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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stores Nix Disposable Flicks By Katie Dean

Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,62083,00.html


02:00 AM Jan. 29, 2004 PT


A Texas grocery chain has decided to stop selling disposable DVDs, a product that outraged environmentalists and apparently didn't sell too well, either.


About 20 H-E-B grocery stores in the Austin area sold the EZ-Ds, vacuum-sealed movies that, once opened, play for 48 hours before a chemical reaction on the surface of the discs renders them unplayable.


Buena Vista Home Entertainment, a division of Disney, has been test marketing the product since September. More than 30 movies are now available in the disposable format, including Chicago, Freaky Friday and The Waterboy. The discs sell for about $7.

** NO WONDER they didn't sell ... $7.00 apiece?!?!?!?! **


H-E-B stores will stop selling the EZ-Ds in the next two or three weeks, according to Susan Ghertner, environmental affairs manager for the grocery chain.


Ghertner said the decision was not made for environmental reasons; rather, company officials "made the decision strictly on sales."


"It just wasn't a good fit for us," she said. "It didn't turn out to be an item that our customers were looking for."


A Buena Vista representative declined to comment.


Environmentalists cheered the news. "We consider this a big victory," said Robin Schneider, executive director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment, which has protested outside stores that sell the EZ-Ds. "We are calling on other retailers to follow the lead of H-E-B."


"There are clearly less-wasteful alternatives to marketing movies than disposable DVDs," she said.


Flexplay, the company that manufactures the discs, has touted the product as a solution for those who find renting movies inconvenient and are sick of paying late fees. "Make it EASY on yourself," the EZ-D website reads.


The disposable movies are currently available in three other markets around the country: Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri; Charleston, South Carolina; and Peoria and Bloomington, Illinois. Stores that sell the movies include 7-Eleven, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie, Sam Goody and Cub Foods, among others.


Last October, Wired News surveyed a handful of stores that sell the EZ-D and found that the product hadn't really caught on with shoppers.


Buena Vista and Flexplay offer several options for those conscientious customers who want to recycle their expired EZ-Ds. Movie fans can mail old EZ-Ds to GreenDisk to be recycled, or they can drop off the useless DVDs at drop-off sites listed on the EZ-D website.


Customers also can participate in the EZ-D Incentive Program, which awards a free disposable DVD to customers who send back six expired movies.
 

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May they die a horrible death...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by jcase
May they die a horrible death...
These DVDs? Or Buena Vista, and the fiends that market them?
 

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I wonder what would make them undisposable. Some kind of UV light or something?
 

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Disposable DVD was an even worse idea than the evil Digital Video Express (DIVX) that the wicked Circuit City tried to foist on us. Shame on everyone who was ever associated with either product. (But more shame on the DIVX/Circuit City crowd for blatantly lying to customers during the time they were trying to market that product.)
 

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Actually, I don't think there was anything wrong with the technology, but the pricing was way off.


I'd have picked up "disposables" for under $3 - the same for DIVX - about what you'd pay to rent, without the return.


Randy
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rezzy
I wonder what would make them undisposable. Some kind of UV light or something?
The article said they are vacuum packed, so I'm guessing that its an oxidation reaction.



"I'd have picked up "disposables" for under $3 - the same for DIVX - about what you'd pay to rent, without the return.


Randy"



Yeah, at $3 I suspect a lot of people would buy these and rip them to the harddrive.
 

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Does anyone know if these things are even widescreen, or are they following in the divx tradition of thinking renters only want pan and scan? If they actually did have the same features as the regular dvds, at least for the film itself (proper aspect ratio, sound, etc), then I'll bet they might actually be able to rent these at around a $3 price point. But $7 is just nonsense. Heck, I just bought Star Trek 6 and Time Bandits for $15 each. With the prices of regular dvds getting so low, it's hard to justify paying so much for only 48 hours of viewing.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rezzy
I wonder what would make them undisposable. Some kind of UV light or something?
I can think of a number of software/hardware solutions that would render their disposable nature irrelevant.


I suspect, however, that they can't be discussed here, whether they're considered legal under fair use law or not :)


[Note to Moderators: A quick scan of the stickies and the FAQ referenced at the top of the page didn't turn up anything on this issue. Is there a formal statement regarding duplication for personal, archival use somewhere?]
 

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Good riddance!!


My first thoughts about disposable where:

1) They had better be cheap. ($7 is a scam)

2) Sounds just like DIVX. (Another scam I thought CC and some in Hollywood tried to perpetuate on the consumers.)

3) Maybe the environmentalists have a point. (Imagine if this did catch on and all DVDs where sold in this manner. What a landfill nightmare!)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jdrumm
I can think of a number of software/hardware solutions that would render their disposable nature irrelevant.


I suspect, however, that they can't be discussed here, whether they're considered legal under fair use law or not :)


[Note to Moderators: A quick scan of the stickies and the FAQ referenced at the top of the page didn't turn up anything on this issue. Is there a formal statement regarding duplication for personal, archival use somewhere?]
Nah, I would'nt wanna rip 'em. But if there were some sort of goo to dip 'em in.......Anyone who's come across these DVDs; are they pan-n-scan only?
 

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I actually live a hop and a skip (okay, about 3/4 of a mile) from an HEB that is selling these. They are right at the door as you walk in. Now that they are "dumping" them, I might actually buy one and keep it in the unopened package as a collectable item.


They had a very limited selection (about 10 titles). Some WS some FS, but no real choice. At $7 each, I haven't really inspected them.


From what I have read, there is a die between the layers of the DVD that starts a chemical reaction when the package is open. The reaction starts to take place after 48 hours and in essence "blacks out" (makes unreadable) the disc. They are suppose to last up to 1 year in an unopened state.


But now I'm thinking...."How much will these things sell for on eBay in 5 to 10 years?"
 

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But now I'm thinking...."How much will these things sell for on eBay in 5 to 10 years?"


Condiering that on ebay DIVX movies sell for less than $1 each, if at all, I'm thinking: not much.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Art Sonneborn
Someone should have developed a vacuum packed DVD player (

Art
You could always just make your HT room into a vacuum chamber. Of course the space suit you would have to wear while watching a movie might be a tad uncomfortable.
 

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how would a HT room in a vacuum chamber sound?
 

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what were they thinking when they priced them more than a rental? that you wouldn't have to return it???? if anything, i might do it for 1/2 or 1/3 of a rental..but 2X more for basically the same thing is just plain stupid.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sivartk
how would a HT room in a vacuum chamber sound?
You'd have to build the Surround Sound system into the helmet.

I'm sure Bose would market a helmet wave system that sounds 'just as good' as full size towers. ;) :D
 
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