“Die Hard” DVD will include computer file

In an industry first, 20th Century Fox is expected to announce Tuesday that the special-edition DVD of “Live Free or Die Hard” will come with an electronic copy of the complete movie that can be played on a computer and select portable video players.

“This may be the killer app, where you have physical media that allows you to have a big-screen experience and at the same time move the file around to other devices and have a great experience there as well,” said Mike Dunn, worldwide president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the studio’s home-video division.

The summer theatrical hit, the fourth in the Bruce Willis “Die Hard” franchise and first since 1995, comes to DVD on November 20 after a box office run that yielded $134.4 million in domestic ticket receipts. The release precedes by nearly a month Warner Home Video’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which also will let DVD buyers download a copy of the movie to a PC or portable video device.

The Digital Copy feature also will be included on select other Fox DVDs down the road, though no titles have been announced. The DRM (digital rights management)-free feature allows consumers to transfer the movie file to Windows-based computers or portable video players equipped with Microsoft Windows’ PlaysForSure feature, available from such manufacturers as Archos, Toshiba, Samsung, RCA, Dell and Creative Labs.

“The industry has sold nearly 12 billion DVDs to date, and the release of ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ is the first one that allows consumers to move their content to other devices,” Dunn said.

To utilize the Digital Copy feature, consumers can insert Disc 2 of the “Live Free” DVD into their computer. A menu will pop up, offering a choice of either executing the Digital Copy application or launching the DVD special features. If the Digital Copy application is selected, the computer will verify the proper requirements and ask the user to enter a 16-digit serial code, found inside the DVD case. After selecting a destination — either the computer’s hard drive or a connected PlaysForSure video player — the transfer will begin, and the program will be ready for playback after about five minutes.

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