CCrane WIFI2 Radio

The Arrival of Divx

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, October 6, 1998

A new way to rent digital movies. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Most of the big motion picture studios are backing it, so are some major consumer electronics companies. Divx is a new kind of DVD disc that will work only in new Divx enabled DVD players. Larry Pesce of Thomson Consumer Electronics...

"Essentially, a consumer will be able now to go to many retail outlets and buy a new DVD movie for, say four dollars and forty nine cents, take it home and put it into their player and begin to watch that movie. Now they'll have a 48 hour window to watch that movie at which time the player will basically say the 48 hour window is closed."

You then can put it away...and pay for another rental window sometime in the future... or you can pay to permanently unlock the movie. The Divx enabled player connects to your phone line to conduct the electronic transations. Pesce says the price works out to about the same as buying a non-Divx DVD movie. One of the big advantages is, you can rent movies, without ever having to return them. Another is, the rental window doesn't start until you actually watch the movie. Thomson's Divx enabled DVD players have just hit the market under the RCA brand selling for about a hundred dollars more than standard DVD players. There are critics who say the new format will only cause consumer confusion when it comes to DVD. Time will tell.