Judge May Or May Not Allow Most Awesome DVD Player Ever To Hit Market

Let’s start with an explanation of why there’s an Arizona Cardinals jet pictured in a story about a new DVD player: Because the Cardinals’ out-of-nowhere NFC championship earlier this year has so far only been matched in miraculousness by one other development — the advent of Facet, a DVD player that lets you save movies to an internal hard drive.

It’s not that Facet is a technological marvel, but that RealNetworks is brazen enough to try to bring such a wonderfully dastardly machine to market. But wouldn’t you know it, one of those fun-spoiling judges is standing in the way between consumers and the ability to chain-watch every episode of Flight of the Conchords without having to get up and swap out discs.

Since September, studios have been embroiled in a lawsuit against RealNetworks over its RealDVD software, which copies DVDs, and temporarily succeeded in restraining Real from selling the software pending a hearing.

The studios and Real returned to a San Francisco district court (May 7) to give closing statements in the case. An immediate decision is not expected.

The judge presiding over that case will also have to decide whether RealNetworks can sell its Facet player.

RealNetworks spokesman Bill Hankes said Facet’s future is “entirely dependent upon the judge’s ruling.”

So how’s about you cut us a break and give us some more Cardinals-style magic, unnamed judge. Don’t you like Flight of the Conchords too?

UPDATE: ReaNetowrksl has filed an antitrust suit against the DVD Copy Control Association.

RealNetworks device to record DVDs [Variety]
(Photo:Zonaphoto)