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Sonic's Qflix licensing process demonstrated
Qflix to pave the way for movies on the cheap as well as unlimited supply for retailers

Sonic, the parent company of Roxio, today announced what it calls a licensing program designed to legally allow users to download content from online providers, burn the content onto DVDs, and watch on set-top players. The program, dubbed Qflix, provides Content Scramble System (CSS) protection for high-quality content.

The Qflix system requires support from both media manufacturers and drive manufacturers. Online digital content providers will also have to be Qflix-enabled, as will the necessary software. When a user downloads a movie for example, the movie has a CSS tag which is recognized by both the client software as well as the drive. When burned, the movie will only be able to be played back on the PC it was downloaded on as well as a standard DVD player. Users will not be able to copy the burned DVD.

The system is broken up into two forms: one for professionals called Qflix Pro, and a standard version for consumers. Right now, Sonic has a host of supporters that include both movie studios as well as hardware OEMs. Plextor, Mitsubishi and Verbatim are just some of the leading manufacturers that have voted "yes" for Qflix.

Warner Brothers studios is also commited to supporting the standard. Chris Cookson, president of Warner Bros. said "Warner Bros. is committed to giving consumers the widest range of choices to access our content in ways that recognize and protect its value."

According to Sonic's own press release:
The Qflix technology and intellectual property program empowers for the first time factory, in-store, and in-home systems for on-demand, electronic sell-through of movies and video programs that can be recorded to DVD with Content Scramble System (CSS) encryption. As the industry-approved content protection mechanism used on mass-produced discs and incorporated into all DVD players, CSS has been deemed essential by major content providers for the on-demand digital distribution of premium entertainment.
One interesting aspect of Sonic's Qflix system is support at the retail level. Sonic, in conjunction with various retailers, plans to offer DVD burning kiosks that will allow users to burn their own DVDs for a fraction of the cost of a retail packed movie. This will also allow retailers to save on actual physical stock. If a store runs out of a particular movie, users can simply burn copies from a virtual library.

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By FishTankX on 1/5/2007 9:08:48 AM , Rating: 2
According to the article, it can be played back on any standard DVD player. And it can be played back onto the computer that burned it. I think that's not too bad. Sure, you can't play it back on another computer, so that kind of sucks. But if your really wanted to get around that, you could just rip it anyways.

RE: Okay...
By rtrski on 1/5/2007 9:16:57 AM , Rating: 2
From what I've seen, you wouldn't want to. The bitrate will NOT be equal to the bitrate of an actual purchased DVD, so the video is much more heavily compressed.

RE: Okay...
By jtesoro on 1/5/2007 10:38:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'm hoping this wouldn't be the case. It would be very disappointing if the bitrate isn't the same as standard DVDs.

RE: Okay...
By qwerty1 on 1/5/2007 9:27:12 PM , Rating: 3
Anyone ever consider how long it would take to download a feature length movie with all the bells and whistles? Seems rather impractical to me as most of America operates at speeds of 300kbps or less. If you assume 8gb worth of content at 300kbps, you'll be looking at roughly 7 1/2 hrs just to get 1 movie.

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