Monterey, CA – July 30, 2001 – SelectViewing™, an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada corporation announced today a beta test roll-out of its Windows® based software program, SelectViewing™ DVD for customized DVD playback.
The announcement was made by Gordon Barrett, Executive Assistant for SelectViewing™, at the annual DVD Pro Conference held in Monterey, California. It coincided with a major panel discussion at this international conference in which the feasability and legality of such systems was debated.
SelectViewing™ DVD will allow those who have a PC with DVD capability and a connection to the Internet, to play back a sequence of individually selected scenes from an off-the-shelf DVD version of a film. Certain scenes, which may be offensive to a particular family or considered irrelevant to the purpose of an educational presentation, may be skipped over during any particular playback yet remain accessible for future playback. Selected audio can be muted automatically.
“I believe,” said Barrett, “this will turn out to be a ‘win-win’ situation for both the general public and the movie industry. Consumers, who may have avoided viewing some PG-13 and R rated DVD releases in the past, will have many more selections to choose from because of the tremendous flexibility of the playback features of the program. This should expand the DVD market.”
DVD has been one of the most quickly adopted technologies in consumer electronics history. From its inception, one of its heralded potential strengths was its ability to personalize playback because of the multistory feature built into the DVD specification. To date, however, few movie producers have made use of the multistory feature.
Greg Hatch, President of SelectViewing™, stated that SelectViewing™ DVD provides that flexibility in a legally safe way. According to Hatch, SelectViewing™ has overcome all of the legal hurdles that have, until now, kept customized DVD playback from being fully utilized. “We expect this announcement,” said Hatch, “to generate considerable debate within the DVD community during the coming months.”
According to Barrett, who is also a member of a school board in Edmonton, the development of SelectViewing™ DVD was initially undertaken to satisfy many existing needs in the educational community. “Using selected scenes from documentaries and Hollywood films for both the classroom and the laboratory,” said Barrett, “has long been recognized as a valuable teaching tool. But, showing multiple clips from a VHS tape is cumbersome and imprecise.”
Barrett indicated that SelectViewing™ DVD is based on Electronic Film Reviews that contain supplementary information accessible at any time during the viewing of a film.
“We believe the applications of SelectViewing™ DVD are extremely varied and will prove to be limited only by the imagination and creativity of those working in business and education,” said Hatch. “Those applications,” he added, “could include foreign language instruction, English literature, history, corporate training, and sales presentations.”
SelectViewing™ supports “open standards” for the format of all playlists, whether they are run on a Windows® PC or a home theater DVD player. Even though Hatch and Barrett know such a position will facilitate competition from other companies, they feel it will help ensure orderly, accelerated growth in customized DVD playback.
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SelectViewing™ DVD and the detailed Electronic Film Reviews that are an equally essential part of the package will be made available to the general public in Canada through the Edmonton office of SelectViewing™.