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Flexplay: The Disposable DVD that Failed (Thankfully)

  • Published on Apr 27, 2019 veröffentlicht
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    Have you ever run across a cool idea that you desperately hope doesn’t catch on? Flexplay is one of those. In this video, we’ll talk about what it is, why it was crazy to think it would go anywhere, and why it’s probably a good thing it didn’t.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 9 574

  • Technology Connections
    Technology Connections  3 years ago +9057

    I mentioned the tragedy of the commons a couple of times in this video. This is an old but (in my opinion) underutilized term for the concept of what happens when shared resources are used by individuals acting in their own best interest. Although the term is flawed and some situations are far more complex than can be explained in four easy words, it’s a useful reminder that things that seem harmless on an individual level can scale in ways we can’t grasp. If you’d like to learn a little more about this concept, check out this website I found; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

    • X of Center
      X of Center 2 months ago

      @Mary Ann the Nytowl it's still the wrong term and leads to false conclusions, were you to truly follow TotC logic in this case.
      Chalk this up to the midwit body of knowledge that predominates wiki, social media, and mainstream media. The problem here is one of much more nuance, and may not even be a problem, depending upon how one defines the desired outcomes and time horizon for those outcomes.
      Go read Anti-Fragile.
      The "better" you make a system, the more fragile you make it and the more likely you doom it to eventual failure. There's a reason they train AI to think with a randomizing and "subversive" factor. Without noise and challenge, any system will settle into a local maxima -- thus optimizing it to a point of guaranteed collapse.
      When a plane crashes, all remaining planes become marginally better as a result due to what's learned from the accident. If one were to prevent "all" airline accidents, then one dooms aircraft to suffering some larger, unexpected series of failures later (e.g. from history: metal fatigue, which was ignored during the first great era of airline safety, until suddenly a shitload of jets started crashing after they'd been in service for years). Today, we "wastefully" replace parts that aren't yet worn out because we've learned that fatigue failures are only statistically predictable, not deterministic.
      The same applies to the eco-climate-rule change hoopla. Sure, many things should be done. But don't assume those things are solutions. They may be necessary steps to solving for worse problems down the road. Nuclear fission needed to precede nuclear fusion. Disposable DVDs needed to precede other forms of ephemeral data storage and transference.

    • Mary Ann the Nytowl
      Mary Ann the Nytowl 2 months ago

      @Delta132 he literally said IF it actually turned black. No update = no black. Duh. Can you people NOT pay attention to what he actually said? _~sigh~_

    • Mary Ann the Nytowl
      Mary Ann the Nytowl 2 months ago

      @Tyler N he literally said IF it actually turned black. No update = no black. Duh. Can you people NOT pay attention to what he actually said? _~sigh~_

    • Mary Ann the Nytowl
      Mary Ann the Nytowl 2 months ago

      @Zachary Burnham thank you very much for ending that with "most" Americans, not the inclusive you used many multiple times in that comment. I am one of the few that DOES pay $20 for something that will last longer. Or, alternatively, I am one that has no issue going to a second-hand shop and buying something that someone else once bought, at a reduced environmental damage to the environment than a new one of whatever it is would be, but as a plus, at a reduced price, too.
      See, my mom was "green" before there was a word for it, because I had a great grandmother that would pass down the Old Stories that taught the respect for and care of the soil, and all upon, above, and below it. I heard those old stories so young that I cannot remember my great grandmother's face, but I definitely absorbed that same respect for the Earth.
      My mom gardened organically before there was a name for it, as well, and when the first organic gardening magazines came out, she could have written the articles, herself. 😄 So we do still exist, those of us who go the extra mile, reduce/reuse/recycle, and pay more for something at our LOCALLY owned shops rather than go somewhere like the corporafascists like Walmart and Amazon.
      I don't even use Google for my search engine, since there are much better alternatives. The main ones that come to mind (including the one whose app I use) both start with E, in fact. Ecosia is what I use. I may have to restate this a different way, as YT seems not to like mention of that search engine, and removes it, especially on some channels... another form of corporafascism, sadly, but one that I don't yet have a replacement for which does the same.
      Anyway, I do appreciate the "most" at the end, while acknowledging that I don't have a source of green energy where I live and cannot afford a solar power farm of my own, which means I am also polluting, with every keystroke.

    • Mary Ann the Nytowl
      Mary Ann the Nytowl 2 months ago

      @Serif Sans Serif I must disagree with the "we didn't know back then" argument about petroleum products. There is a study, and an article about said study, from the first decade of the 1900s, talking about the damage CO2 from burning fossil fuels would cause. That's one example of us clearly knowing about the damages to the commons - the one planet we have - and ignoring them for selfish reasons.

  • Jerry Shugars
    Jerry Shugars 3 years ago +13029

    I remember buying a couple of these just to see if it was possible to rip them to the computer before the disc oxidized. It was.

    • Le Goose-man
      Le Goose-man Month ago


    • Harley Me
      Harley Me Month ago

      ya I figured, making the "security" redundant before it even came out lol...

    • Buttercup III
      Buttercup III Month ago

      Amazing. Always love a good piracy story

    • Super Pokemon Bros.
      Super Pokemon Bros. Month ago

      Just beat the system

    • Eks calybur
      Eks calybur 2 months ago

      @Robert Phoenix A whole lot of this. When downloading music was at its height, I had a music library of around 13,000 songs. I'm pretty sure I didn't even listen to half of them.

  • Jon Johnson
    Jon Johnson Year ago +4429

    Thankfully, they patented every conceivable way to make a aelf destructing disc, so nobody else can create such an abomination

    • BrettPlaysGames
      BrettPlaysGames 9 days ago

      @Steven Riconobody cares

    • Riley Brown
      Riley Brown 11 days ago +1

      This technique is called "evergreening", where minor things to make a patent "better" are slowly released. The best we can hope for is a disgruntled higer-up releasing all optimizations as a final middle finger to the company as they leave.

    • Fred
      Fred Month ago

      The real "abomination" is the kinds of movies that are produced nowadays.

    • Amaan Khuram
      Amaan Khuram 2 months ago

      Ah yes, an aelf destructing disc. 💿 🔥️🔥️🔥🔥️🔥️🔥🔥️🔥️🔥

    • Bob
      Bob 3 months ago +2

      @Sir Daddy Two Rolls or a popular animation company that does the same to protect a cartoon mouse

  • Nikhil Paleti
    Nikhil Paleti Year ago +1702

    I am SO glad they were overconfident and patented everything under the sun.
    Now no other company, no matter how foolish, will get to doing this

    • Robospy1
      Robospy1 2 months ago +1

      @jcrowley1985 I mean, for some shows or movies it's much easier to just buy a copy that you then own than to find which steaming service it's on (it's never the ones you have) and then pay for a month or sign up and do a free trial, and then sometimes if you want to watch the movie again it's on a different service now, so you have to repeat the previous part. Unless you pay for every streaming service but that's a lot of money.

    • Peter Parker
      Peter Parker 5 months ago +1

      @Andrew Neal I use PC programs that can extract a stream from a permanent link and save it in any quality possible.

    • Peter Parker
      Peter Parker 5 months ago +1

      ​@Andrew Neal Fair. I myself am a bit of a perfectionist, so of course I'd want backups of the highest quality wherever possible.

