SAN DIEGO, CA — Later this morning at DEMO, RealNetworks will introduce a $30 software program which will allow users to save theatrical DVD’s to their PC or detachable drive.  They use the program to save DVD’s to up to five PC’s.

The product is called RealDVD. It is just for PCs for now and a Mac version is in development, a spokesperson told me.

Also I was told last night that the software download will be available “within a month.”

RealNetworks says that they have covered the encryption issues so the
videos files cannot be shared.  However, once a user has the DVD, they
can burn a DVD and share with a friend.

Jeff Chasen, VP of product development at RealNetworks, came by the Beet.TV studios recently for this demo.

Saving movies takes from under 40 minutes,depending the speed of the PC, and use under 10 gigs of memory per film.

Not sure how all of this will go over with the Hollywood studios, but
it sure sounds like a great way to build a DVD library. Perhaps it will stimulate DVD sales?

Earlier this summer I spoke with Sony Pictures CTO Mitch Singer
about the need for interoperability between devices.  Perhaps
RealDVD is an important step in this direction, that’s assuming the studios are OK with it. We shall see.

The product has a list price of $50 but with a discount it sells for $20. Presumably it will be available later this month or early next.

For more on this story, read Brad Stone’s report in today’s New York Times.  Here’s the company’s press release.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer