Posted by Charbax on 31st July 2007
Archos is developing a special player to support some kind of on-location movie rentals solution that the leading french movie rental company is implementing. The solution will let users load one or several movies instantly from the actual movie rental stores, and to then watch them on their TV. There is not many official details about the form, shape or price of the Moovyplay service and hardware yet, but here are my speculations:
I guess that this could be an ultra cheap sub-100€ player with hard drive or flash memory but without the battery, that only works in a dock to be connected to the TV and through a charger to the electricity. And it would also work when physically connecting it to a usb plug on one of the video rental machines at CPFK, which is Vidéo Futur, Cinebank and Vidéo Pilote. Now I also guess that the complete 5th generation will also perfectly be compatible with this service. So one could have a choice to either get a ultra cheap little storage and playback product that is only useful for physically actually going to the video rental vending machine on location at a video renting store or possibly it could be installed at any store and public place.
Does this service sound strange? Well it is simply Archos partnering also with the established video rental market, which is currently the second largest income for the film industry after the Cinema market and infront of TV broadcasts. This video rental market knows that with the video-on-demand technologies being invented by companies like Archos, that their old business model is threatened, so to stay competitive that video rental industry needs to follow with the latest digital video trends. And what other better way is there for the video rental industry to guarantee their long term survival, then to parner up with Archos which is one of the technology leaders with the 5G in terms of hardware and software for digital video distribution solutions.
Since not everyone in the mass market might have fast broadband yet at home, might not yet know how to setup or connect to a WiFi network, and might not be totally confident giving their credit card details online in the Archos Content Portal to rent, buy or subscribe tp video content, then this partnership probably is to be combined with a digital video renting vending machine technology. You could simply put in a few coins in that video vending machine and connect your Archos or specially designed and super cheap Moovyplay to that vending machine, and I guess not instantly but over a few seconds per movie, you could do your selection of films on the touch-screen and then immediately go back home with a few rented videos ready to play on your TV at home as soon as you connect the Moovyplay to the dock for it.
My guess is the Moovyplay might be available for less than 100 euros, thus maybe even distributed for free by CPFK to customers who sign a contract that they are not owning the Moovyplay but only renting it which could be for free as long as they rent a movie for example at least once a month. And if the user doesn’t rent any movie during the month, that user might have to pay some kind of 5€ fee or something.
The Moovyplay might look a bit like an over-sized usb thumbdrive, thus maybe a bit like the 104 but without an LCD screen, and I guess that it could replace the need to authenticate with a video rental membership card. There could be this offer: for 100€ the customer gets the Moovyplay with 100€ worth of video rentals. Thus it would be as easy as just renting a bunch of videos drawing from that membership credit. The whole thing hopefully also will perfectly work with the whole 5G series.
This Moovyplay solution will effectively replace the need to handle DVD discs, which cost money to manage, exhibit and which get scratched, and it also effectively replaces the DVD and VHS player. I really expect the Moovyplay package to include a cheaply made dock with only the tv-outputs and the power connector. I guess that the complete video collection can also be accessed online from the video rental’s homepage video-on-demand system connecting the Moovyplay to a computer, but it’s thus mostly for customers who don’t mind going to the physical store and connect their Moovyplay to the vending machine to get their dose of video content. I also guess the vending machine will broadcast a WiFi signal giving access to the whole video contents on the 605 WiFi and 705 WiFi with the fastest possible WiFi local network download speeds.
You can read the press release here in french: lerevenu.com
You can discuss this product in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewforum.php?f=30