by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Zediva is a new on-line movie distribution company. For $1.99 per movie, you can instantly watch the most current and popular blockbuster movies online wherever you have an Internet connection—as soon as the movie becomes available on DVD. According to their press release, “Movie aficionados can watch many movies as much as 90-180 days (or more) before they could with some other movie rental services … and at prices as much as 60-80 percent lower than many satellite and cable providers.”
Of particular interest to hard of hearing people is that Zediva has “enabled 2 special DVD features – Subtitles and Languages. Furthermore, closed captioning, if available on the DVD, is also automatically supported.
Zediva has come up with a new twist—using remote DVD players. This enables you to remotely rent a DVD and a DVD player located at Zediva’s Silicon Valley data center. You can instantly watch your rented DVD on a wide range of Internet-connected devices, including TVs, laptops and smart phones with high-speed connections. You have full access to the DVD controls to play, pause, rewind and fast-forward as if the player was sitting in your own living room. Unlike many other online movie rental services, Zediva offers you access to additional features such as multiple languages, directors’ commentaries, subtitles and closed captioning.
Some of Zediva’s key features include:
- Broad Access: Compatible with PC, Mac, Linux, Android tablets, smart phones and Google TV.
- No Rush: Ability to watch and re-watch a movie (free of charge) for up to 14 days from the time you rent it.
- Multiple Languages: Watch a movie in any of the supported languages specific to its DVD (English, Spanish, French, etc.)
- Subtitles and Closed Captioning: In all languages that are supported by the DVD.
Now for the not so good news. On opening day (March 17, 2011) within 10 hours of its full launch, Zediva’s website was overwhelmed by so many people trying to use their new service that it basically crashed the system. Thus they have put all new membership registrations temporarily on hold until they increase their capacity to handle all their customer’s requests without degrading the system.
However, if you are interested in trying out this new service, go to Zediva where you can sign up and get on their waiting list.
Update: November 2, 2011
On Friday October 28, 2011, a US District Court judge ruled that Zediva’s activities were illegal and ordered a permanent injunction against such activities. As a result, Zediva has permanently shut down this innovative entertainment operation.