or on a busy sidewalk, or in a crowded mall, automatically sends you their entire music library almost instantly and without the need for you to even click "okay" - I think that really will mean the absolute death of anything similar to our modern content-selling industries. And what I just described will happen - Some portable music players already can do exactly that, they just need faster transfer rates, more storage space, and most importantly, either ubiquity or compatibility with other devices.

        The RIAA and MPAA has until then to come up with a new trick. If they want to focus their energy on litigation, or even on a laughable anti-piracy PR campaign - They may as well close up shop today.

        So when you see geeks saying "I will pirate it if I can, stick it to The Man!", don't bother getting annoyed - Whether or not such people know their "real" motives, they don't say anything new, or surprising, or even express an unpopular sentiment. Instead, look at them as a symptom of a badly broken system, broken from the start and finally approaching complete disintigration.
        • People do not, and did not ever, respect the concept of copyright as more than a good idea in theory if not in implementation.

          True. Further, I think the legislation purchased by the media industry over the last couple decades has actually made it worse. The man on the street in 2006 doesn't even know that copyright does expire, or understand that it's supposed to be a short-term sacrifice for a long-term good. Seriously, go ask a few non-geek, non-lawyer, average people who owns the works of William S

        • Even prior to last 50 years, "piracy" still occurred (how many hand-painted copies of the Mona Lisa exist? I recall reading a number in the thousands recently). It just took much longer, and the resources necessary to pull it off on a large scale almost guaranteed detection.

          Um, the reason so many handpainted Mona Lisas (or any famous painting) exist is that the Mona Lisa was public domain (I don't know if Da Vinci had "copyright in his time) and student artists often paint famous pictures to master their ar

      • *sigh* /.'s attitude of "It's okay to copy anything I want" is really, really getting tiring.

        The MPAA's commercial propaganda claiming "It's not okay to copy anything at any time" is also really tiresome.

        ... is saying to the producers "I want your product, but don't want to pay for it".

        Your assumption is playing right into the MPAA's biased view of the world. Try to think outside their box. Don't think of the elephant [smh.com.au].

        People have been sharing since the dawn of time and it's the MPAA's self servi

      • I do read plenty of books, some of which I bother to check out of the library, and some of which I just download.

        And by the way, I don't necessarily think the cost of renting a movie is outrageous. Sometimes I rent movies, rip them, return the DVD, and watch them a couple times before I delete them. The problem comes when they want to charge me $20 for the whole movie. There are maybe ten movies that I'm actually willing to pay that much for, because I will watch them over and over and over again. The r
      • Go read a book or something :)
        Yeah - at 8 bucks a pop. I remember being OUTRAGED when I bought The Stainless Steel Rat for 3.25. It was thin, and _expensive_. I keep hearing that the Science Fiction book market is dead, but I've got more new authors than I know what to do with, and a couple of them (Hi, Charlie!) are as prolific right now as Piers Anthony ever was. But I cannot believe that books are 8 bucks a pop. Annoys the hell out of me. I could go see a movie for that. Sure, it's only two hours,
  • by TheDunadan (950302) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:56AM (#15465831)
    ...They should make better movies.
    • Better movies don't sell. Go to an arthouse cinema and you'll see better movies, but not many people, and not many arthouse cinemas. The fact is, if you want a blockbuster, it has to be stupid.
      • The last film I saw at the arthouse theater was "The Blair Witch Project."

        If you'd seen the film, it'd have been the last film you saw at an arthouse theater too. "Art" movies aren't better than the big budget ones for us plebs. They don't even have better actors. They don't even have different actors. They're just cheaper.
      • Go to an arthouse cinema and you'll see better movies, but not many people, and not many arthouse cinemas.

        Here's the thing though: worse movies don't sell either.We can tell this, because they've been trying it for a decade now, and all we hear about is the MPAA moaning about falling attendances and DVD sales.

        Do you not think you mey be confusing "better" with here "pretentious and inaccesable and aggressively anti-populist"?

    • ....They should make better movies.

