Warner offers Blu-ray alternative to desperate HD-DVD owners

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Los Angeles (CA) - Warner Home Video has announced a new $4.95 trade-in program (not including shipping) in the hopes of enticing desperate HD-DVD owners to purchase Blu-ray movies.

However, the offer is limited to 128 titles, such as Eyes Wide Shut, The Matrix and A Scanner Darkly. In addition, participants are required to provide the company with a DVD title's cover art along with a legible UPC code. Cross-title trades will apparently not be processed.

Warner has also unveiled a new "Warnerblu Buy 5 Get 1 Free" for every five participating titles.

Sales of Blu-ray movies, which were rather slugglish during 2008, have significantly increased in 2009. According to Adams Media Research, Americans purchased approximately 9 million Blu-ray titles from January through March - nearly double the 4.8 million that shipped during the first quarter of 2008.

According to Andy Parsons, US chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Assn. Promotions Committee, the higher sales are a "clear indicator that consumers really do understand the value of packaged media, and that even when times are very tough, [consumers] continue to seek out and enjoy the best possible high-definition content."