DVD Download Spec Gets Approval

Media reports are circulating that the DVD Forum—currently celebrating its 10th anniversary—has approved the CSS Managed Recording specification, potentially opening the door to professional services like in-store kiosks which can burn one-off DVD-Rs which use CSS copy protection and work in most consumer DVD players.

The CSS Managed Recording spec was developed by the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), which is responsible for licensing the Content Scramble System (CSS) used to prevent casual copying of DVD media. CSS Managed Recording would require blank media slightly different from the standard blank DVD-R media currently on the market, and it most likely to turn up first in professionally-managed services like in-store kiosks at which consumers can select content from an extensive video library; the content would then be downloaded and burned to a custom DVD-R, which the consumer would then purchase.

The idea behind these systems is to potentially make a wider range of video material—like old TV shows, specials, and speciality items—available on DVD when the amount of market interest in the content doesn’t justify a full manufactured release duplicated, boxed, wrapped, and trucked out to retailers. Sonic’s QFlix DVD-on-Demand system, announced at CES in January, would be an example.

Over time, CSS Managed Recording technology might make its way to consumer electronics, potentially enabling users to select, download, and burn conventional DVDs or rare and hard-to-find content using their home broadband connections.