Podcast Video | Posted by Phil Leigh on February 21, 2008
If you would like to learn a legal way for Internet merchants to produce DVD movies on-demand, or retail outlets to burn them on premises, or consumers to download and burn them on their home computers, this interview is for you. (Part 2 of 2).
Subject: Our guest today is Jim Taylor who is the Senior Vice President and Manager of the Advanced Technology Group at Sonic Solutions. His company is a leader in multimedia software. Their new Q-flix technology enables DVDs of popular movies to be created on-demand. It can be applied to (1) Internet merchants who will use it to fill orders much like on-demand book publishing, (2) retail stores at Kiosk stands or at counters similar to photo processing labs, and (3) consumers with Internet-connected computers in their own homes.Sonic believes that Q-flix can be applied to three new businesses.
First, is the Internet merchant like Amazon.com. If Amazon does not have a DVD movie in stock to ship in response to an online order, Q-flix will enable them to burn a copy-protected DVD themselves. Then all they have to do is package and ship it to the buyer. Since they won’t have to back-order a prepackaged disc, they can get the product to the buyer faster.
Second, might be a retailer like CVS or Walgreens that already has a photo lab on the floor. Customers who are waiting for prescriptions to be filled might use a touch screen device at the photo counter to burn a copy of a movie that they want to see when they get home.
Third, Q-flix enables Internet merchants who sell movies in a downloadable format to also make them “burnable” into copy-protected DVDs. That way the buyer can watch the movie on her television through a conventional DVD player instead of being limited to the computer or having to use a networking device to get the digital file to the television.
Phil’s Take. Ideally, when I buy a movie I’d like to buy it like I do music from iTunes or Amazon. That way there’s no need for intermediate media like a CD or DVD. However, the problem is that nobody is yet providing a convenient way to get the digital files to the television. Apple TV and Amazon/TiVo seem to get the closest, but it’s still a bit of a hassle. Unfortunately, Sonic’s Q-flix isn’t altogether satisfactory either because one must wait to complete the burning process.
The best market for Q-flix is probably the Internet merchant who wants to fill orders promptly from the Long-Tail where he cannot afford to stock inventory. The second best market might be the retail merchant like CVS or Walgreens, but if too many customers queue-up at a Q-flix enabled photo lab or Kiosk, they may have too much of a wait.