Warner expands DVD to Blu-ray upgrade program

Posted 07 May 2010 01:53 CEST by Jared Newman

Warner Bros. has tweaked its incentive program for Blu-ray owners, encouraging them to trade up their existing library of DVDs.

The “DVD2Blu” program lets people mail in their DVD movies, plus a fee, in exchange for a boxed copy of the same film on Blu-ray disc. When DVD2Blu debuted last November, there were a mere 55 films available. The catalog now includes 91 films.

The price of trading in has also dropped since November. Upgrades now cost either $5 or $7, down $2 from before.. There’s still a $5 shipping charge on all orders, but you can get free shipping on orders of $35 or more, compared to a $25 minimum when the program debuted.

When Warner started DVD2Blu, many of the selections were old or classic films. I have no way of comparing the current library to what was there before — my memory isn’t that good — but I see some newer films in the catalog, such as The Departed, Pan’s Labyrinth and Gran Torino.

Warner also offers a trade-in program for HD-DVD movies, dubbed “Red2Blu,” and the selection is even larger, with 125 available movies, most of which cost $5 each. That program has been available since April 2009.

According to Home Media Magazine, Warner expanded the DVD2Blu program in response to increased Blu-ray ownership. The Digital Entertainment Group reports that Blu-ray penetration is up 125 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year.

I’m more of a renter than a collector, so I haven’t had a good reason to use the program, but I like the idea. The fact that Warner is expanding DVD2Blu suggests that it’s successful. Why, then, haven’t other studios jumped on board?


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