    • Andrew Neal
      Andrew Neal 5 months ago +1

      @Peter Parker The bit about extracting digital streams is interesting. I did it once for a video I payed for, but had no supported download option. So I found the video source, which was an m3u8 playlist file linking to hundreds of short bits of the video at different URLs. So if I remember correctly, I plugged that into VLC and it downloaded it for me as if it was streaming it. I might also have used FFmpeg, I don't remember for sure.
      The thing about streaming is that it _is_ downloading; it just doesn't save by default. So all you need to do is "stream" the URL with something that will save what it gets. And there is no way for them to stop this either.

    • Andrew Neal
      Andrew Neal 5 months ago +1

      @Peter Parker 4k's not an issue for me, as I don't have any 4k displays. Though I suppose I could future-proof my rips with it. I also don't have a Blu-Ray drive for my computer, even though I'm sure they aren't expensive; I've always been content with regular DVD quality.

  • Punished Whispers
    Punished Whispers Year ago +803

    There is something so horribly depressing about this, I can just picture a little kid buying Chrarrolets Web and not understanding why their favorite movie just stopped

    • blokos
      blokos 2 months ago

      @данёк бабаев да

    • Halon Poisoning
      Halon Poisoning 2 months ago

      @данёк бабаев Yup I've seen that too.

    • данёк бабаев
      данёк бабаев 2 months ago

      @Halon Poisoning just like with the lava lamps (The Alec said that usually they have little stickers on them saying it will take a lot of time to heat up, yet people are removing them and then say they're not working).

    • данёк бабаев
      данёк бабаев 2 months ago

      @blokos yep

    • Halon Poisoning
      Halon Poisoning 2 months ago +5

      Yah I could see a completely ignorant parent (or Karen) buying this in a store and then flipping out about it no longer working because they didn't pay attention to the package.

  • Umph
    Umph Year ago +1121

    The tiny moments that kept dystopia dialed down. Imagine if in addition to region locks and DRM, companies could destroy your DVD remotely.

    • True Native Scot
      True Native Scot Month ago

      @Dyanosis The downside is you have to keep paying a subscription and you don't get to own anything. The companies can remove any titles they want and you can't stop them

    • David A
      David A Month ago

      DRM is not dystopian lmfao

    • Eks calybur
      Eks calybur 2 months ago

      @ShaCaro They can even ALTER the media on their whim.

    • Amazing Papa
      Amazing Papa 2 months ago

      @Walter White physical media for the win

    • Tsrenis
      Tsrenis 3 months ago +2

      even physical copies aren't forever
      data rot is a real pain in the tookus

  • truthsmiles
    truthsmiles Year ago +486

    Another problem: The consumer is much more likely to rent another movie if they have to return the first one, continuing the rental cycle.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the “environmentalist pressure” was applied by the rental companies themselves.

    • Kristen Lee
      Kristen Lee 6 months ago +44

      That was my first thought exactly. I hate how cynical I’ve become but I immediately wondered “how could that have been to their advantage?”

  • AntiVector
    AntiVector 3 years ago +19681

    They were so proud of the concept that they made the company self-destruct as well.

  • krudmuphinstudioz
    krudmuphinstudioz 7 months ago +463

    One of the earliest "nightmares" I had as a kid involved me reading books that destroyed themselves after 1 reading, and video games that self-destructed after you beat them. This kind of shaped me into the non-wasteful person I am now. Learning just now that something dystopian like this actually existed, makes me sick to my stomach.

    • syed
      syed Month ago +2

      @Maverick Jones bro media should be preserved, it is what defines the world, name one thing you know about the world that doesn't come from media in some way

    • Maverick Jones
      Maverick Jones 2 months ago

      I do think it’s wasteful but it’s only media, it isn’t necessary for your survival. Plenty of worse things are happening in the world

    • Pete Benes
      Pete Benes 4 months ago +3

      @Deuterium, the Sentient Mattress William Gibson wrote a 300 line poem that was released as “Agrippa (A Book of the Dead)”. It was released on a 3.5” floppy disk that encrypted itself after 1 read, and was also published in a book form that had photosensitive ink that would render the page illegible after opening the book over a period of time.

    • Pining for the fjords
      Pining for the fjords 4 months ago +9

      It's the same concept as agricultural producers engineering seeds to grow seedless produce to create an artificial need for farmers to keep buying more.

    • Spanky Nater
      Spanky Nater 4 months ago +1

      I don’t know how this can be seen as dystopian, I’m not even sure why the narrator used that word to describe it.

  • Hail
    Hail 8 months ago +270

    Gotta love how he managed to futureproof for Disney+ when it was about half a year away!
    Also, did Flexplay ever think about the obvious thing of just backing up the ISO file?

    • Jacob Hargiss
      Jacob Hargiss 3 months ago +1

      @Hannahranga yes but at least with rentals, you dont loose the investment of the original dvd and can just rent it to someone else. Most often people rented most movies once anyway.

    • gnarth d'arkanen
      gnarth d'arkanen 4 months ago +9

      Considering LOTS of us were still completely capable of ripping... No, flexplay didn't think about anti-piracy in the slightest. They thought "A time limit's good enough"... AND clearly never ran into someone who'd take the first opportunity of viewing the thing to go ahead and rip it down... The quality's going to be better on most rippers if you play it normally anyway...
      Actual technical efforts to counteract ripping would be implemented around or just after this point in time, but even that was slow to hit mainstream production, overly complicated in manufacturing means, and generally only a matter of time before some enterprising individuals would figure out "the work around" anyway...
      Even today, nearly any form of security that's older than 3 months has already been hacked successfully. Older than a year, and there's likely a product somewhere for your home convenience of hacking it, cracking it, or fooling it on your own. ;o)

    • J C
      J C 7 months ago +6

      @Game Plays 1230 thought the same, if one could rip it (which I was doing with xcopy back then) to your drive, the data should be the same no?

    • Hannahranga
      Hannahranga 7 months ago +10

      I mean that's the same issue as any rental dvd

    • Game Plays 1230
      Game Plays 1230 7 months ago +4

      Not likely sine you could just copy it on your the disk

  • Tesla Falcon
    Tesla Falcon Year ago +317

    One missing aspects of the Flexplay attempted resurrection was Love's. For the unfamiliar, this is a truck stop. The "business travellers" in this equation are truck drivers. While Love's does still have an extensive DVD sales selection for their off-grid trucker patrons, returning a Flexplay disc for recycling would NOT have been an inconvenience since OTR drivers are VERY fuel brand loyal since truck stops reward such things and the parent company of most trucks work out special deals for buying ghastly amounts of fuel every month. So, I pick it up at a Love's in Indiana & recycle at my next Love's fuel stop in Nebraska. What's inconvenient about that?

