In a move described as â€œnext generationâ€, Tesco (UK retailer) and Microsoft have announced a new deal whereby customers buying selected DVDs from Tesco stores will be able to download a digital copy of the same film.
Using Microsoftâ€™s Silverlight technology, and with the backing of major film studios, this digital copy will be downloadable to either PC or Mac, offering a â€œvirtual DVD experienceâ€ and promising a range of additional features including auto-updating trailers, exclusive bonus content, online chat and related merchandising.
Yes, itâ€™s mainly aimed at making the companies involved more money â€” expect copious links to Tescoâ€™s music download service and other partner web sites.
Presumably, there’ll be some way for the service to ensure that the person trying to download a film has actually bought that DVD (from Tesco) â€” quite how that works in practice hasn’t been explained yet.
Iâ€™m not entirely sure who the service is aimed at. If youâ€™re going to buy a DVD you can already watch it on most computers simply by using the built-in DVD player.
Those who want to transfer it to their computer probably already know how to rip the film (missing out the irritating trailers, of course) so donâ€™t need an official download.
Consumers who buy (or otherwise acquire) films via download only wonâ€™t be attracted by the offer either.
The new service, whose details are very sketchy at present, isnâ€™t to be confused with the â€œdigital copyâ€ feature now found on some DVDs and Blu-ray discs, where a lower resolution version of the film is already stored on the disc for transferring to PMPs.
The possible saving grace for the feature is the promised â€œfuture enhancementsâ€.
â€œThis is just the beginning. In the future we expect to offer our customers innovative digital solutions that far exceed the DVD experience and deliver exclusive content, Web events and services wherever and whenever they want them,â€ said Tescoâ€™s entertainment category director Rob Salter.
Of course, itâ€™s very easy to say that. Weâ€™ll see how the new service is received when it launches in the autumn.
You can certainly expect plenty of advertising coverage, given the marketing budgets of these two heavyweight companies.
Originally posted on September 9, 2009 @ 5:15 am