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The Worst Gadgets of All Time 10


The Original DIVX (Digital Video Express)

In 1998, Circuit City attempted to take over the movie rental industry with the Digital Video Express. Here's how it worked: You rented a DIVX disc for $4, and the disc was viewable for up to 48 hours -- after which it became unwatchable, unless you renewed the movie for $3.25, for another two days. Sound confusing enough? Well, there's more: These discs required a special DIVX player, which had to connect to a phone line to manage the rental intervals (the stated goal of this product was to eliminate late fees). The selection was limited, as DIVX was a new format, and most of the titles were only available in pan-and-scan (i.e. not widescreen), and the extent of special features was usually a single trailer. Plus, discs became trash after 48 hours -- not particularly enviro-friendly, even for the late '90s. The quick demise of DIVX cost Circuit City $114 million...no late fees, though.