    • gnarth d'arkanen
      gnarth d'arkanen 4 months ago

      @Tesla Falcon Not directly on most of the DVR's I've seen... It's still possible, but you need an adapter (or kit) to affix access to a computer or other recording device between the DVR output and the input to a TV or Projector... The adapter kit partially works as a signal splitter, so the computer picks up (and records on demand) the same signal as the TV/Projector, and from THAT you can copy to thumb-drives, burn to DVD's, convert file formats to your heart's content or anything else you'd like... at least until you get "caught"...
      Since the big crackdown on pirated music websites, manufacturers have been somewhat hesitant about mass producing devices that can directly copy any media to another portable format... AND there is some incentive somewhere for Operating Systems to include anti-piracy software and operations in their own systems. Some (most?) features can be turned off, leaving all media "unprotected" on your system, but it comes with the added disadvantage of leaving ALL media "unprotected" on your system, if that makes sense... haha...
      That's not to say there isn't at least one variety, make, model, or even a series of DVR that CAN directly copy to external media... There's at least a fair chance someone had the idea and a product reached production and release before the company "pulled the plug" on it. ;o)

    • Marc Caselle
      Marc Caselle 7 months ago

      I leave near a love's truck stop in my city.

    • Tesla Falcon
      Tesla Falcon 7 months ago +1

      My mom has an extensive VHS collection from when we recorded TV shows / movies back in the day. Can find tons of VHS movies cheap / free @ Goodwill, etc.

    • Elmojomo
      Elmojomo 7 months ago +2

      @Tesla Falcon True, except that they have never once used their VCR to record anything. They only use it to watch prerecorded VHS tapes, mostly John Wayne movies. lol

    • Tesla Falcon
      Tesla Falcon 7 months ago

      Last I checked, DVDs were still hard to record on. While some people use DVRs, VCRs have "infinite" replaceable media that you can share w others. I've never used a DVR. Can you get your recorded show off of it onto a thumb drive, etc?

  • SextonKing
    SextonKing 2 years ago +236

    Might be able to shed a little better light on this. Flexplay was NEVER developed with the intention of mass commercial usage. The technology of limited-play chemical self-destruct discs was developed for the use of award copies of movies and tv shows to be sent to groups like the members of the Academy Awards voting community. The idea was you could send the usual swag bags of “for your consideration” copies of entire movies and shows. BUT they would only last a couple of weeks presumably to give the recipient enough time to watch it a time or two for their vote, but not long enough or in a readable format for bootlegging (apparently they felt the worst people to bootleg their stuff was their own voting community of fellow actors, directors, production people, etc.). For THIS purpose, the tech worked great. But of course anything that seems futuristic or cool, somebody figured they would try and make some sort of market out of it on widespread distribution. But as your video thoroughly points out, nobody wants to pay for the hassle of a medium that they don’t get to keep AND have to drop off to recycle like it was a rental. Plus the tech was dodgy, some batches deteriorated within literally hours of opening, or had faulty leaky packaging and arrived at distributors DOA, etc. But yeah...the original developers of this were making it ONLY for the limited usage and audience of the awards voting crowd usually just around Hollywood. I know this because a friend of ours is in fact a prominent comedian/tv actor who hosted us at his house one year and while there he had in his living room a small stack of these discs and was really excited to show them to us and explain the principle behind them.

    • Mark Wilko
      Mark Wilko Month ago +1

      All the old early releases of movie before even their cinema runs came with security codes showing they were for an awards show..
      The codes were supposed to show the person they sent them to but the encodes blurred out the data..
      Some people were caught and turned out to be reviewers who got paid big money to sell the discs to copy groups that would release them with advert from gambling sites etc.. During the movies..

    • BustaKxllaBrown
      BustaKxllaBrown 3 months ago +5

      @Digger Pete No, any person will take that as an argumentative statement with literally no proof to back it up. Lmao "I'ma say something to argue my point but I won't be out-right rude so I can backtrack and say I was joking" 🤦🏻‍♂️😵‍💫

    • Digger Pete
      Digger Pete 3 months ago +1

      @Elmojomo I got the sarcasm straight away. Maybe you hurt someone's fee fees.

    • Elmojomo
      Elmojomo 4 months ago

      @brunosly bruno It's not about jokes, it's about things going right over someone's head, with a "whoosh", like the sarcasm with which my original comment was made, making that sound as you totally missed the point and thought I was being serious. Perhaps I should have added an /s, but this is not Reddit, so it didn't seem appropriate. Maybe a 😆 would have helped?

    • brunosly bruno
      brunosly bruno 4 months ago +4

      @Elmojomo i suggest the same, considering that wooosh has to do with jokes, of which there are none here, unless you wanna count your replies, but i'd say it has to be funny to fit one

  • Rakhim, Abdul
    Rakhim, Abdul 9 months ago +58

    Talking about self-destructive media storage, Hideo Kojima (that Metal Gear daddy) once thought of using this kind of CD when developing Metal Gear Solid. He said if Snake died, the PlayStation disc would be permanently unusable. Good thing this tech never took off.

    • High Tier God 高層の神
      High Tier God 高層の神 23 days ago +4

      That would piss a lot of people off. I'd never fw hideo again if he did that shit.

    • Talkys Assis
      Talkys Assis 2 months ago +6

      You don't need that disk to do this. You can burn the dead flag at the free space of the disk and refuse to run if the flag is there.

    • Sethrael
      Sethrael 5 months ago +12

      Okay, but that would be funny

  • Tyler DeWitt
    Tyler DeWitt 3 years ago +129

    Of course I'm sort of biased, but I wish you'd talked about the chemistry going on in the disc. It's an absolutely fascinating (and really clever) process!

    • electrictroy2010
      electrictroy2010 Year ago +9

      It looks simple enough. The Flexplay discs use a dye to store 1s and 0s. When the dye turns dark, the player just sees a bunch of 1s on the disc. - It’s similar to how CD+Rs gradually die with age (the recording dye darkens & becomes unreadable).

    • EZ Carnivore
      EZ Carnivore 3 years ago +16

      @Dare Daemon Or an excuse to use that second channel lol

    • Dare Daemon
      Dare Daemon 3 years ago +27

      @Technology Connections Maybe an excuse for a followup video?

    • Technology Connections
      Technology Connections  3 years ago +75

      You know what? It honestly never crossed my mind to get into how this actually worked! I was more interested in exploring the rental angle and how pointless it was. And I suppose by the time I got through there the script was long enough that I just considered it done? I don't really know. Usually I am quite interested in getting into the nitty gritty like that but for whatever reason this time I just wasn't. Weird!

  • Keith Pickering
    Keith Pickering 2 months ago +51

    It's hard to say if this is more or less dystopian than the modern streaming subscription model. Nowadays your license to view a movie you enjoy can be revoked at any given time with no warning, and I have to imagine the massive servers have an environmental impact as well

    • MaaZeus
      MaaZeus 2 months ago +8

      And because of that, movie piracy has pretty much come back. Netflix, much like Spotify, almost killed piracy in their own segments when they arrived but now that every movie studio wants their own pies instead of sharing it like music streaming services do a lot of people went back to downloading.

  • SonicMaster Sword
    SonicMaster Sword Year ago +66

    The rental model worked quite well because upon return, usually the consumer would rent another one on impulse.

    • Andrew Applegarth
      Andrew Applegarth 3 months ago

      That's not really true, as almost every rental store had the drop box just inside the front door and some form of external drop slot for when they were closed. While some folks might decide to rent another movie while they were there, stopping in front of the door while a kid shoved the movies in the slot was more common. Granted I didn't spend long hours working in a video rental store, but people watching while waiting for my girlfriend/fiancé/wife to pick out movies over the years showed me that the vast majority of people returning movies never entered past the drop box and the vast majority of people renting movies didn't drop any off as they came in.

