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New life for content originally produced for DVDs?

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Ron Hershey
New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:51:51 pm

I wanted to get some feedback from the COW Community about a service our company could provide. As we all know, at one time there was a great deal of content produced and distributed on DVDs. Much of that content is still useful, but DVD as a distribution medium has declined, mostly because of fewer DVD players in use and streaming media options. However, streaming media can’t offer some of the advantages of content on DVDs, such as menu options, chapters, optional subtitling, alternate languages, bonus material, etc. The question is whether or not there is a market for putting these DVDs on USB Flash drives?

We can put multiple DVDs on a Flash drive, retain the menus, chapters, optional subtitles, etc. In short, it is a complete DVD, or series of DVDs, with all of the original DVD’s capabilities, that plays from a Flash drive. It is particularly well suited for content with value, for example, training videos, seminars, theatrical-type movies, or other types of content that users would pay for because of the inherent value. We currently have two customers using this solution, both related to training material (i.e., training for physical therapists in one case, training for electricians in the other), but the needs of these customers are minimal. We’d like to determine if there is greater potential for a solution like this before investing in optimizing it for general use. The COW Community seemed like the ideal place to seek feedback!

Some advantages of the DVD to USB option are:

1. Retains all original structure of the DVD including menus, chapters, bonus content, subtitles, alternate languages, etc.
2. Compresses the DVDs so typically 2-5 DVDs (depending on size and resolution) can fit on 4 GB of Flash drive space, but larger capacity Flash drives will support more DVDs. It may be possible to use 128 GB Flash drives and support as many as 60-130 DVDs on one Flash drive.
3. Each Flash drive and converted DVD is fully copy protected.
4. Plays on PCs, Macs, most Android devices that have a USB port and newer OS, and Google Chromebooks.
5. Provides new life for content originally produced on legacy media.
6. Users often perceive greater value when physical media is included with their purchase.
7. After converting content to work on the Flash drive, duplication costs are minimal.

Finally, after the DVD is converted for use on a Flash drive, it would also be possible to deliver the content via download. Content on CD or other legacy media can also be converted and distributed similarly, either on a Flash drive or by download.

So I put it to the COW Community, is this a solution with any life or not? Your thoughts and questions are welcomed!

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Alexander Kallas
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 7, 2020 at 9:52:42 pm

Interesting idea. Which platform/s do you produce on, and on which will playback correctly and completely. Also what OS will allow this?

Cheers
Alexander


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Ron Hershey
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:05:26 pm

We process the DVD conversions and produce the Flash drives on Windows systems, but the playback is perfect on any system that can access the content. It works great on Windows and Mac OS systems. It works well on Android tablets, provided the tablets have a standard USB port and a newer version of the Android OS. It also plays well on Chromebook, but it is necessary to download a viewer from the Google Play Store to view the content using Chromebook.

On the other hand, if you make the content available for download, it can be played on Windows, Mac OS, Android tablets and smartphones, Apple iOS devices (iPad/iPhone/iPodTouch), Kindle Fire, and Chromebook. It's still protected and plays like the original DVDs on any of these platforms.

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Alexander Kallas
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:11:59 pm

Can anyone make a playable DVD from this, on which app/s ?

Cheers
Alexander


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Ron Hershey
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 8, 2020 at 3:48:40 am

They cannot make a playable DVD from the Flash drive. However, you can enable them to make a copy-protected DVD from the download version, or you can prevent any burning of DVDs. Also, depending on the download service level you select, you can specify the number of times they are allowed to burn a DVD (default base level is only one time). Burning their own DVD can only be done on a Windows PC.

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Alexander Kallas
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 8, 2020 at 10:13:28 pm

So this really does not make a "Master" of the DVD like the old DLT drives did.

Cheers
Alexander


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Ron Hershey
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 10, 2020 at 2:27:27 am

What it does is makes the DVD into a single file that requires the viewer installed on the Flash drive to play it. It is a proprietary format that contains all the properties of the DVD and it retains the ability to re-create the original DVD. However, the ability to re-create the DVD is only available with the download version because the "burning" engine that is not a part of the Flash drive player. One reason it is not included with the Flash drive player is because of the inability to control the number of copies produced if they being burned from the Flash drive.

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Alexander Kallas
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 10, 2020 at 6:30:25 am

How about with 3rd party burning software?

Cheers
Alexander


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Robert Withers
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 10, 2020 at 4:45:27 pm

Thanks so much, Ron.
Are you distributing this software or could you provide a name or a link?
All best,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Ron Hershey
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 11, 2020 at 4:09:06 am

We provide the service for people who don't want to do it themselves, or I can register you for the software to do it yourself. If you want to do it yourself, I'll need to get some information from you to get you started. Let's discuss by phone, perhaps on Monday?

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Ron Hershey
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 11, 2020 at 4:05:03 am

No, there's no way to use a third party burning software to make a usable DVD.

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Robert Withers
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 8, 2020 at 6:41:07 pm

Hi Ron,
That's a fascinating idea. Can you make original DVD-format shows for USB? What file format do the USB/DVD formats use?
I've been gearing up for single film/per USB distribution on USBs with an external logo.
Thanks,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Ron Hershey
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 10, 2020 at 2:38:29 am

Robert, I'm not entirely sure if I understand the "make original DVD-format shows for USB" part of your question. We take a physical DVD (or DVD image, i.e. a DDP or ISO image) and convert it to a proprietary format that enables the full capabilities of the DVD on the Flash drive when played from the Flash drive with the viewer. After that, copy protection is applied during the duplication of the Flash drives. Of course, there are a variety of Flash drive styles, most of which can have a logo or some graphic printed on them. Does that answer your question?

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Robert Withers
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 10, 2020 at 3:29:15 am

Ah, I see, Ron, a propriety format. Do you plan to share/distribute the formatting software? When you say flash drive are you referring to a standard USB drive or a USB running Flash software to play?
Thanks,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Ron Hershey
Re: New life for content originally produced for DVDs?
on Jan 10, 2020 at 3:58:50 am

The USB is standard, only the file format is proprietary. Yes, the software to put one DVD on a Flash drive is available. Putting multiple DVDs on a Flash drive works well, but is not currently an integrated function.

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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