Warner Bros. Launches DVD to Blu-ray Trade In Program
During the past several months, I’ve written extensively about the rise of Blu-ray as the dominant format for home video. Warner Bros. aims to stimulate that growth even further with the launch of their new movie trade-in program, DVD2Blu.
DVD2Blu is the first program of its kind. The way it works is that customers who purchased a select Warner Bros. movie on DVD can send their discs in to the company (plus a small fee) and will receive the same exact title in Blu-ray format. This means that users do not have to buy new copies of the movies they already own in order to enjoy the higher quality of Blu-ray discs.
The program is intended to help home users make the transition to the new format as smoothly as possible. By trading in their previously-purchased DVD titles, consumers can avoid the full expense of starting a library of Blu-ray movies. It remains to be seen if other movie studios will launch similar trade-in programs of their own.
According to the DVD2Blu website, 91 titles are currently available for trade-in. These include recent releases such as Ocean’s Thirteen and Gran Torino, as well as a full selection of classic movies from directors such as Stanley Kubrick. Up to 25 DVD movies per household can be upgraded to Blu-ray through the DVD2Blu program.
This sounds like a great idea for customers who have a large collection of Warner Bros. movies, but the program is not without its drawbacks. First, the program is limited to customers in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Puerto Rico. Customers in Canada, Mexico, and other countries outside the United States are not able to participate in the program.
Another unusual item of note is that when sending in your old DVD titles, Warner Bros. does not want the cases or packaging…just the discs by themselves. The replacement movies are shipped out in in full retail packaging, as if they were purchased from the store. This seems kind of odd to me. What are you supposed to do with the old DVD cases?
Aside from those two minor issues, I think Warner Bros. is on to something good here. I hope that other studios such as Sony, Universal, Paramount, and MGM will introduce their own trade-in programs as well. Overall, I think that the DVD2Blu program is a good deal for consumers who do not want to re-purchase their same collection of movies in a new format.
As consumer interest in Blu-ray continues to grow, so too will the demand for movies and other products such as blank recordable BD-R discs.