Is EZTakes a movie download service or a DVD rental company?

For all the talk of media center PCs, set-top boxes that stream from laptops, and so on, most people still don't have the computer network connected to their entertainment center.

At the Digital Living Room conference today, several entrepreneurs pitched their home entertainment and networking products.

First up was EZTakes, a movie download service. It's unique because its pitch is based on archaic technology: DVDs. Like a few other services, it has a few content deals with studios and will let you download movies to your PC. Its library of 1,400 movies is not terrible, but certainly not comprehensive either.

EZTakes' difference is that its interface makes it easy for you to press your own DVDs, so you can then play them in your living room. The company rightly realizes that for all the talk of media center PCs, set-top boxes that stream from laptops, and so on, most homes still don't have the computer network connected to their entertainment center.

There is some sort of protection scheme so you can't make dozens of copies of a movie. The precise DRM scheme was not discussed at the conference.

It is easy to take shots at this business, because it's sandwiched between pure-play DVD distribution companies (such as Netflix) and straight video download (such as Movielink) and streaming (YouTube) plays. Yet while it sounds like the company is boxed in, it's still far too early to call the winners in movie distribution in the era of the Net.

Also, there's a cool thing the company is working on: a Linux version, designed to be embedded in devices like set-top boxes and Tivos.

I'll be covering a few more Digital Living Room companies shortly.
 

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