Self-Destructing DVDs ?

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 21, 2008
Updated • Apr 21, 2008
Hardware, Video

Would you pay money for a DVD that would be readable for a period of 48 hours after taking it out of its vacuum-sealed packaging ? Sounds a lot like video rentals on the Internet with the difference that you already have the movie on DVD to watch it in a DVD player. The self-destructing DVDs apparently sell for €3.99 which is roughly $6.50 and a bit pricey if you ask me especially if you consider the DVD rental prices in most countries.

The DVDs are apparently coated with a chemical substance that begins to react as soon as it comes in contact with oxygen (the developer is stating that the 48 hour period starts with the first playback). The process takes 48 hours to complete and the DVD will be unreadable afterwards. It could be copied though because there does not seem to be any kind of copy protection or DRM on the disks.

While this product might have it's good side, for instance that you do not have to return it, it has at least one huge bad side that would keep me away from it and that issue is an environmental one. If the self-destructing DVDs are successful, and according the the developer they are in France and Scandinavia, then they will add waste, lots of waste.

I'm not an expert on this topic but my uneducated guess is that it takes more energy to create and distribute and dispose of those self-destructing DVDs than it is to provide downloads on the Internet or use local movie rentals.

What do you think ? Is that a good idea, something the world really needs ?


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  1. Amy said on November 6, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I think this is a great idea, as it has been utilized mostly by Truck Drivers. This way if they are stuck somewhere for 24-48 hours “idle time” they can purchase a DVD and watch it. I know they sell them at “Loves” gas stations in the US.

  2. Tobey said on April 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    “I think you won’t be surprised if I say that such idea is greedy and stupid.”

    Agreed. 100%

  3. Roman ShaRP said on April 21, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Disney tried it couple of years ago (in 2003, to be precious), and I don’t hear about them since till this your post. So, it seems that this idea had not become successful.

    I think you won’t be surprised if I say that such idea is greedy and stupid.

  4. Tobey said on April 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    What, u must be kidding me.. Have they gone nuts?? Man, this is the stupidest idea I’ve heard lately.

    Good that you mentioned the environmental issues Martin since this idea means whole heaps of USELESS CRAP totally ignoring any efficiency and ecology rules. I have like 10 video rental stores in the vicinity of our house, why would I ever buy such suicidal gizmos ?? To make more waste coz there’s not enough of it yet? Thanks, no thanks.

    Besides, as mentioned above, downloading stuff legally on the Net is the way to go. So, “welcome to the internets, jerks :|”

    Thanks for sharing but keep that crap in Germany ;)

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