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2001 Dec 30 16:46

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] DivX? was: Why Debian?
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Re: [vox] DivX? was: Why Debian?



On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Micah Cowan wrote:

> Hmph.  For $5, I could rent a VHS twice and watch it twenty times.
> Seems to me, if you're going to limit it to only one or two viewings,
> you should charge much less.

Actually, you could view it as many times as you wanted to, but there was
a time limit set so you couldn't watch it beyond a certain date/time.  The
good things about Divx was that:

   1. The timer doesn't start ticking until you press the play button the
      first time, so you can rent a movie and not watch it for a long
      time until you were ready.  Then when you were ready, you can watch
      the movie to start the timer and you'd have like 48 hours (if it's a
      two day rental) to watch it as many times you wanted to.

   2. No returns.  You can keep the Divx disk once you rent it.  If you
      want to watch it again, you just call up some number, give 'em your
      credit card number, and they'd renew your rental.  You could also
      upgrade the status of the Divx disk to a full "purchased" status
      so you can watch it limitless times.

These two pros could have been a good thing, but the cons outweighed the
pros by way too far:

   1. You need to be connected to the phone line to use Divx.  No phone
      line near by?  Too bad.

   2. Once you play the Divx disk on one Divx player, you can replay the
      disk only on that system.  So you can't lend it out to a friend so
      the friends can use the remaining rental times.

   3. Any Divx upgraded to the full purchased status can only be played
      on that Divx machine.  And again, you have to be connected to a
      phone line.

   4. Being connected to the phone line means they can potentially upload
      advertisements to your Divx player.  I don't think it ever happened,
      but the potential was there.

   5. Too expensive.

A couple good ideas, but the bads were too overwhelming...  I'm sure
someone would have figured out a way to go around all the phone line thing
so you can watch Divx over and over without paying for it, but that would
have meant Circuit City never made any money off of rentals and Divx would
have died anyway.  So sooner or later it had to die, and it did, though
earlier rather than later.  Oh well!

-Mark

--
Mark K. Kim
http://www.cbreak.org/mark/
PGP key available upon request.


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