Disposable DVDs making the way into mainstream

By Staff Writer
October 16, 2003

Cecelia Francisco

You have 48 hours until this self-destructs. At least this is how the new EZ-D will work for consumers. It is a new type of DVD that will end all of the agitation that comes with late fees from the local video rental store. Now that Disney and Flexplay have made this idea possible, one can now see a new breed of DVDs hitting store shelves.

The EZ-D is able to play a full-length movie that once it is removed from the package can be viewed numerous times within 48 hours. After this time, the disc will become unreadable and will no longer work. There is the same sound and quality that is available on a normal DVD. However, it has a short life span.

Once the package seal is broken, the disc begins to deteriorate by changing slowly from red to black. Because it is exposed to air, an oxidation process begins, which eventually makes it unreadable to the laser on a DVD player. If the disc is kept in the package, it is guaranteed to last for at least one year.

When the disc does become unreadable there are a few options that one could do with the EZ-D. The EZ-D is made of a polycarbonate material, which is recyclable according to Environmental Protection Agency standards. Buena Vista Entertainment and Flexplay have worked on different options in order to recycle these discs. Consumers are able to print a postage prepaid electronic label, request a postage prepaid mailer to be sent, participate in an incentive program, or get collection points for their EZ-Ds.

“In theory it’s a good idea but in reality it might not work,” -Jaci Fox, junior history/political science major, said. The companies involved in this creation had the idea in mind that many people just want to watch a movie without the hassle of having to return it to the store.

The new discs are only available right now in Texas, South Carolina, Illinois and Missouri. One will be able to find these EZ-Ds in a variety of locations in a selection of titles. Even though some have compared this to DIVX, which were special discs to be played in special players, these EZ-Ds are different. EZ-D’s are different because they play in standard DVD players unlike DIVX.

The price range for the EZ-Ds will be between $5 to $8. They are intended to be sold at drugstores, retail outlets and convenience stores. The new disposable DVDs will not be making it harder for pirated movies, but by making DVDs cheaper it may help cut back on illegal copying.

The environmental concerns are making some consumers wonder whether or not this would be such a beneficial idea. The new discs may be convenient for everyone but is really worth it in the long run? Fox said, “I don’t think anyone would spend that much money in a couple of days when you could join a DVD club where it would last much longer.”

Whether this is a way to regain consumers that rental companies have lost or never had, there is some criticism about whether EZ-Ds are all that they are cracked up to be. Even with the fear that eventually VHS will become obsolete, it still leaves the market open to those who want to venture beyond their rental late fees.

For more information about EZ-D’s visit; http://www.ez-d.com

Posted to the web by: Cecelia Francisco

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