Electronic Devices: How Flexplay Dvds Work

The new flexplay DVD's are comprised of the same materials as normal DVD's with an added chemical layer that reacts to oxygen.

Flexplay DVDs are the newest technology to hit the entertainment industry. This technology makes it unnecessary to return DVDs movies to a rental store. In doing so, new market opportunities are opened up to manufacturers. Since these discs are sold outright they can be purchased virtually anywhere, including restaurants, supermarkets, and even vending machines. The science behind this technology is fairly straightforward.

In order to understand how a flexplay DVD works, one must first understand the inner-workings of a traditional digital videodisk. DVD manufacturers imprint two reflective layers in a continuous stream on each disk. Each layer contains series of "lands", or flat areas, and "bumps", or raised areas. The two layers of encoding are placed immediately on top of each other in order to fit more on each disk. When a consumer plays the disk, a special laser reads these reflective layers simultaneously. The beam of light that is emitted from the laser is returned differently depending on the series of lands and bumps being red. The internal computer of the digital videodisk player interprets these differing returns and converts them into the picture seen on your television.

A flexplay DVD is essentially the same as a traditional DVD with an added layer. The two readable layers are topped with a special chemical layer that allow the manufacturer to control how long the disk will be readable by a DVD player. During the manufacturing process the manufacturer adds a special chemical compound to the adhesive that is used to bond the two encoded layers together. This specially developed chemical starts out transparent and can be read just like any other DVD. Theses disks are packaged in airtight containers and are differentiable from normal disks only by a slight reddish color when first opened. Because this layer is transparent there is no hindrance to the laser reading the disk.

When the airtight packaging is opened, oxygen is allowed to interact with the chemical on the disk. After the manufacturers desired time period, this chemical reaction causes the added layer of the disk to become opaque. This renders the disk unreadable to the laser. Left unopened and therefore protected from atmospheric oxygen, the disk will remain readable for at least a year. The time period that a disk is readable can be adjusted by the manufacturer through the slight alteration of the chemical compound used.

This technology has many possible uses and could revolutionize the DVD industry. It could virtually eliminate late fees for those rental patrons that opt for this technology. This technology makes mail order rentals more convenient and affordable due to the lack of return postage required. While there are many positive aspects to this technology, the possible implications for certain individuals associated with this industry could be monumental. Not only are video stores concerned about lost revenues for late fees, the cable television pay per view industry may also be affected. This technology makes mail order rentals more convenient and affordable due to the lack of return postage required.

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