As its name implies, Flix on Stix will allow you to rent your favorite flicks on a “stick”–a common name for a USB thumb drive. Utilizing a rental model similar to Redbox with strategically placed kiosks, Flix on Stix hopes to give you your movies on a USB drive rather than a DVD, which could be beneficial to those who own ultra-portables that lack the optical DVD drive such as a Apple MacBook Air.
The company says that it hopes to launch its first kiosks in the next few months and will have 20,000 kiosks operational within a a year.
To rent a movie, users will interact with a touchscreen interface at the kiosk and select the video they want to rent. Users can pay for rentals with a credit card and then insert their own memory drive or rent one from the Flix on Stix kiosk. The company is saying that transfer times for the digital video file can take as little as 14 seconds for a USB 3.0 memory drive or for as long as 6 minutes for the older USB 1.0 memory drive.
The company didn’t disclose what machines the videos will work on, what formats the videos are encoded in, and what resolutions videos will play at. The videos are encrypted, presumably with a DRM of some kind, and should work with a Mac, PC, or set top box. Presumably, the videos will come encapsulated with its own player, though that’s not clear either.
Unlike Redbox or Netflix’s DVD business, you don’t need to return your rentals when you’re done. Users can select how many days they want to rent their flicks, and at the end of the rental period the video files will automatically delete.
Also, unlike streaming services or digital download on the Internet, such as the iTunes movies rentals on the MacBook Air, Flix on Stix may be more convenient for users who do not have a speedy broadband connection or who may not want to or have the time to download, such as right before a flight at an airport.
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