The first legal DVD software product for the Linux operating system will be available this spring.
InterVideo, a US based distributor of software DVD products, this week unveiled a software DVD player/decoder for Linux, called LinDVD. The device enables users to experience DVD video and audio quality, which the company said will rival that of high-end consumer electronic players.
Joe Monastiero, vice president of sales and marketing for InterVideo, said: "We have made a commitment to support the Linux community with digital audio and video products. LinDVD is the first product in a line-up that will ultimately include all of our Windows multimedia products."
The DVD industry is highly litigious and has filed lawsuits at previous unauthorised DVD decoders for Linux.
Earlier this year, members of the Motion Picture Association of America filed a lawsuit using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to stop the distribution of an open source program that facilitates the viewing and copying of DVDs.
InterVideo's content scrambling system (CSS) licence allows it to produce and market the software without violating copyright or other laws.
Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux operating system, said the development is "exciting for the Linux community" and that it "will greatly enhance the Linux multimedia experience".
Clive Longbottom, an analyst at Strategy Partners, said: "Linux advocates don't like licences. If they see something available on a Windows machine, they will want some of it and will write their own code even if they come up against the legal aspects of DVD not being an open source technology."
"Making a fully legal copy is a pointer in the direction that Linux is going. It has to become more serious. Consumers don't want a kernel that changes every five minutes. They want a solid product with support."
LinDVD will allow users to playback DVD movies, interactive DVD titles, Mpeg video content and video CDs on PCs that are equipped with a DVD drive, without the need for an expensive hardware decoder card.
The decoder/player includes integrated Mpeg1 and Mpeg2 file playback, a VCD.20 player and SVCD playback. A full multi-channel Dolby Digital audio decoder will be included.
LinDVD will be priced at $29.95.
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