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Codename Keychest: Disney’s New Film View Technology

Watch a film on any device imaginable

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Disney has been diligently working on a new technology, code-named Keychest, that would give users the ability to watch a movie from any device imaginable.

Does Disney’s Keychest sound interesting to you? Tell us.

Disney's KeychestA studio insider gave this scenario on how Keychest could possibly work…

"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 … We intend to blend those worlds."

It’s being rumored that Disney could begin testing the new technology in as little as two months, and it may be consumer ready by next year. Supposedly, Keychest will use cloud-computing coupled with a physical product (e.g. a DVD), that will only require the person to pay for the rights so that it could be watched on any device.

It’s no secret that companies have been looking for a distribution model, as some feel consumers are slowly buying less DVD’s. This is where the Keychest technology would step in.

Would you use Disney’s Keychest technology?
Let us know.

Codename Keychest: Disney’s New Film View Technology
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  • Doron Miller

    I’m interested to see if they can actually make this happen.

  • David DeMar

    They got the digital download version of Wall-E right, and this could really open up the market. I hope they release their whole collection.

    My iPhone is filled with educational tools, games and video (tivo & itunes rock!) for my 2 and 4 year old children. Spanish, Mandarin, even Engrish!

    This will definitely keep the screaming down in the back seat!

  • Clive Robinson

    The advantage of a DVD is that you have a copy of the file and you can with little difficulty transcode it to other formats yourself.

    Locked formats which is what keychest would be is not owning something tangable but a vague unsuported and unenforcable promise that you can have access (maybe).

    If people are daft enough to follow down this route in five or ten years when there is no alternative, I can see some studio exec saying “we can make them pay for additional device usage” then “we can make them pay for new format trascoding” then “we can make them pay an anual up keep subscription” then “we can make them pay a data access fee” then “we can make them pay a premium view time rate”, then “we can make them pay an out of region premium when they go on holiday” (all of these have been tried in one form or another for media and mobile phones and Internet connectivity).

    That aside if it has to be “cloud connected” and not stored on the local device how are you going to view the content when on holiday, in an aircraft, on a train, in a coach or in the back of a seat on a car trip.

    We are rapidly moving away from a “tethered data port” world to “mobile data conectivity”, which would apear to make this possible. However the radio spectrum in any given transmission area is finite (think about current WiFi problems in high density usage areas).

    This means shared bandwidth irrespective of how you do it. _ltra Wide Band (UWB) is only good for “ultra short distances” as like Spred Spectrum (CDMA etc) systems it lifts the noise floor for all other transmission modes, thus limiting dynamic range at the receiver and thus coverage area.

    The infrestructure is not going to be able to support the data rate for everybody to be watching a DVD let alone an HD movie, unless we have a viable “femto-cell” (even less coverage than pico-cell) technology and the supporting infrastructure.

    Non of which is likley to be available in the foreseable future (or even 50% of the populations life expectancy).

    Oh and the flip side of this is the simple fact it is not environmentaly sound, and will add a massive carbon footprint.

    The energy required at the users “client equipment” to access local stored media ia a couple of orders of magnitude less than energy required for broadband wireless access at even modest data rates.

    Some people are already aware of this from using mobile broadband dongles on netbooks where battery life is halved or worse.

    then there is probably ten times that energy used to get it from “the cloud” to your “client equipment”.
    Then there is the cost of data transfer and cloud server support as infrestructure.

    Basicaly it is just not practical to do now or for some considerable period of time.

    Therefor from the technical view point I think Disney are living in “cloud cookoo land” if they thing this sort of system can be supported on a non local storage basis.

    Which is the whole point of “keychest” non local storage…

    You then need to ask “whats in it for them”, that is what’s the advantage to Disney and other Media Companies?

    How about “traceability” and possibly “targeted marketing”.

    If you make the not unreasonable assumption of “no cash” payment for the service. Then the majority of purchasors will be traceable through credit card DBs etc. But…

    Not just for the original purchase every subsiquent play and which bits if you fast forward etc, and where you are when you view.

    This has implications for amongst other things you and your families personal security.

    Then of course each download can have a serial number hidden in it in a way which will get through all current duplication transcoding etc, even optical copying.
    Thus piracy does become traceable back to the original purchasor, who would then have to prove they where not legaly responsable for the piracy. Which are you going to chose a $1000 fine or a hundred times that going to court to clear your name?

    We would have to start treating our media players more securely than credit cards to avoid the liability.

    I can think of many many more potential downsides to this but you get the general idea the number of hidden pitfalls is potentialy unlimited, and you can make an easy guess as to who is going to carry all the risks and it’s not the media companies who have taken your money up front, and are scheaming on how to get more of it by fair means or foul…