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LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- New technology designed to thwart DVD theft makes discs unplayable until they're activated at the cash register.


A chip smaller than the head of a pin is placed onto a DVD along with a thin coating that blocks a DVD player from reading critical information on the disc. At the register, the chip is activated and sends an electrical pulse through the coating, turning it clear and making the disc playable.


The radio frequency identification chip is made by NXP Semiconductors, based in the Netherlands, and the Radio Frequency Activation technology comes from Kestrel Wireless Inc., based in Emeryville.


The two companies are talking to Hollywood studios and expect to announce deals this summer, Kestrel Wireless Chief Executive Paul Atkinson said.


The companies said their technology also can be used to protect electric shavers, ink jet cartridges, flash memory drives and even flat-screen TV sets by preventing some critical element from functioning unless activated.


Retail theft of entertainment products, including video games, accounts for as much as $400 million in annual losses, according to the Entertainment Merchants Association.


Many retailers now keep consumer-entertainment products behind glass cases, but that can inhibit browsing. With technology that renders stolen products useless, retailers could display items openly, thus encouraging more sales, said Mark Fisher, vice president for strategic initiatives at the EMA.


"It will also get product into a lot more outlets that are afraid of theft, including grocers," Fisher said.


http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/ptech/0....ap/index.html



Good news if you ask me. Shoplifters in part gives retailer no choice but to raise prices to cover the cost. A typical big electronics retailer have shrink of 4% on a good year. A bad year can go as high as 10%. One store (to remain un-named) lost $45,000 in six months from 5 employees that included an LP (loss prevention). They stole video games, accessories, Ipods, small electronics and a couple of thousand copies of HD DVD and BD discs.


If this is implemented you will have no choice but to buy the bloody thing.
 

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Ugh, so we haven't been having enough trouble with accidental coatings on the disc and now we're going to start adding them intentionally?


And since online retailers like Amazon already don't deactivate the sensormatic tags, just wait till the rash of "defective" discs start showing up!
 

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Dang... I saw the thread title, and thought for a second that we were finally getting Ponch and Jon in HD...
 

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I'll go for this, if they lower the prices by about $10.00. After all, isn't theft one of the reasons they say the prices are so high?
 

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3 Concerns:

1) Wouldn't this need a new player? How can the RFID affect the disc in such a way that it would be unreadable by existing players?


2) It will pss me off when the cashier forgets to scan it or the scan fails to unlock the RFID and it won't play.


3) I am sure some hacker will find a way to "relock" the chip. High powered amp hooked to RFID scanner and lock codes allows you to turn off all your neighbors HD DVDs.
 

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Guys, it's just a press release. There are a number of reasons why adopting technology like this can be difficult or counter-productive.


Studios are always very concerned about customer service issues, and technologies like this have the potential cause problems there.


There is no mention of the added licensing fees for this technology.


There is no mention of added media and replication costs.


There is no mention of the added equipment cost to retailers.


Retail distribution is shrinking, while online distribution (especially piracy) is expanding; this technology does not affect these more pressing issues.


This technology does nothing to help movie studios sell more discs. It helps only retailers with "shrinkage."


There is no mention of how easy or difficult it is to circumvent this technology.


That being said, studios are always testing new technology in limited market tests just to gather data on consumer reactions; it's usually part of their ongoing consumer resarch departments.


The landscape is littered with promising technologies that had market tests but failed for various reasons. Remember FlexPlay?
 

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Yep, if it causes the disc to not play we will have big issues. Many of the discs won't be disactivated right. Theirs been sevral times I see a alarm go off. The clerk simply cheek the recipt and lets them pass with out deactivating.


Very bad idea.


A few years back their was talks of a RFID system that would have a unike number trazmit when its either deactvated or when it go thew the door. Which was a much better idea. This way the clerk would know exactly what they had and could detirmine if it was pocketed.


While at the same time it would still work if some one got away with it.


How does it stop play. Some type of coating that demagntizez or something what if it dosent fully work. You get halfway thew and it stops..
 

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The technology would only have to obscure a relatively small part of the disc to render it unplayable in standalone players. For instance, it could just obscure the TOC area of the disc, which is very small.


The bigger issue is that the technology addresses a problem that is just not that important to the studios. Studios already pay to have product source tagged, even for online sale. This would be an additional expense that provides little or no value.
 

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Isn't this whole activation/deactivation paradigm DIVX revisited? It's only a matter of time until it's "activated for X days/hours" forcing the discs to be reactivated... the whole thing stinks like yesterday's diapers...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Ramzyk /forum/post/0


I am truly getting so F-ing sick of all the copy and theft protection stuff. It's bad enough they mummify boxes with sealers on all sides. Yesterday one pulled the print of the case when I opened it.


Isn't a used DVD worth about $3-4?

haha exactly. Naturally though if this becomes a reality they will STILL have the 45 trillion stickers on the case (extra sticky at that) and prices won't go down which will hopefully show the masses companies don't set prices higher because of theft/piracy...they set them where they do because they know they can and then use theft and other lame excuses to justify it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlindo /forum/post/0


haha exactly. Naturally though if this becomes a reality they will STILL have the 45 trillion stickers on the case (extra sticky at that) and prices won't go down which will hopefully show the masses companies don't set prices higher because of theft/piracy...they set them where they do because they know they can and then use theft and other lame excuses to justify it.

I think they can use whatever excuse they desire for high prices, they can try and put a "light-switch" in the disk to limit it's use, but there is a limit to what I will put up with.


Studios always seem to cruse just below the maximum they pull and still have people buy their wares. They found it out with overpricing CDs and DIVX, but they never learn well enough to prevent future attempts.
 

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How 'bout if the product explodes when it goes through the door if the cashier doesn't deactivate it? 1. Cashier would make sure it's deactivated 2. NRA/MPAA could get Congress to say product doesn't kill, thieves do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneL /forum/post/0


How 'bout if the product explodes when it goes through the door if the cashier doesn't deactivate it? 1. Cashier would make sure it's deactivated 2. NRA/MPAA could get Congress to say product doesn't kill, thieves do.

LOL!!! I can see the headline on Fark already: NRA Licenses DRM Technology To MPAA
 
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