What is Flexplay DVD?

In most foreign countries, people rent a lot of DVD’s from the shop. All you have to do is watch the movie and return the DVD back within the agreed time. But, if we are pretty much unorganized, we tend to forget about the DVD. This is where the DVD rental shop makes money. They take late fees and this money sums up to a large amount equal enough to buying a DVD. This disadvantage can be overcome by using a Flexplay DVD.

The Flexplay DVD, introduced by a company called Flexplay Technologies is a special type of DVD that can be rented and need not be returned back. The rental prices will be the same as that of a normal DVD. But this does not mean that you can keep watching the movie all your life. The Flexplay DVD has a fixed life, after which the DVD destroys itself. That is, there is an in-built stopwatch which starts automatically when you start playing the disc. The stopwatch is chemical in nature and is designed to destroy the DVD after a fixed time.

Advantages of Flexplay DVD

  1. You are actually buying the Flexplay DVD for the same price as the rental DVD.
  2. You need not return the DVD. So there is no tension on extra charges.
  3. As there is no risk involved in selling it like a rental DVD, Flexplay DVD’s can be sold in any store.

How Flexplay DVD Works?

The working of a Flexplay DVD is very much the same as that of a Digital Versatile Disc [DVD], except for an additional component. Just like a DVD, the sound and video are digitally encoded into the Flexplay DVD. This information will be stored in the disc in the bumps and trenches in the DVD and thus form a long track of information. Like the normal DVD, Flexplay DVD will also have the tracks spiral in nature. These tracks will then be covered with the help of protective layers like poly-carbonate plastic and then a gold layer n top of it.

Like a normal DVD, this DVD also has two tracks with the same information holding capacity. They will also have two reflective layers out of which one is inside and the other is outside. The outside reflective layer will be semi-transparent. These two layers are stuck together with the help of resin adhesive, thus making a two-layer single disc.

DVD vs Flexplay DVD

The only difference between them is in an additional layer inside the disc. This layer is situated on the front side of the inside reflective layer. This layer is made up of a special transparent chemical compound that reacts with the external atmospheric oxygen to form another chemical compound.

The resultant chemical compound obtained is opaque in nature. When the laser beam of a DVD player passes through the different layers, the layers that are reflective causes it to read the DVD. But after the reaction, the opaque nature stops the DVD player from reading the disc. Thus the DVD shows the sign “No Disc”. The special layer cannot be easily setup inside the disc. For this, the manufacturers made a special adhesive that bonds the two separate layers with this layer.

In the beginning, when you purchase the Flexplay DVD, it is sold as an air-tight package. Thus, the DVD will not have any contact with the atmospheric oxygen. As soon as you open the package, the oxygen starts a slow reaction with the chemical. Though the reaction starts slowly, it later reacts quickly when it nears the expiry period. When the expiry period is near the special layer becomes opaque. This change can be understood easily by just looking at the disc. When the disc is take n out of the package it will have a red colour. After the complete reaction, the colour changes to black.

The expiry period of the disc is decided by the manufacturer and the chemical compound can be balanced accordingly.

Usually, there will be small chemical reactions even if the disc is kept in an air-tight package. But still the disc will be working properly for as long as one year, before it is opened. The special adhesive used in the bonding process helps in keeping the disc usable for a maximum of 48 hours without being damaged.

Though this technology has not yet been marketed, it will surely be a replacement for the rental DVD stores in future.


Though the Flexplay discs can be economical to us, it  will not be so economical to the manufacturers. When each DVD is disposed off after watching, you will have to make many more copies for others as well. Though this may sound like profit, the selling of these DVD’s for cheap rental cash makes it a loss.

Recycling Options

The use and dispose of a large number of Flexplay DVD’s can cause serious environmental pollution. But the company has made tie-ups with many environmental organizations like Greendisk and Geo-tech polymers so that they can fully recycle the waste and thus maintain the environmental standards. All the wasted discs will be collected and the poly-carbonate plastic present in it will be recycled and later used for high-end applications. The company also claims that the pollution caused by the discs are not so harmful compared to the energy emitted due to the use of a vehicle to return the DVD back to the rental store.

To know more about Flexplay DVDs, you must also know the working of a normal DVD. Here it is;



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