  • psychopath rob
    psychopath rob 5 months ago +25

    Surprisingly Redbox is still popular. The one at the grocery store I work at has people standing in front of it all day. I'm glad disc rentals haven't fully died out. Watching my mom come home from work with a Redbox disc in her hand was always an awesome treat and I always got excited to see what new movie we would be watching.

    • 211of211
      211of211 5 months ago +1

      I miss going to the video store. Sure, nowadays I can watch anything I want with just a few clicks, but it's just not the same. I'm glad I at least got to experience it though. I got to be a kid during the video rental heyday, and it was awesome!

  • NoOne
    NoOne 6 months ago +52

    "You will own nothing and be happy"
    This DVD concept was ahead of its time

    • TinMMA
      TinMMA 3 months ago +2


  • Donovan Lavinder
    Donovan Lavinder Year ago +105

    DVD decryption apps were easily available back then as it is now, so the self-destructive DVDs were easily foiled. So of course Netflix / Redbox figured out that they were ripped before they had time to oxidize so they stopped doing that. And of course DIVX encryption was useless against the VLC media player with a special CPU-based DIVX decryptor library added (libdivx).

  • Tirant Rex
    Tirant Rex 3 years ago +5685

    The flexplay patent basically made it impossible for other companies to try the same thing, so at least we can thank them for that.

    • Cooper
      Cooper Year ago +1

      @gmcnewlook I totally think it has a use it’s just really niche. Maybe you’re staying in a cabin and want to rent a movie, maybe you’re older don’t like to make a bunch of trips and use physical. So falls into the it has a use but not enough demand to be viable. It was 2008 I’d really hope if they we’re trying to change movie rentals the internet would’ve crossed their minds but maybe it’s ol’ hindsight is 20/20 ya know.

    • PlaySauce
      PlaySauce Year ago

      Not how patents work.

    • TH3C001
      TH3C001 3 years ago

      Not only could their patent prevent another attempt, their example of failure will scare any companies away from trying it again lol. They made a heroic self sacrifice for all of us.

    • David Calman
      David Calman 3 years ago

      I think the DVD Forum licensed it though

  • sirradiodude
    sirradiodude 7 months ago +35

    I actually still have one I purchased from Staples, The Kite Runner. IT STILL WORKS! The disc has air gaps in the center that allows oxygen to slowly degrade the disc, BUT if you quickly apply superglue after opening to seal that gap.... no degradation! At the time this wasn't a mystery and info and methods were readily available online via forums. I only bought the disc for the challenge of making it permanent. I was an early Netflix and Blockbuster by Mail so even paying $5-6 to permanently own the disc wasn't that appealing because the selection was poor and I still had to drive TO the store to buy it.

  • Ben Dover
    Ben Dover 3 months ago +78

    I've been around VCR's, et. al. since their beginning. I had a Sony Betamax (which I really liked) and one of the first 500 RCA VCR's in America. I remember when that abomination, DIVX, was originally released - the sales people at Circuit City were paid a $100 commission for every DIVX player they sold.
    What was not mentioned in these informative lectures was a major reason that DIVX and FlexPlay failed was because of Disney. Disney, by licensing their catalog to these two formats, helped their demise. How? Every parent knows that children will watch a Disney movie OVER and OVER! Acquiring Shrek on DIVX means that every few days the parents would have to pay for another couple days worth of watching. And with FlexPlay, the parents would have to run to the store and buy the movie again. People would rather pay more for a Disney movie and have the freedom to show it to their kids forever.

    • XCurrent Breeze
      XCurrent Breeze Month ago

      Shrek is owned by DreamWorks, not Disney

    • wormhole331
      wormhole331 Month ago

      I watched lion King 832 times when babysitting my cousins. Hate that movie now

    • psirvent8
      psirvent8 2 months ago +2


  • artman2oo3
    artman2oo3 Year ago +149

    It was a perfect way to send messages to certain Mission: Impossible agents.

    • Robbie👾
      Robbie👾 2 months ago

      @Ray MacDhomhnuill aw i was gonna make a comment like yours but lower quality cuz I'm not funny ): u beat me to it

    • Ray MacDhomhnuill
      Ray MacDhomhnuill Year ago +39

      "As always, should you or any of your Technology Connections Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This FlexPlay disc will self-destruct in five/ten seconds. Good luck Alec."

  • Scott Beale
    Scott Beale Year ago +58

    It's hard for me to imagine the environmental impact of these disposable disks would be that high in comparison to the constant deluge of clamshell packaging we go through after every trip to the store. Especially in 2008!

    • TylerTMG
      TylerTMG 5 months ago

      I was born in 08 lol

  • The Digital Analog
    The Digital Analog 7 months ago +12

    Interestingly enough, growing up in western Pennsylvania, the best video rental store was a sub-store inside Giant Eagle grocery stores. The “Iggle Video” stores severely cut into blockbuster’s business in the area, especially since you could grab the movie while getting groceries, and the rental terms were usually long enough that it was convenient to drop it off next week when you needed more groceries, and Iggle was just closer to the neighborhood, usually, also.

    • Joseph S. Barrera III
      Joseph S. Barrera III 5 months ago +1

      @CelesteWuff Ah yes, the Dirty Bird, where the floors are mopped once a year whether they need it or not

    • CelesteWuff
      CelesteWuff 6 months ago +1

      Western PA gang represent!!

  • Carl Pult
    Carl Pult 2 years ago +2400

    The Failure of Flexplay is one of the few indicators, that we do not infact live in the darkest timeline.

    • Robbie👾
      Robbie👾 2 months ago

      The phenomena of people going online and insult everyone they want cuz they're anonymous is an indicator we're not in the darkest timeline xDD i love your comment it makes my hour

    • Rurihime
      Rurihime 5 months ago

      There are timelines where Shrek doesn't exist so we in fact don't live in the darkest timeline

    • Андрей Страхов
      Андрей Страхов 9 months ago +1

      Wow, this comment pre-2020, pre-2021 and even is pre-2022.
      Are you still so sure in that?

    • Rondo Cat
      Rondo Cat Year ago

      I think this timeline is pretty dark...

    • Vicus Utrecht
      Vicus Utrecht Year ago

      There's no such thing as "pollution". Gfy, Earth will abide.

  • Cathy Vickers
    Cathy Vickers Year ago +30

    I have a huge video (DVD) library because I buy something & watch it countless times over the years. Anything that isn't rewatchable gets sold at Half-Price Books. Likewise for my library of books: I've owned some of them going on 30 years, & periodically reread them. Some of them are no longer in print!

  • Entropy
    Entropy 6 months ago +25

    the fun thing with these is that you could, if you had a home computer (most had CD drives at this time), burn it to your computer and have a permanent working digital copy.

  • Michael Rigoletti
    Michael Rigoletti Year ago +14

    Imagine a world where there are countless disks just laying around...
    ... a reminder of the 1990's with AOL and their constant spamming of physical mailboxes with their "Superfast 56K Free Trial" CDs

  • percy or something
    percy or something 2 months ago +2

    My grandpa invented the plastic used in these DVDs (I am not joking). His sister lived near the test market and so she bought a whole bunch. We still have a copy of Holes sealed in its package.