      How will that result in better sales when Slashdot is convinced they have the right to pirate everything? Better movies will just mean more visits to the pirate bay.
  • ...when are we gonna start seeing book burning kiosks?
  • by Zemran (3101) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:10AM (#15465867) Homepage Journal
    There nothing new here but the quality is shite.
  • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:13AM (#15465875) Homepage
    Industry insiders describe the kiosk prototypes they have seen as a DVD burning iMac with the browser's homepage set to "http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org]". This strikes me as an mindblowingly ill-fated idea -- I mean, if I had to drive somewhere to get to the iTunes Music Store, I can't imagine I'd use it. It's all about the American I wannit now impulse.

    ~jeff
  • by cliffwoolley (506733) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:14AM (#15465880)
    I guess it never occurred to the movie industry that perhaps sales/attendance are slumping because all of the movies they're coming out with these days are (a) expensive and (b) exactly the same as all the other movies for the last N years? "This story line worked before, it'll work again!"

    Thanks, guys. :-P
    • numbers (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zogger (617870)
      this is just my subjective impression, but it appears that the sheer numbers of new movies seems to have gone up radically over the past decade or so. There are just so many movies that people want to watch I think, I know I dont care to see so many, certainly not all of them or even close to that. Seems like a long time ago, when a new "big" movie came out it was a relatively big deal, now its like every weekend there are a dozen (whatever) new movies. Same with bands and music for that matter.

      Like I said,
  • Ok, so have they not thought this through yet?

    Instead of mass-producing a product as cheaply as possible, then charging a relatively large amount for retail purchase, they give the reproduction task to the end retailer.

    To the point: cheap burnable consumer DVDs are cheap for a reason, their often crap and are rarely last as long as ones used in DVD reproduction factories.

    Sure it's a nice idea, it probably looked good when the marketing guys were presenting it.. But it misses the point!

    The reason we have bur

    • >To the point: cheap burnable consumer DVDs are cheap for a reason, their often crap and are
      >rarely last as long as ones used in DVD reproduction factories.

      That's because they are a different technology, not quality. Ones from factories are pressed so that the data is physically in the media. Burnt ones just make ink in the disk become visible.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:22AM (#15465894) Journal
    I currently have a movie rental subscription. It costs £13/month, and gives me as many DVDs as I can watch, up to three at a time. This works out to about one a day. I would pay a similar amount, maybe a little more (say, £15) for the convenience of a service that offered:
    1. DVD-quality downloads. 1GB of H.264-encoded movie should give 'good enough' quality.
    2. No DRM; I often watch films on my laptop, and I occasionally watch them on a handheld device. Don't tie me to any particular platform.
    3. Any film or TV series that's been released on DVD.
    4. Up to 30 downloads a month.
    Sure, some people would archive everything they've downloaded, but would the industry lose much from that? I rarely watch a film more than two or three times, and so it wouldn't make much sense; particularly when you can just re-download any film you want.

    Of course, these films would also end up on peer to peer networks, but at that price it just wouldn't be worth my time and effort to get them illegally.

    I don't want any more DVDs. I own fifty or so movies on DVD, but I stopped buying new ones over a year ago. They are simply not worth the money; when I can rent close to thirty for the price of buying one it's only a good investment to buy if I plan on watching it more than thirty times[1].

    Sadly, I don't think the movie industry is likely to adopt such a model for quite some time.


    [1] The opposite is true for music. Looking through my iTunes library, the vast majority of tracks have a play count of 50-80, making music rental services a very bad financial choice for me.

    • With NetFlix, the "one DVD a day" turned out to be a bad dream. The reality was more like one every two days. The other big problem was they didn't have every DVD I wanted to watch. Amazon does but it takes a week to get it. A rare-movie-burned-while-I-wait sounds like a niche-filler to me -- bring it on.
    • How do you keep people honest? Seriously, I know the MPAA is dishonest, but they are made up of people, and my experience is that most people are dishonest at least on occasion if they think they can get away with something.

      I really don't see the benefit of your suggested program from the MPAA perspective.

      I don't see what the problem with music rental services as they exist, for the cost of less than album a month you get access to a few million tracks. If you spent that much in your lifetime on CDs, that
      • I really don't see the benefit of your suggested program from the MPAA perspective.

        People would actually use it.

        It's not about money, it's about convenience. Is it really worth it for mom & dad, or even me, to set up a P2P system and download a song -- maybe, if it's popular enough -- versus a nicely put together system where I could click, pay, download, and play.
    • The opposite is true for music. Looking through my iTunes library, the vast majority of tracks have a play count of 50-80, making music rental services a very bad financial choice for me.

