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Watch & Throw

By on March 1, 2008

WHILE NETFLIX AND Blockbuster Online revolutionized the DVD rental habits of most of the country, over-the-road drivers who are only home every few weeks can rarely take full advantage of mail-in movie services. Now there’s technology that caters specifically to drivers’ needs: disposable DVDs.

Created by Atlanta-based Flexplay Entertainment, Flexplay disposable DVDs are designed to play for two days only. Drivers can pick one up at a truckstop, watch it within 48 hours of opening, then discard it. No returning required or late fees racked up. Even better, the 48-hour time limit begins when the DVD is opened, not purchased. (Unopened, they’re good for two years.)

The secret of Flexplay DVDs is in the proprietary technology that activates the disc when the package is opened. An adhesive on the plastic disc is sensitive to oxygen, so when the sealed package is open, a slow chemical reaction begins. After 48 hours has passed, the reaction renders the disc unreadable by the DVD player’s laser beam. But during that 48 hours, the disc offers top-quality picture and sound, just like a regular DVD. Flexplay DVDs are compatible with all standard DVD players.

For the environmentally conscious, there are several ways to recycle the discs after watching. If a local recycling program does not accept them (most should), drivers can return the DVD to a participating retailer. Alternately, pre-paid labels to recycle the discs by mail can be requested via the company’s website,

Flexplay DVDs retail for $4.99 each and are currently available in roughly 500 truckstops nationwide.

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