Internet-connected DVDs will let ecommerce companies provide broadband content to users over narrow band connections, according to electronics giant Panasonic.
Bob Pfannkuch, president of Panasonic Disc Services, said: "Internet-connected DVDs are the bridge between broadband and narrow band. Connected DVDs will be the way forward while we wait for the big pipes of broadband to arrive."
Speaking at the European DVD Summit this week, Pfannkuch said internet DVDs (iDVDs) answer market needs such as copyright protection, flexible consumer content, immediate availability and high data capacity. "Even in a net world, people still like the physicality of owning something and taking it with them wherever they go," he said.
Pfannkuch predicted that ISPs will give away DVD players in return for an internet subscription in the same way that some are giving away PCs to tie consumers into a internet access service.
He also said that iDVDs will be popular with catalogue companies as they can run specials and update prices from the internet, but send the disk out to consumers. The web will also provide the ecommerce angle within the media-rich disc.
"You will see iDVD popping up in all kinds of appliances from games consoles and set-top boxes to home servers," said Pfannkuch. "Panasonic already has a DVD TV, and it only takes a little upgrade to make it an iDVD TV."
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