  • Tarantantam
    Tarantantam 3 months ago +16

    the good thing about their patent thingy is, if anyone had had that idea again in the 10 or so years until the patent runs out they wouldve had to pay that patent too in whatever way they wouldve made the selfdestrution of the dvd into reality. so they pretty much ensured it wouldnt be a problem ever again :D

  • mazda9624
    mazda9624 2 years ago +2567

    Tested one of these back in the day by leaving it constantly running in a DVD player. After about a day and a half the image began to get scambled and it was unplayable within an hour

    • joelhoon1707
      joelhoon1707 5 months ago

      @psychopath rob I forgot what I meant by that reply :(

    • psychopath rob
      psychopath rob 5 months ago +2

      @joelhoon1707 It wouldnt be piracy if you bought a real disc though. Ripping your own DVD's is just changing the format you watch them with. Instead of a disc it becomes an MP4, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 for BluRay.

    • wildman510
      wildman510 8 months ago +1

      @Louis GASC that is the strangest delivery of "did you film it" I've ever seen

    • RawrieRampageXD
      RawrieRampageXD 8 months ago +1

      @Platoon Goon any cam would've worked, I really wanted to see that

    • pactastic
      pactastic 8 months ago +1

      @Louis GASC not everyone owned a camcorder lmfao they were expensive

  • shut_up_bill
    shut_up_bill 2 years ago +72

    Imagine watching Mission: Impossible in this format at the 23-hour mark.

  • plonk420
    plonk420 Year ago +20

    I got one of these to test out, but by the time I was in the mood to watch what it was, the disc was already unreadable on multiple drives and a perfectly working PS3

  • Randy Bradley
    Randy Bradley 3 months ago +25

    I seen something similar to this earlier at my local Goodwill store. There was 5 DVDs that had a price on the back on rental fees. I didn't bother looking at the disc but I feel it's the same thing. They were different from the one you featured in this video. The cardboard cases were just that. Thin cardboard DVD cases.

    • emmit brown
      emmit brown Month ago

      Rip probably was worth alot should always pick shit like that up could be a good little flip

    • Andrew Applegarth
      Andrew Applegarth 3 months ago +2

      A lot of rental stores used stripped down versions that did not include special features and such that were included on the retail discs. These are usually clearly marked as rental versions and are more likely to be what you found than the type of disc this video was about.

  • Corey Edwards
    Corey Edwards Year ago +5

    The most ironic store I remember that did movie and game rentals was Kroger. When I was kid, they were a legit threat to Walmart. They had a small selection of rentals compared to most places but they did offer a decent selection. My favorite rental place from my childhood was called Video Vision. God the experience there...even a distinct smell to the location. They had racks of movie and game boxes with tiny tags on each one. You'd take the tag to the counter and they'd give you the copy of the game or movie. I remember buying my copy of Sonic the Hedgehog there. It had the "not for resale" marking on it and I felt like I was a badass kid getting a special deal lol
    As much as I love technology and where we've gotten now, I miss the experiences of the good-old-days

  • Alan .Schriver
    Alan .Schriver 7 months ago +6

    There was actually an attempt to market a self-destructing VHS format. I think it was called One-View. The tape would somehow erase itself as you watched it. Not sure if the resulting blank tape could be reused for recording or not.

    • Shannon Rice
      Shannon Rice Month ago

      The tape wouldn't erase itself while watching. They were set up to erase all content when the tape was rewound. You could watch the tape once, but if you tried to rewind it and watch again, all you got was static.
      In the mid 90s, I was in a focus group for one of the major TV stations. I would get one of these stupid tapes every few weeks to preview new shows, mostly pilots.
      No, you couldn't record onto the tape afterwards. I'm not sure how it worked.

    • Not Public
      Not Public 3 months ago +1

      I have a faint memory that inside that cassette was a gear that destroyed the tape when it was played.

  • Technicality
    Technicality 3 years ago +1159

    To show you the power of Flexplay, I sawed the movie rental industry in half!

  • sultanofsick
    sultanofsick Year ago +6

    I was working a summer job during my college years at Staples in 2008. We got a single one of those cardboard stand things that are in the middle of retail aisles (I forgot the fancy retail jargon word we had for them) to put out. I thought it was the most random thing ever, about maybe 50 at most discs of a random assortment of movies, mostly very old. I had heard of the "no return" dvd concept before, but never actually seen it. I doubt we ever sold any (never during my shifts at least), and we DID get at least a few complaints about participating in that wasteful nonsense.

    • Catspurr
      Catspurr 5 months ago

      The word is endcap! :)

  • Derek Christenson
    Derek Christenson 8 months ago +5

    Ah, I remember these. I remember reading about them before they came out and hating the idea immediately. So much waste, so much greed, so much pointlessness when other solutions (video rentals, especially) already existed. I was very pleased to find that most of humanity agreed with me, and this stupid product failed hard.

  • guy_xviii
    guy_xviii 7 months ago +17

    I loled SO hard at the "open before 2009" on the inside of the sealed wrap! Another great early 2000's tech :)))

  • Rebel9668
    Rebel9668 4 months ago +2

    I stopped renting movies early on because by the time I remembered to return them the late fees were high enough I could have outright bought the tape...or later, disc, so that's just what I began doing. Now I have shelves and shelves of dvds and blurays (I got rid of my big vhs collection to make more room) and seldom watch any of them more than twice although there are a few I'll watch over and over again.

  • Mikey Mladi
    Mikey Mladi Year ago +8

    Imagine you just got your Freeplay-CD, then you try to watch it a day after, but the DVD-player suddenly burns in a second and explodes. That would be terrifying.

  • kapitanXbomber1989
    kapitanXbomber1989 3 years ago +2648

    Disposable DVD what a nice way to produce huge amount of plastic waste.

    • William Haynes
      William Haynes Year ago

      @CountlessPWNZ - there is a cnbc undercover where they throw cups in recycling bin at Starbucks and come back later to find in trash dumpster in back with everything else.

    • William Haynes
      William Haynes Year ago +1

      @7heRedBaron - before that it was Diskettes, which we always erased and used

    • William Haynes
      William Haynes Year ago

      @Markky - you can use them as piss botlles while traveling.

    • William Haynes
      William Haynes Year ago

      think Bottled Water...

    • Kevin
      Kevin 3 years ago

      I wonder whether or not there is more waste from the disposable disc or from the gas burned to return a re-usable one to the store...

  • Shannon Rice
    Shannon Rice Month ago +2

    I remember my dad talking about these. They were very popular with long-haul truck drivers. You could get these things at the major truck stops, watch the movie in the off time, then toss it. Most truckers had a portable TV/DVD, but not a ton of space to store movies. And since many places, especially in the Midwest, didnt have Redbox yet, it could be hard to return a rented disk on time.
    Another perk was a trucker could buy these disks on the company account while buying other work supplies at the truck stops or even pay with cash. If a driver wanted to use Redbox, they woud have to use their own personal credit card.
    So, I guess the Flexplay system did "work", but only for a relatively small market. Of course, when truckers started using Wi-Fi or smart phones, there was no need to use disks at all.

  • Cooper
    Cooper Year ago +3

    I’m actually really curious about how reliable these DVD’s were. Because first off 48 hours is a really convenient amount of time, wouldn’t it be hard to moderate the reaction to exactly hit a classic rental time of 48 hours. So was it really 53 hours and do the discs always expire at the same time or is there variation. But i think most importantly is there a decline in picture quality towards the end, if it goes from perfect to completely unplayable over like even an hour would be impressive.

