Streaming a movie to watch it is convenient enough. Unless you have a slow internet connection in your part of the boondocks, of course. If that's the case, the upcoming Flix on Stix might just be the digital movie rental you've been waiting for.
The concept is similar to those Red Box kiosks, allowing you to rent movies from a small automated cubicle. You choose the content you want to rent, then put in your credit card for payment and driver's license for age verification. Instead of getting DVDs, though, you plug in a USB thumb drive or an SD card, where the title you're renting is then copied to.
Flix on Stix transfers the movie to your drive, which you can then take home to watch, presumably, on a computer. Rental fees vary based on how long you want to keep the movie: $1 for 3 days, $2 for 6, $3 for 9 and $4 for 12. Once the time is up, the movie file will erase itself from your portable storage, saving you from having to return the discs as with DVD and BD rentals.
Since the service hasn't launched yet, it's short on the technical details. In fact, we're not sure how the security to keep track of the rental duration works. Chances are, the security module is built into the proprietary viewing software that's downloaded to the storage along with the content. Otherwise, the whole self-deleting expiration doesn't really make much sense.
No word yet on the exact rollout of the kiosks. Suffice to say, though, Flix on Stix is an interesting idea -- one that could simplify movie rentals for a lot of people who still shun streaming media.