Disney project aims to play films on any device

Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:10pm EDT
 
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By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A Disney initiative that could allow consumers access to a movie on any device imaginable comes not to bury the DVD, but perhaps to prolong its relevancy.

Disney could demonstrate the new technology, code-named Keychest, in as little as two months, and it could be available to consumers next year, a studio insider said Wednesday.

Using cloud-computing concepts that could be coupled with physical product, consumers would pay one price for rights to a movie they could play on multiple devices, even simultaneously, if desired.

"Dad has a Zune, Mom has an iPod, there's a Mac and a PC at home and a Roku box; right now, those devices don't talk to one another," the insider said. "We intend to blend those worlds."

The Wall Street Journal disclosed the early plans for Keychest in Wednesday editions. Disney has been lining up studio and technology partners. Some are already involved with the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, a competing initiative spearheaded by Sony.

Studios have been searching for lucrative distribution models in the Internet era, fearful that consumers are weaning themselves off DVDs. But Disney believes Keychest technology could prolong enthusiasm for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs by enabling consumers to purchase rights to view a film in sundry ways, including the use of a traditional or high-def disc.

"Packaged goods will co-exist with digital platforms," the studio insider said. "That's what this is about."

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)