  • Meritless Memes
    Meritless Memes Year ago +17

    11:26 "And now you've printed something out, to ship it back...to be destroyed" made me actually burst out laughing

  • MichaelK
    MichaelK Year ago +6

    I can only imagine what would have happened if this took off and became the defacto standard. What sorts of workarounds would people have figured out to bypass the degradation? Spraying the disk or immersing it in some transparent coating to somehow to block oxygen? Fun to think about.

    • LuigiFan45
      LuigiFan45 6 months ago +1

      It would have just encouraged bootlegging/piracy even harder if it caught on

  • chris kaprys
    chris kaprys 28 days ago +1

    It’s interesting what’s described as “disposable,” meaning single-use. I was just listening to someone talking about transitioning in their lifetime from traditional batteries to everyday rechargeable lithium batteries, and it occurred to me how retroactive the term “disposable” is, now that the idea of reusability is more popular in the public conscience. I wonder how these dvds were referred to / thought of at the time.

  • Goattacular
    Goattacular 2 years ago +3616

    I'm old enough to remember getting fined for bringing a VHS back to Block Buster without first rewinding it.

    • Fred
      Fred Month ago

      I still remember when "talkies" were introduced at theaters.

    • shrimpflea
      shrimpflea 7 months ago +1

      I once had a rental VHS tape get eaten by my VCR. They charged me $200 for it. I never paid. Had to find a new video rental place.

    • OrtadragoonX
      OrtadragoonX 7 months ago

      We had one of those when I was a kid. That thing was stupid fast. It rewound the tape at least three times as fast as the VCR could.

    • Jay Leng
      Jay Leng 7 months ago +1

      @JBKTPL 12 I'm sorry 😞could you rewind it b4 watching the movie for me thanks buddy your a good man

    • Jay Leng
      Jay Leng 7 months ago

      @Rusty Shackleford be kind and rewind my friend 😂

  • Gadget 19K
    Gadget 19K 2 months ago

    I remember encountering these while driving back and forth across the US while I was in the Army, I was tempted to try it out, but I usually had a few DVDs that I could play in a portable player and listen to the movie during the drive.

  • Wdd TheDraftsman
    Wdd TheDraftsman Year ago +5

    Great video, I really enjoyed it! Say what you want of the 2000's, those years were so wild because of their 'experiments' and trying out new things. Mostly crazy things. But that was the best part of it!

  • kentworch
    kentworch Year ago +18

    So idea. Is it possible to resurface the darkened disc? I've developed ways to refurbish even deeply scratched discs using multiple sanding and polishing techniques that can make a disc readable again even if it got gouged deep enough to feel with the shin on your fingers. These restoration techniques do ultimately make the disc thinner, but readable again as long as the data layer isn't damaged. If you hold the disc up to a light bulb and not spots of the reflective layer are missing, the disc can be saved. If you see spots where light shines through, it can't be saved. If it's only an oxidizing coating on the surface, I can make those self destructing discs readable again by removing the layer of oxidized material. That red color tells me that they likely used iron to react with the oxygen in the air so that it would reflect the red LASER.

  • FlameDarkfire
    FlameDarkfire Year ago +2

    A classic case of a solution looking for a problem. I'd assume if it had caught on with the traveling subset there'd be enough disposal bins scattered about at travel stops and the like that one could just discard the disk on their next stop, but everything you pointed out still applies.

  • Jax Dagger
    Jax Dagger 9 days ago +1

    it is funny you say that because a few small grocery stores here in the UK in the 90s actually did do video rentals, it was surprising to see but they seemed to do well as the prices where extremely competitive

  • Rowan McClantoc
    Rowan McClantoc 2 years ago +755

    It's probably a good thing the patent included so many different ideas for self-destructing discs. Imagine the waste if people kept trying to make the idea stick and one of them did.

    • Harrison Lane
      Harrison Lane 8 months ago +1

      @Cooper ewaste that can be easily avoided does not have a purpose beyond creating waste.

    • Superboologan1
      Superboologan1 11 months ago +1

      There is nothing wrong with the U.S. patent system :) /s

    • Cooper
      Cooper Year ago +8

      It’s really not the worst idea I’ve ever heard of, it just sounds dystopian but definitely has a purpose. Older people who only use physical or you know someone without cable or internet maybe taking a trip to a cabin etc. I’d wager it might even be less wasteful than some trips back to return a dvd in person. Pretty niche tho lol

    • PlaySauce
      PlaySauce Year ago +7

      Not how patents work.

    • jpdemer5
      jpdemer5 Year ago +24

      The patent only protects what's written in the patent's claims. Those are usually a lot less expansive than the written description, since you have to actually make it work before you can claim it.

  • Joseph P
    Joseph P Year ago +12

    I remember seeing these at my local Food Lion back around 2008 or 2009, and I read the front and was like “well that’s really stupid”.

  • InTheZone
    InTheZone Year ago +1

    I vaguely remember seeing those cheap looking cases in grocery stores or smaller retail stores, had no idea they were limited use. Just their appearance kept me from ever looking at them and potentially asking my parents to buy one lol

  • Aldog
    Aldog 7 months ago +1

    This was a really good idea to bleed consumers of their money. It seems obvious why the big movie companies of the time were onboard with the idea. They could leverage their title without filling giving up their license to you. Besides the obvious problem of digitalization (which was right around the corner), I think the biggest issue with flexplay is that the idea doesn’t really help the buyer much. Again, it’s a genius idea to fill the pockets of the big studios and the retailers. The problem wasn’t just natural waste, it was also a bigger waste of time for the end user to just be left with junk.

  • Collin Parsons
    Collin Parsons Year ago +2

    That's crazy to consider how many hundreds of millions of DVDs would've been sent to landfills each year if this caught on.

    • William Haynes
      William Haynes Year ago

      now you need to solve the problem of single use rubbers

  • Bill392
    Bill392 Month ago

    I was shocked by the statistic that 50% of all DVD rentals were from Red Box at one time. I never used one once despite seeing them all over the place. I never bought a hot dog from one of those rotating glass boxes either. Dunno if those are related or not.

  • びんびんごはんケーキー

    Man, companies always finding ways to make you not own anything.

    • Vidalion
      Vidalion 5 months ago

      Nah…companies are more than fine with people going to a store and buying their movie DVD or other product. They mainly just don’t want people who say they don’t want to buy it, just rent for less money and then try to own it through making copies, keeping it, etc.

    • IL45Y
      IL45Y 5 months ago +1

      @83 yeah word lmao

    • 83
      83 5 months ago +1

      @IL45Y that didn't age well

    • Tlaloc_Temporal
      Tlaloc_Temporal 5 months ago

      @Dyanosis -- You can't sell something you rent though. I can sell that T-shirt whenever I find a buyer if I want, or add patches or dye, or even cut it up for rags.
      Just because something is impermanent doesn't mean it can't be owned.

    • Tlaloc_Temporal
      Tlaloc_Temporal 5 months ago

      @Prateek Panwar -- That's not ture. There are numerous Steam services like online servers and workshop hosting, and games can be setup to require the Steam service, but Steam makes no special effort to restrict game data once downloaded.
      I can move the game folder and run it just fine, without Steam even being installed, unless the game explicitly checks for Steam.

