So it took me a while to do this, but I finally took advantage of the Warner Bros. offer to “upgrade” (still love that term!) my HD-DVDs to Blu-ray discs. Just in case anyone forgets the story. When “High Definition” discs were introduced back in 2006, there were two competing platforms, the aforementioned HD-DVD and Blu-ray versions. Despite efforts to not turn it into a format war, the two camps promoted their respective discs as the better way to do hi-def video discs. There was no discernable difference.
The reason I went with HD-DVD in the first place was to get the HD version of “The Shining” (and other Stanley Kubrick films), and it was stunning. It was especially exciting to see a wider screen version of the film, particularly the opening sequence of Jack Torrance’s drive to the Overlook Hotel viewed by helicopter.
At the time of the format war I was basically unconcerned about whether HD-DVD “won” or not. The technology existed to “rip” the HD content to a hard drive. Practically speaking however, the convenience of the disc did become important, especially when considering the extra features included. It’s difficult to duplicate the access to those features with a ripped version, not to mention managing an approximately 16 to 20 GB file for just the movie. So when I saw Warner’s offer, I said some day I’ll do that. Last week I decided to take the plunge.
The offer was to trade in the cover art of the HD-DVDs plus $4.95 in exchange for the Blu-ray version. The only exception to this was Blade Runner which has multiple versions and several discs so I had to pony up $14.95 for that one. So the line-up of movies is The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, 2001 – A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, Batman Begins, Blazing Saddles, Goodfellas, and Blade Runner. So with postage I spent about $56 which is $7 a disc – not a bad deal. I still have some HD-DVDs that weren’t on the upgrade list, so I’ll need a strategy for those movies going forward. I did receive a bonus disc – Rumor Has It… a 2005 Rob Reiner film – no clue as to why.
I have built up quite a good collection of Blu-ray discs over the last few years. Maybe I’ll blog about those movies one day.