      I don't see how your music playing contradicts the music rental service. A missing data point is how long it took you to get to a play count of 50-80.

      One thing that differs from a music subscription service is there is no limit on how many songs you listen to a month (unlike your 30 movies a month limit which you set).

      On th
    • For £15 the film industry will have have to use their formula of Film x DVD Retail Price and evaluate if offering downloads in a market is worthwhile.

      Let's see - 30 (films per month) x £10 (DVD) = £300 net sales that are being replaced by a £15 fee.

      Yup, I see them going for it!

      They own the content - they make the price. While we continue to buy DVDs they will continue not to offer cheaper downloads as the economic model of DVDs is clearly working for them and only the geeks are havin
      • Let's see - 30 (films per month) x £10 (DVD) = £300 net sales that are being replaced by a £15 fee.

        Riiight. Except that I would happily pay a £15/month access fee, while I doubt I would by more than one DVD a year at £10 (I bought one in the last year, and that was made by a British TV company, so no money for the MPAA there).

        They own the content - they make the price

        Not true at all. The content is worthless to them. It is nothing more than an item for trade. As I ex

  • I could imagine that, if done right, it could appeal to niche markets; say, if people would like a film that hasn't seen a DVD run yet (for instance some of the older stuff from the 50s or 60s - great monster flicks) or would like a certain language version that is not normally stocked.
    And while we're on the subject of desirables: why should those kiosks just mirror the inventory of the store (which is what the articles seem to imply)? Make it so you can "order up" obscure movies or create compilations an
  • Hollywood needs to offer movies & TV shows for download.
    They need to be:
    1.Available (one big reason people pirate, especially for TV shows, is because they cant watch it legally). This includes making stuff that is not currently cost-effective to put onto DVD and distributing and marketing and etc available (the costs of putting all those old TV shows that you just cant get anymore onto an online download service would probobly be negligable other than the inital one-off cost to digitize the shows into
    • Non-restrictive (This doesnt necessarily mean DRM free

      Yes, it does. That also goes hand-in-hand with

      free of ads, anti-piracy messages, anti-fast-forward locks etc etc

      The fact is, if we don't demand that they remove their restrictions, they'll continue to abuse them. Also, DRM does nothing to stop piracy, and it never will.
  • by LiftOp (637065) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:43AM (#15465951) Homepage
    Can I shout "fire!" in a movie burning kiosk?
  • Uh but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by countach (534280) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:45AM (#15465954)
    But "burned" DVDs have a limited life. They may only last a few years depending on the quality of the DVDs etc. Properly pressed DVDs last nearly forever. How happy will the consumers be when a few years down the track the DVDs stop working?

    • But "burned" DVDs have a limited life. They may only last a few years depending on the quality of the DVDs etc. Properly pressed DVDs last nearly forever. How happy will the consumers be when a few years down the track the DVDs stop working?

      Well, given they want to keep changing the format, plus the fact that discs get scratched all the time unless you are very careful with them and many if not most households have kids in them that aren't careful. Plus many people buy or rent a disc and watch it a few time
  • DVD is certainly having a negative impact on cinemagoing. There are certainly times when you want to go out and see a movie, but in many (most?) cases the difference between watching the movie at home or at a cinema is decreasing. Therefore more people are buying DVDs, and fewer people are going to cinemas.

    Whenever I go to a cinema (unfortunately rarely these days), I am subjected to trailers which often show me really cool movies that I then want to go to see. So if I go to one movie, chances are I'll g
    • But there aren't compulsory trailers on DVDs (and if there were i would get very pissed off and boycott the DVDs concerned), and so audiences aren't exposed to future movies that they might like. So they are then less likely to continue seeing as many more movies.

      True, but instead we get non-skippable "informational" commercials calling us pirates and sprouting corporate bullshit about how pirates are not only evil, but also communists.
    • Price really isnt the problem for a lot of people. I'll happily shell out £30-£50 for an enjoyable experience. The problem is that going to the cinema often ISNT one. Overpriced and poor quality food and drinks, poor leg-room, poor access to toilet facilities, obstructed views and sound...really the last time I enjoyed a trip to the cimema I was 20 and had a gorgeous young lass on my arm who provided far more entertainment than the film!

