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Independent movie studio Lionsgate announced yesterday that they will be including a digital copy on select DVD and Blu-ray releases of their upcoming movies.
The debut releases of this new offering will be for the special edition DVD and Blu-ray release of Rambo on May 27, 2008 and the supernatural thriller The Eye this summer. The press release issued by Lionsgate says that they will deliver "numerous additional Lionsgate films on DVD with iTunes Digital Copy later this year."
The "iTunes Digital Copy" will work just like those purchased via the iTunes Store, with the movie being able to be transferred to iTunes, and then viewed on your computer, iPod, iPhone, and the AppleTV.
The new iTunes Digital Copy provides a consumer friendly way to transfer a DVD purchase to a user's iTunes library. Once a customer buys the DVD, he or she inserts it into their computer, enters a unique code into iTunes, and the movie is automatically copied to their iTunes library. Customers own the iTunes Digital Copy of the movie and it has all of the same great viewing options as other iTunes Store video content, including the ability to be viewed on a computer, iPod with video, iPhone and widescreen television with Apple TV. Each DVD will only transfer its iTunes Digital Copy to one iTunes library. An iTunes account is required.
This inclusion overcomes (in its own way) one of the challenges facing Blu-ray, since the high definition discs cannot be played in traditional DVD players. This creates a problem for those of us looking for the best quality experience at home, but that still have a desire to watch the movie in other locations, such as a secondary room or on a portable device (think kids' movies on the DVD player in the minivan). With so many people having iPods, having an iTunes-compatible version of the movie makes it a little easier to watch that movie in other places.
It will be interesting to see how they are going to handle rental discs and if the digital copies will work in those scenarios. It appears that the copy will only be able to be transferred once, so perhaps the unique code would be present on an insert not included with rentals.
Until Blu-ray players get cheaper and more widespread, this is a nice alternative to have. While not many in-vehicle entertainment systems have video inputs, the proliferation of video capable devices like this may make video inputs as common as auxiliary audio inputs are in new vehicles today.
Source: Lionsgate Press Release
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