The spoils of DVD rental

— 12:02 AM on May 20, 2003

Here's a story on an interesting technology for the rental DVD business, courtesy of Essentially, consumers are sold (presumably for rental rates) a shrink-wrapped DVD. Once the DVD is opened, oxygen in the air begins to affect a dye on the surface of the disc. Within 48 hours, the dye has turned black and become impenetrable to a DVD laser, effectively making the disc a nice coaster. Obviously consumers wouldn't be required to return these discs back to the rental location.

Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment division is the first to license the technology; it should enable them to "rent" movies at any retail outlet. The article states that the discs will be available in limited markets in August, and will be used for recent releases, including The Hot Chick. Of course, after being introduced to the technology in this manner, moviegoers may wish for a DVD that's unreadable right out of the package.

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