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Sonic unveils content protection to burn DVD

Sonic Solutions has launched Qflix, a licensing and certification programme to enable the legal, secure, and reliable burning of video content to DVDs playable on standard and high-definition players.

The Qflix technology and intellectual property programme empowers for the first time factory, in-store, and in-home systems for on-demand, electronic sell-through of movies and video programmes 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.

The Qflix licensing and certification programme enables content owners, service providers, and manufacturers of media, PC DVD writers, network-connected DVD recorders, set-top boxes, and software to create reliable, compatible, and interoperable DVD-on-Demand solutions.

The programme involves a broad set of services that includes detailed technical information, certification testing, and an intellectual property license pool formed by Sonic and its technology partners to enable media and drive manufacturers to create optical discs and drives for recording CSS-encrypted video.

Two different programmes are being put into place: Qflix, for direct consumer use, and Qflix Pro, for enterprise use. Rolling out in early 2007, Qflix Pro will enable replication facilities to manufacture DVDs at the time of online order; reducing the cost of carrying physical inventory while simultaneously opening extensive catalogs of content. Qflix Pro will also enable new, self-service and retailer-managed movie kiosks that will be placed in stores to broaden the selection of available movies by augmenting physical product with a virtual inventory.

“The floodgates of digital distribution are about to burst, so now is the perfect time to provide an innovative technical solution that combines the advantages of electronic delivery with the simplicity and universal playback capabilities of CSS-protected DVDs,” said Jim Taylor, general manager of Sonic’s Advanced Technology Group. “Downloading to computers, portable devices, and internet-connected TV set-top boxes are all emerging pieces of the digital media ecosystem, but the entertainment value chain is incomplete without a cost-effective way to digitally deliver content that can be owned and viewed in the consumer’s entertainment venues of choice, including the living room. Qflix delivers this and opens many new channels for vast amounts of video programming such as TV shows, back-catalog movies, special interest programs, independent films, educational titles, and much, much more.”

Story filed 04.01.07

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