Digital Video Express was a calculated attempt by Circuit City (now deceased) to replace conventional DVD players in most people’s home. The basic idea was this: a person would purchase a copy of the movie ‘Kazaam’ for, let’s say, four dollars. Once the movie was placed inside the player, they could watch it for 48 hours, after of which it would threaten to self-destruct unless they paid a continuation fee. This would grant them another 48 hours. The whole concept of “ownership” and “buying a movie so you don’t have to go out and get it again and again and again” were thrown completely out the window.
Circuit City tried to tout this as a good thing, because there would be no returns or late fees, but they overlooked the fact that this wasn’t intended to replace rentals, but purchases. Suffice it to say, the general public wasn’t buying, and the product was discontinued a mere six months after release. Short-sighted customers were given a $100 refund on their systems, and the hordes of unsold discs were consigned to a land fill. The concept was bad from the start, but that didn’t stop corporate executives from spending $114 million on the unfortunate experiment.