Want to stream a movie over the Internet that's not available for streaming on a service like Netflix or Amazon? Zediva can stream films that you can only get on physical DVDs--through a goofball workaround that actually has strong legal precedent.
Zediva rents you a DVD but keeps the DVD in a player in its own facility. You then control this player remotely from your computer, and the output is piped over the Net to you. Think of it as a wall of Slingboxes, available for rent. If you want to watch a movie online that's only available on disc because it's in the pre-streaming, DVD-sales-only "window," this will punch through that restriction.
Or will it? The service just launched today, and in my quick test, at about 5 p.m. PT, only 6 of the 49 "new releases" on the site's main movie selection screen were available for viewing. The marquee title, "The Fighter," was available, but "127 Hours," "Megamind," "Due Date," and most other titles were marked as "rented out." Unlike services such as Netflix, which can stream as many copies of a single video as it has bandwidth to support, Zediva only has so many copies of each DVD, and each lives in its own dedicated DVD player. When all the players holding a given movie are in use, nobody else can rent the film.
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