Sonic Launches Technology and IP Licensing Program for Secure DVD-on-Demand
Major Firms Participate in Qflix™ Program to Enable CSS-Protected DVD Burning of Digitally Distributed Premium Entertainment
Novato, California (January 4, 2007) — Sonic Solutions® (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in digital media software, today launched Qflix, a licensing and certification program to enable the legal, secure, and reliable burning of video content to DVDs playable on standard and high-definition players. The Qflix technology and intellectual property program empowers for the first time factory, in-store, and in-home systems for on-demand, electronic sell-through of movies and video programs that can be recorded to DVD with Content Scramble System (CSS) encryption. As the industry-approved content protection mechanism used on mass-produced discs and incorporated into all DVD players, CSS has been deemed essential by major content providers for the on-demand digital distribution of premium entertainment. The Qflix brand will appear on compatible drives, media, and video download services as a symbol for consumers looking for legitimate and reliable “purchase, download, and burn” home solutions. Sonic will be demonstrating Qflix solutions by appointment in its private meeting room at the Renaissance Hotel (Copa Conference Suite A and B) during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), January 8th to the 12th, Las Vegas, NV.
The Qflix licensing and certification program enables content owners, service providers, and manufacturers of media, PC DVD writers, network-connected DVD recorders, set-top boxes, and software to create reliable, compatible, and interoperable DVD-on-Demand solutions. The program involves a broad set of services that includes detailed technical information, certification testing, and an intellectual property license pool formed by Sonic and its technology partners to enable media and drive manufacturers to create optical discs and drives for recording CSS-encrypted video.
“Warner Bros. is committed to giving consumers the widest range of choices to access our content in ways that recognize and protect its value,” said Chris Cookson, president, Warner Bros. Technical Operations and Chief Technology Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “We are pleased and encouraged to see efforts like Sonic’s creation of Qflix that address the need for industry-standard protection.”
Two different programs are being put into place: Qflix, for direct consumer use, and Qflix Pro, for enterprise use. Rolling out in early 2007, Qflix Pro will enable replication facilities to manufacture DVDs at the time of online order; reducing the cost of carrying physical inventory while simultaneously opening extensive catalogs of content. Qflix Pro will also enable new, self-service and retailer-managed movie kiosks that will be placed in stores to broaden the selection of available movies by augmenting physical product with a virtual inventory.
“With placements in independent retail centers around the globe, Lucidiom's innovative kiosk solutions have revolutionized photo finishing and creativity for millions of consumers and helped increase revenues for our partners,” said Stephen Giordano Jr., president, Lucidiom. “Through Qflix, Lucidiom will take a lead in redefining entertainment with customizable self-service movie kiosks that help reinforce our client’s brand and drive profitability.”
“We are very excited to contribute to the creation of a new entertainment distribution method that will provide consumers a dynamic retail shopping experience,” said Todd Rosenbaum, CEO, Polar Frog Digital. “Through the Qflix Pro program, our self-service Media Igloo kiosks will be able to offer a vast assortment of titles, which will help further our mission to enable retailers to expand core inventories of high-volume items while keeping costs at a minimum and increasing profitability.”
The consumer Qflix program will follow Qflix Pro and will support, promote, and extend the DVD Forum’s new disc format, which is mandated to be completed in January 2007. The consumer-branded Qflix program will empower manufacturers of DVD recorders and media, in addition to online movie delivery services, to establish secure, reliable, and compatible in-home solutions for recording downloaded entertainment on computers and consumer electronic devices such as set-top boxes, networked DVD recorders, and DVRs.
“We are extremely pleased to participate in the Qflix program, which will provide our loyal customers a more flexible service, while ensuring copyright holders are adequately protected,” said Jim Ramo, CEO, Movielink. “Qflix provides another way for Movielink to enhance and differentiate our product offering and provide consumers an efficient means for legally accessing high-quality entertainment.”
“The floodgates of digital distribution are about to burst, so now is the perfect time to provide an innovative technical solution that combines the advantages of electronic delivery with the simplicity and universal playback capabilities of CSS-protected DVDs,” said Jim Taylor, general manager of Sonic’s Advanced Technology Group. “Downloading to computers, portable devices, and internet-connected TV set-top boxes are all emerging pieces of the digital media ecosystem, but the entertainment value chain is incomplete without a cost-effective way to digitally deliver content that can be owned and viewed in the consumer’s entertainment venues of choice, including the living room. Qflix delivers this and opens many new channels for vast amounts of video programming such as TV shows, back-catalog movies, special interest programs, independent films, educational titles, and much, much more.”
Initial Qflix program participants include drive manufacturer Plextor; media manufacturer Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM)/Verbatim; kiosk manufacturers Lucidiom and Polar Frog Digital; in-store digital media solutions provider MOD Systems; digital content fulfillment provider TitleMatch Entertainment Group; end-to-end retail solutions provider YesVideo; retail on-demand disc publishing solution provider Rimage; duplication and printing system technology developers Primera Technology, Inc., Allied Vaughn and Microtech Systems; entertainment distributors Movielink and Akimbo; and the nation’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreens.
Qflix implementation is made possible through Sonic’s comprehensive DVD On Demand™ technology platform. Sonic DVD On Demand provides an end-to-end solution for digital distribution, including a DRM gateway for secure export of content from approved download systems, precision video codecs that simultaneously convert Internet-delivered video into MPEG-2 video for DVD during the download process, automated DVD formatting tools for converting video into interactive DVDs, and an Extensible Media Protection Architecture (XMPA) that allows a wide variety of studio-approved copy protection mechanisms to be applied to DVDs as they are being burned. In addition to supporting CSS encryption through Qflix, Sonic DVD On Demand also integrates Macrovision’s RipGuard and ACP technologies, which provide a proven and comprehensive content protection solution that prevents the digital ripping and analog copying of DVDs. Sonic and Macrovision announced the integrated, “triple protection” solution in October of 2006.
For technology and licensing information, please contact the Qflix Licensing (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or visit www.qflix.com