Video Streaming vs Video Renting

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Video Renting Versus Video Streaming

CARLOS ENRIQUE PEDINI
Information Technology and Organisation, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton,
SO17 1BJ, Southampton (UK)
cep302@ecs.soton.ac.uk

Abstract
MOVIE AND VIDEO RENTAL COMPANIES ARE THREATENED BY THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW SERVICES AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES. THE INTRODUCTION OF SOFTWARE TO DOWNLOAD MOVIES FROM AUTHORISED WEBSITES COULD BECOME A STRONG COMPETITION TO VIDEO RENTAL STORES, AND COULD PROBABLY STOP THE PRODUCTION OF DVDS. WHAT IS THE ACTUAL SITUATION NOWADAYS BETWEEN MOVIE STUDIOS, VIDEO RENTALS AND ONLINE SERVICES? WHAT SHOULD MOVIE STUDIOS AND VIDEO RENTAL STORE DO IN ORDER TO PREVENT THIS THREAT?

Keywords
Video rental, DVD, new mediums, video streaming, online video services, Peer to peer, video commerce.

Introduction

In the last ten years the quality of reproduction of movies in a domestic environment has substantially increased. The development of new mediums to store data and also of new software, has given the customer the possibility to build entertainment centres at home of a wide range of prices, The entry levels have become more affordable and this has contributed to popularize these technologies. . Nowadays I.T. and consumer electronics companies are spending large amounts of money on the development of new and better entertainment systems. The videocassette market so popular twenty years ago has progressively been replaced by the DVD as new format for the distribution of films to consumers. CRT television sets, although still the most popular format, are starting to suffer from the competition of plasma and LCD screens and LCD and DLP projectors. With the new DVD format allowing multi-channel audio the development of home theatre systems has become the last hit of the consumer electronics markets, providing and audio reproduction at home of a quality similar if not better in cases to that found in cinemas (figure 1).

[pic]
Figure 1: A nowadays Home Theatre set.

This has led to a boom in the video rental market. On the video-streaming side other software companies have managed to introduce software that could compress video data to approach the quality of images and sound of a DVD, and other IT companies are actually utilizing such software in their new products. Thanks to the internet recent developments to increase the speed of transmission of data through broadband techniques and with the use of optical fibre to transmit data, it is now possible to download and store movies in reasonable amounts of time. This has, increased the opportunities of developing new services for movie studios and new companies, for the benefit of the consumer, but at the same time it threats the future of traditional video rental stores. A quick and well studied strategy has to be put in practice for video stores to survive this new threat, or the actual implementation of the internet in their services could be a way out to this menace, but how much could this strategy last? What if thanks to this new software and the improvement in the capacity of servers to store large amounts of data and to retrieve data quickly, the DVD as the actual physical medium to reproduce movies at home would cease to exist? Would video rental store survive this upcoming future? What transformations can be expected in this business? This paper will give an overview of the current state of the art of reproducing movie entertainment domestically along with the vision of the future of how online movie studios and video rental store are going to compete for the same market and what technologies they will employ to do this.

Background

During the last 10 years, thanks to the introduction of new special effects and new technological features in cinemas, the demand for more movies rich in special effects, both video and audio, has increased. The success of such movies has increased the desire of customer to reproduce such special effects...
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