Digiboo Launches, Taking on Redbox with Flash Drives

Mar 20 2012

Digiboo

Redbox knocks out one kiosk rental competitor and another one springs up in it's place. The Morgan Freeman-backed Digiboo movie rental service has launched with kiosks in a handful of airports. Digiboo plans to expand to 7000 kiosks over the next three years, though presumably not just at airports. The basic concept may be similar to Redbox, but there are some fundamental differences. The most obvious difference is the decision to go with digital files that you download to a flash drive rather than discs. The standard definition movie files weigh in at about 900 MB per hour and at this point can only be played back on a Windows PC with Windows Media Player that has been authorized over the Internet with Digiboo's servers. Mac and Android support is in the pipeline, however. The second difference is the $3.99 rental fee, though to be fair, it is a 48 hour rental and you have 30 days to start watching the movie and trigger the rental period. Obviously a big part of the goal is to provide a better selection of movies without the attendant inventory management of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, but it should be interesting to see if Digiboo can convince users that they offer a solution as convenient as Redbox's. Anyone interested in taking their USB drive down to the Circle K to rent a movie?

Judging by its quirky name, you'd think Digiboo is anything but an à la carte video service hoping to fight it out with the famed Redbox, or even Qwikster Netflix. The outfit's kiosks allow you to grab a two-day rental from a 700-plus film menu for $3.99, while $14.99 makes any title yours to own. 

Engadget

Comments

$3.99 for an SD movie might work in an airport, but that won't fly on the street.  Redbox FTW!

 

The location makes sense.  Appealing to a person in a low bandwidth area like an airport and offering them some entertainment while waiting for a flight or to take on a flight.  It's not a bad market and I could see them making decent money off travelers.  I don't see it expanding into other areas where people have fast internet connections or want discs because computers confuse them.

 

I never buy anything in an airport terminal unless I absolutely have to.  Everything is grossly overpriced because they literally have a captive audience.  However, if someone is willing to pony up the cash for a private viewing of a movie inflight then I can see the attraction. 

Inflight movies are a complete joke, IMHO.  I've never been on a flight where every LCD display was even remotely calibrated for consistency.  I'd rather watch a movie on my laptop than whatever garbage the're displaying on those horrid little screens.

I like the idea of being able to download movies onto a flash drive from a kiosk, but only if the price is competitive with Redbox or NetFlix and the original quality has not been compromised.  No way in heck am I going to pay $3.99 for a standard def movie that's been compressed.  Problem is, aren't all flash drives formatted for FAT32?  If so then it would be impossible to download most Blu-Ray movies without compressing them or else they wouldn't fit on the drive.  I forget what the maximum file size is for FAT32, but isn't it somewhere around 2GB?

captain_video wrote:

I like the idea of being able to download movies onto a flash drive from a kiosk, but only if the price is competitive with Redbox or NetFlix and the original quality has not been compromised.  No way in heck am I going to pay $3.99 for a standard def movie that's been compressed.  Problem is, aren't all flash drives formatted for FAT32?  If so then it would be impossible to download most Blu-Ray movies without compressing them or else they wouldn't fit on the drive.  I forget what the maximum file size is for FAT32, but isn't it somewhere around 2GB?

 

FAT32 only can handle 256GB. FAT16B and FAT32 is limited to 4GB.

I haven't had trouble with large files on flash drives. I've put ISOs on them that were much larger than 2 gig. My concern is that it would take quite some time to transfer a 1080P to a thumb drive. Hopefully the machine would support USB3.

Should have mentioned it in the article. The Digiboo machines do support USB 3.0. 

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