Here’s a deal from Warner Bros. Studios that is intriguing. In their effort to get me started on my Blu-ray library, they are offering to let me buy the Blu-ray version of movies that I have purchased on HD-DVD format. You remember HD-DVD right? Their “upgrade” (teehee) program works pretty simply. I Select the HD-DVD’s that I own and want to upgrade, mail in just the cover art from the original, pay $4.95 for each HD-DVD (though some titles, like Blade Runner are $14.95) and wait for 4 weeks to recieve the Blu-ray discs.
You can upgrade up to 25 discs. I have about 10 discs that need the upgrade ( I just love that term in this context. Imagine if the same deal occurred when VHS beat Beta and they called it an upgrade). I’m estimating that I’ll spend about $75 with shipping costs (which is $6.95 for the entire order), so it’s relatively reasonable. However, I’m somewhat reluctant. Spending $75 isn’t trivial these days, especially when I’ve got the movies and the player and I can even rip them to my hard drive. I haven’t purchased a dedicated Blu-ray player yet. I own three Blu-ray movies and to play them I use a Blu-ray drive in my PC hooked up to my HDTV. Switching to the Blu-ray versions of the movies will only encourage me to purchase a dedicated player sooner.
What this will do is get me thinking about my movie collection, and specifically the future of my collection. Not that I haven’t been trying to figure that out for the last several years. Where do physical discs fit into the future? I’m still working on that one. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
But why would you need the same movies when you can already play the HD-DVDs easily? My grandfather still has all his Beta tapes, and just plays them in his Beta player. A VHS to DVD upgrade deal would be enticing, because you’d have an improvement in quality. But this is just silly. You know what I want? BLU to RED.
The unfortunate thing in the scenario where you just keep the HD-DVD disks and player is that eventually the HD-DVD player will break, and you can no longer go down to Target or BestBuy and get a new one. In the days of Beta, I believe those players were built to have a longer life than most of the consumer electronics produced today, so I would not expect a HD-DVD player to last 30 years like Serena’s grandfathers unit. (And that Betamax player that Serena speaks of – I’m sure there are rubber belts and gaskets in that player on their last leg – just a matter of time before it submits to decay.)
In that context, $75 bucks to get to the standard format for the films you know you love seems like a bargain.
After all – it is just a matter of time before you buy a Blu-ray player anyway. 🙂