  • Leonid
    Leonid Year ago +2

    the color of the disk isn't really a problem, it's something else. I had a black colored CD-R and it worked fine inside a computer DVD reader.

  • Sir Moony
    Sir Moony 8 months ago +3

    Don't worry! I'm old enough to grow up in the time where streaming services weren't a thing, so it's not an issue for me! I know exactly what you're talking about when it comes to physical media! :D

  • Caleb D
    Caleb D Year ago +70

    "Unfortunately it was something that nobody asked for." The #1 rule of business is providing value to the customer. Forget that rule and it doesn't matter how "cool" your item is.

    • Sierra
      Sierra 7 months ago +1

      The #1 rule of business is to provide the cheapest possible service for the highest possible price

    • Jim Crelm
      Jim Crelm Year ago +3

      The #1 rule of big business is rent-seeking. Providing value is for suckers.

  • glass horse
    glass horse 8 months ago +1

    honestly I like that they patented pretty much every way to make a self destructing disks
    so that no one, not even if they wanted to, could make something so useless as a self destructing disk

  • AlexanderRM1000
    AlexanderRM1000 9 months ago +2

    11:51 I was thinking when you mentioned allowing other stores to get into video rentals, "it'd be nice if they could have a video rental system where you could return to any rental location and not just the one you bought from, even business travellers going to a different city could just return it there", glad to hear somebody else had the same idea and made it work.

  • Fearghus Keitz
    Fearghus Keitz 3 years ago +1231

    “This message will self destruct in...”
    I want every mission impossible dvd rental to do this.

    • Victoria Regina
      Victoria Regina 9 months ago

      Any surviving dvds are already destructed.

    • モータルコンバット
      モータルコンバット 3 years ago +1


    • Jinger Partin
      Jinger Partin 3 years ago +2

      No no
      Make it explode in the middle of the movie

      NTTNT JNO 3 years ago +7

      "Should the packaging or disc be damaged before you play the Retailer will disavow any knowledge of your actions...Good luck, and enjoy the movie."

    • Frank Smith
      Frank Smith 3 years ago

      Inspector gadget did it better. (Not that shitty movie either)

  • C Rutherford
    C Rutherford 2 months ago

    Another reason no doubt movie rental stores in their heyday surely didn't want Flexplay, aside from making it so much easier for store outlets everywhere to compete with them.... is that it kept customers from coming back a 2nd time. And that second time often resulted in renting more movies, or at least seeing them.
    Anyway this guys videos are well researched and interesting! good work

  • Kandy Griffin
    Kandy Griffin 3 months ago +4

    Silly me! I just found a Christmas DVD called NOEL in a thrift shop. All I noticed was that it was still in its original packaging. After unwrapping and trying to play it, at first I thought my DVD player was broken. After all, it's about as old as this disc. The screen went blank and I removed the DVD when it started making an odd, scraping noise. OIly THEN did I notice that it was dated 2004. After watching this Clip-Share video, I now know that not only the 48-hour time limit specified on the cover applies to Flexplay DVD's. Even kept in their original packaging, they don't work 18 years after the sell date! Imagine that! I htink I'll search Clip-Share and see if I can find a way to watch this movie. It has a great cast: Penelope Cruz, Susan Sarandon, Paul walker and Alan Arkin. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

  • Mr. Nuke
    Mr. Nuke 8 months ago +7

    Imagine having a dvd that self destructs after you rent it

  • Isaac Banta
    Isaac Banta Year ago +4

    the "Disney+ (trying to futureproof this)" bit actually sabotages how seamless it would've sounded for you to include that in the list to a 2022 viewer, haha

  • jayarcamp
    jayarcamp 7 months ago +1

    Late to the party, recently found your channel and I'm really enjoying it. Had to click on this one, because I remember grabbing a self-destroying copy of Reign of Fire back in '03. Then I never saw these things again. Had no clue they were released again in '08, but by then they wouldn't have made much sense I guess. Thanks for the video

  • k_prominence
    k_prominence 3 years ago +6687

    If they made a VHS version, would it be called Flextape?

    • Dyanosis
      Dyanosis 7 months ago

      Nope, that'd be a copyright and trademark violation.

    • kentworch
      kentworch Year ago

      Love the Inuyasha profile pic.👍

    • Wadmodder Schalton
      Wadmodder Schalton Year ago +1

      It would be the equivalent of those VCR head cleaning tapes where you can't rewind the tape. (15:30)

    • Slimb
      Slimb 2 years ago

      @Alessandro Celoria sounds cool for on-the-fly (in two hours) renting of sold-out movies

    • Sjoerd
      Sjoerd 2 years ago

      A VHS version has been in stores for a (very) short time in the Netherlands. It was called "2ViewVideo". After playing it two times, a small magnet would delete te contents. Dutch-only wiki page: nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/2viewvideo

  • Jeremiah Gratza
    Jeremiah Gratza 6 months ago +1

    I worked at a market research firm in the 2000’s and ran market research for this product! Crazy!

  • BigBass
    BigBass Year ago +3

    The more companies fight against piracy, the more piracy there will be, Netflix almost achieved it with streaming but then the rest of the companies wanted a piece of the cake, And here I am, not being able to remember which was the last movie I paid for.

  • Martin Pedersen
    Martin Pedersen Month ago

    Blockbuster here in Denmark did have a self-destruct DVD, that contained a liquid over the data-layer. The laser from the DVD-player activated the liquid, so that the DVD would start self-destruct :D

  • Jesse: Stuck In Retro Mode

    A bit late to the party, but this was recommended to me and now you have a new sub because of it. Also, glad I never knew about this technology. This has to be one of the stupidest ideas for rental out there. And you're right. Returning the discs for recycling literally defeated the purpose of what they were going for. Glad it failed.

  • That WW2 Nerd
    That WW2 Nerd 9 months ago +2

    Man I remember renting Redbox every time I went to the store, I still have two Redbox movies in my movie library that I never returned. I wonder what the late fees on those are now...

  • ThatBritishSnep
    ThatBritishSnep 3 years ago +1937

    Imagine if the disc destroys itself whilst you're still watching it haha

    • William Haynes
      William Haynes Year ago +2

      @Justin L - porn industry should have used this format

    • Lynn Boose
      Lynn Boose 2 years ago +2

      Smithzy my DVD player would break!

    • cncthang
      cncthang 2 years ago


    • Donut Religion
      Donut Religion 2 years ago +6

      And right before the climax scene is about to start, "disc read error" appears on the screen.

    • Jacob
      Jacob 2 years ago +6

      MetalTrabant I did (almost) exactly that while renting a movie on Clip-Share. I watched it, then two days later I decided to watch it again before the rental expired. I was on the last scene when it started acting screwy because the rental expired

  • Chris Ellorris
    Chris Ellorris 4 months ago

    I remember seeing these at a truck stop once! We were on a road trip and I thought it was neat because we could get one to watch at the hotel that night and not have to worry about turning around to return it. Obviously Redbox does this much better but as a kid I felt like a spy with a secret self-destructing message.

  • Matthew005
    Matthew005 5 months ago

    I used to take badly scratched discs to a game store and they had a machine that would basically sand the surface smooth again and it would make the disc work so maybe it could remove the corruption on the disc.

