Disney Touts a Way to Ditch the DVD

Walt Disney Co. is close to unveiling technology, code-named Keychest, which would allow consumers to pay a single price for permanent access to a movie or TV show across multiple digital platforms and devices—from the Web, to mobile gadgets like iPhones and cable services that allow on-demand viewing. It could also facilitate other services such as online movie subscriptions.

Keychest uses the same “cloud computing” logic that underlies Web-based applications, such as Google Docs, permitting users to store files and photographs on remote Internet servers and access them from anywhere, rather than keeping them on their own computers.

With Keychest, when a consumer buys a movie from a participating store, his accounts with other participating services would be updated to show the title as available for viewing. The movies wouldn’t be downloaded; rather, they would reside with each particular delivery company, such as the Internet service provider, cable company or phone company.

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