New Trekkie Techie offer may not be such a good deal

Hard Drives now loaded with flicks?

Need a new hard drive? Been looking to expand your movie collection? Want to kill two birds with one stone? Paramount is teaming up with Seagate Technology with a new offer in the hopes that you answered yes to all of the above questions.

The two companies will be offering a one month special where 500 GB hard drives will be offered with copies of the latest Star Trek offering as well as 20 other films from Paramount’s recent release list. And they’re offering the drive for $100.

Considering Seagate’s 500GB drives typically sell for $140 or higher (I personally have two in the BG Reckon Rig, they’re great drives), this may seem like a deal when taking the movies into consideration. Hell, without the movies, it’s a deal. But, there’s a slight “gotcha” in regards to the movies.

All of the movies that are loaded on the hard drive will require a digital “key” that can be purchased and downloaded to unlock them. Each movie will cost between $10 to $15 to unlock and the drive is preloaded with Digital Rights Management software in order to prevent file sharing. No word yet on whether the DRM software would prevent copying the movies to a DVD on a one time basis in order to be able to watch them on your home theatre system.

This is obviously an attempt by Hollywood to overcome failing DVD sales, the most recent attempt being deals made with companies like Netflix and Redbox that, while increasing their catalogues from each production company, prevents the companies from renting newly released titles for 28 days after their launch.

My problem with deals like the Paramount/Seagate team up is this: Why would I pay $10-$15 per movie when I’m not getting a DVD? I understand pricing on movies sold on DVD. There’s the box art, the DVDs themselves to be emblazoned with the title of the movie, and the price of producing the DVDs for each region. However, if I am to be presented with a digital copy, preloaded on a hard drive, why would I pay nearly the same price as I would for a copy I could hold in my hands.

While I appreciate the attempt on Paramount’s part, it is my belief that the studios need to take a long hard look at the current pricing structure in place for newly released movies. Release several movies on flash drives or even set up in house websites allowing consumers to download movies to their hard drives. Place the DVD production costs in the hands of the consumers in order to lower overhead.

I’m not nay-saying the offering. It’s an exceptional price for a 500GB hard drive. But if I were to purchase one, I may just end up wiping the movies off of it in order to have a cheap new drive.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

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