  • marctronixx
    marctronixx 3 months ago +2

    everything from 2:40 on is hilarious! Your humor and sarcasm is top choice mate! the cuts used ( and then you cut and you're not sitting there) -- i just love it. ive literally watches that section up until you get up to see the tv 4 times.

  • Morris Dugan
    Morris Dugan 4 months ago

    This is my guess at the point of seeing the DVD package being opened and displayed to us - it will work partially, or it will fall apart in the player due to age, so you have to open it up and clean it out to be able to use it again.

  • Kelly Higgins
    Kelly Higgins Year ago +6

    You're great, dude. Too many times I find myself dragged away from my homework over a recommended Technology Connections video and smiling at my monitor like a goofball at your corny ass jokes lmao. Keep it up man you seriously are a gem of nerd youtube. never change!

  • Keith Thomas
    Keith Thomas 2 years ago +1818

    Truck Driver here: these were cool, but kinda on the expensive side if I recall. They were great for us, as getting back into a place to return a DVD could never be guaranteed. Hence, the truck stops you mentioned them being in: captive audience. Except that audiobooks were cheaper, and in only a year or two, smart phones were available so these were much less useful.

    • Tesla Falcon
      Tesla Falcon 5 months ago

      1) That patent would be denied. You have to show that your method of X is new, unique, different, & better in some way. If you devised a beverage topper that could be easily drunk from, was "unspillable", & easier to clean than your competitors, then you could patent it.
      2) The purpose of a patent is to give you a headstart on the competition. Lots of BIG fish look for new ideas to make money from. If you were to start a manufacturing company to make your patented beverage topper, others might want to copy your design & be better able to mass produce it bigger before you can & even get it to market before you. It's called "1st Mover Advantage".
      Ever heard of Elisha Grey?
      He invented the telephone.
      You only remember Alexander Graham Bell?
      That's because Bell filed his patent HOURS before Grey did. Bell founded AT&T. Grey founded MCI. For decades, MCI was a floundering long-distance company. After AT&T was broken up into the "Baby Bells", MCI eventually merged w Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. Cell phones changed EVERYTHING!

    • eriktorres
      eriktorres 5 months ago

      I'm thinking on patenting a method for drinking any liquid from a container. I'd be billionaire suing everyone haha.
      Patents are really stupid, imo.

    • Tesla Falcon
      Tesla Falcon 5 months ago

      $5 to rent vs $20 to buy.
      Why do people rent movies on Amazon vs buying it? It's cheaper. If the movie is bad, you can cut the wasted time by not finishing it. If you wasted money by buying that drivel, that's even worse.

    • GrayFox3D
      GrayFox3D 5 months ago

      Why not buy a dvd

    • Tesla Falcon
      Tesla Falcon 7 months ago +1

      I was OTR for ~3 years. I bought an audiobook on CD every other week. I have quite the collection now. Yes, I had a smartphone, but the CD was an "instant download" vs my limited data plan which I burned through on Clip-Share.

  • Dorje Driftwood
    Dorje Driftwood 3 months ago

    Yup I absolutely remember these it sounded crazy and stupid at the time and they weren’t very cheap, also I remember that you could just copy the disc.

  • kleerude
    kleerude 7 months ago +1

    I remember walking through an airport terminal and seeing a kiosk that was renting DVDs along with portable players. I don’t know if the DVDs were destructible, but the DVD players certainly weren’t, so you’d have to return something (again, negating the self-destruct feature).

    • psirvent8
      psirvent8 7 months ago

      Weren't users supposed to return the players and discs before boarding their flights by any chance ?
      (Therefore renting and returning the stuff at the same airport)

  • Isaac Hipkiss
    Isaac Hipkiss Year ago +1

    Even kids like us knew about blockbuster, my little sisters are familiar too, you Clip-Sharers really give us a tough break.

  • rifter
    rifter 6 months ago +1

    Actually during the heyday of video rentals many if not most grocery stores ended up having a video rental section. The vestige of this is the fact they continue to sell some movies.

  • What do we do meow?
    What do we do meow? 5 months ago

    Imagine a world before streaming services? Sounds wonderful!

  • Michael O
    Michael O 3 years ago +4186

    The jokes on them. I store my DVD player in an airtight box filled with nitrogen.

    • Dyanosis
      Dyanosis 7 months ago

      Then how do you access it?

    • near??
      near?? Year ago

      Rip dvd

    • Dane M
      Dane M 2 years ago +1

      You meant oxidize. Cauterizing is burning flesh to seal wounds

    • Uxleumas
      Uxleumas 2 years ago

      @Mister Kaos don't use the ones in balloon tanks tho, those have 20%air

    • alitlweird
      alitlweird 2 years ago +1

      overkill. all you need is one of those little silica packets that are inside bags of beef jerky.

  • REDACTEDRedwood
    REDACTEDRedwood 6 months ago +1

    i remember back when netflix dvds were mailed! I actually almost ruined our brand-new playstation because i saw disc go in = movie, and since i was a toddler at best, i decided to shove dvds in until they worked... 5 dvds later my parents wondered where all the dvds were, gave me another disc and watched in horror as i shoved it in the disc slot. Luckily the dvds and playstation were all fine after!

  • Peter Scott
    Peter Scott Year ago +1

    I remember both this and DIVX. These were pretty much universally panned. I really wonder how either of these were assumed winning ideas.

  • 愛 LOVE アイドル

    There was one of those red boxes in front of a local grocery store but they NEVER had movies that I was wanting to rent.

  • Crimson Hat
    Crimson Hat 5 months ago +1

    Ahh man I miss Blockbuster. I loved going there and grabbing a new movie and seeing how good or not it would be. Even older then that I remember Hollywood Video store.

  • Damien M
    Damien M 8 months ago

    I do miss DVDs, they were great collectors pieces for fans of that specific movie

  • Coltyn
    Coltyn 2 years ago +5304

    Me: "Mom, can we watch Charlotte's Web?"
    Mom: "Sorry honey, it expired last week."

    • Wadmodder Schalton
      Wadmodder Schalton Year ago

      There was a concept similar to FlexPlay called DVD-D which was the same thing but with a different chemical process.

    • timothylegg
      timothylegg Year ago +1

      @ash spades I have the copy of a copy of Charlotte's Web at home

    • strangejune
      strangejune Year ago

      @勇気 Yuuki Imagine if the label of the disc was holographic and it said "Charlotte's Dead" from an angle.

      BEPEPLIA Year ago

      The greatest sadness

    • Samuel Woolwine IV
      Samuel Woolwine IV Year ago

      Don’t worry, you can still watch its ripoff: Spider’s Web a Pig’s Tale

  • Cecelia Taylor-Hunt
    Cecelia Taylor-Hunt 5 months ago

    Wow! I'm familiar with DivX and the Redbox very well but I've never heard of a self destructing DVD by Flexplay. Thank goodness I was able to buy regular DVD's in high school and college bypassing Flexplay. Could you imagine watching a film at least once on the day of the purchase and then it no longer works after 24 to 48 hours? All hell would break loose in the living room. Lolz!

  • Jonathan Weinraub
    Jonathan Weinraub 9 months ago

    It’s interesting they thought of the laser itself as if someone were to store the disc itself in an Ar atmosphere for storage, if that were to be a practical thing to circumvent the protection mechanism. I am curious as to once the reaction starts, can it be arrested by some chemical methodology?