      Seriously, as far as Im concerned "cinema" is dead and the
      • Here's what I want from cinema in the future:

        1.) Digital. Ok, I know that's changing too fast for theaters to keep up, and it might not match film quality yet, but it will, and it won't degrade. I've noticed that movies reels degrade significantly as they keep getting played over and over and over again. If I miss opening night or a few days after that, there's usually not much point.

        2.) Insulation. This isn't a problem for my hometown theater, but many multiplexes are just too small and thin and try
    • But is this a bad thing? Maybe the cinema has outlived its usefulness?

      DVDs canabalised the market for VHS too for instance. TV canabalised the market of the theatre to a degree (and probably cinema too come to that).

      Wouldn't it just be that maybe, just maybe, we've all outgrown the cinema.
  • My first thought at the headline was: some software glitch
    caused one of those cheesie web kiosks to catch on fire?

    Cool.

  • The motion picture industry's line of thinking (if it can be called that) probably ran something like this:

    • Problem: People aren't paying for movies, either to see them in the theaters or for DVDs.
    • Observation: There are honest people out there that will pay for the media, as well as people who are almost ready to do so if only it were more convenient.
    • Solution: Make it more convenient. If people go see the movie and like it, they can buy a freshly burned copy in the lobby afterwards and take the experi
  • by Rydia (556444)
    If you want to editorialize and generalize, write an editorial and submit it. Lord knows /. has enough random people with blogs as news. Don't write a mini-editorial in the submission of a real story, because it's dishonest and, to be frank, quite lame.
  • by aquabat (724032) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @11:03AM (#15466461) Journal
    If they want to increase their market share, the movie companies should take that share away from other media, for example, the print media. To that end, I propose that they set up book burning kiosks in video stores world wide.
  • I think this will be a good idea if the major studios are willig to put forward a significant capital investment and then allow the stores to burn the movies they please, as long they collect a standard royalty, to be paid to the content holder, not the owner of the kiosk.

    Here is what I was thinking. There are a fair number of movies that are not being served by the DVD market. Either they are not going to sell enough to justify the cost to press, or will not move enough in the stores to justify the spa

  • I have no remorse for Hollywood's money woes.

    Hollywood's movie distribution system is in dire need of a fix.

    Actually -- it's not. Unless you have no retailer and no internet access to purchase DVD's, the distribution system works.

    Movie attendance has been suffering.

    If you're a single person going to a theatre spending US$8.50 for entry, $4.00 for a medium drink, $5.00 for a box of candy or nachos, one person might be able to handle it. Now, imagine being a family of four and doing all that?

    In all though, I

  • by The-Bus (138060)
    "Movie attendance has been suffering, DVD sales are slumping..."

    I thought movie attendance had actually picked up this year over last. Maybe not a huge increase, but it's not "suffering" --- and DVD sales are not slumping. Their rate of increase has been slowing down, but that's a measure of acceleration, not speed or distance.
  • None of the digital movie download services I know of lets the user download the movie and then burn it to DVD. Apparently this has to do with CSS and burnable DVDs (you can't encrypt or encrypt properly burned DVDs). The last I heard of this was that there was work on a new version of CSS that would let you burn DVDs yourself, but that there might be compatibility issues with older DVD players. [In the meantime the porn industry chose its own encryption format [go.com] which apparently works with existing player
  • Long Tail. I want the Doc Savage movie. Done. I want some esoteric documentary? Done.

    Not that it'll be used for that, but the potential is there.

  • For this is the beginning of the end of the MPAA/RIAA.

    Think about it. They are giving in, even if it's only a little. Inch by inch, they will eventually be forced to realize that switching to a non-centralized online distribution format will make them more money.

    No, not as much money as they once made per film, but more money TODAY, than they would otherwise lose to online piracy (which often is caused by users not having the choice to buy online cheaply). Need proof? Just look at what iTunes did for the
  • We can get all those old Gigli DVD's incinerated! We can then start on the video oeuvre of Meryll Streep! I hope they burn in an enviromentally sound manner.
  • From TFA:

    DVD sales are slumping

    Besides the crapfest that has been the movie industry lately, wouldn't this also be caused by people holding off on purchases since they know another format is just around the corner?

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