Originally Posted by webphilosopher
Hardly a good will gesture, especially since it is not an upgrade. HD DVD owners don't need to pay extra for blue-colored cases with the same encodes. Warner may be trying to cash in on the flood of old HD DVD inventory that is beginning to surface. This may be their way of making a profit, however small, on the discs they dumped to third parties. After all, where did the Bonnie and Clyde HD DVD come from all of a sudden, just before the release of the blu-ray?
How is this a "design to take away the pain of buying into high definition"? HD DVD IS high definition. HD DVD owners have already made the transition to high definition. The only transition they haven't made is from exclusive red or inclusive purple to exclusive blue.
Pardon my skepticism; but if it comes from Warner, I assume that all the good will is meant for Warner, not for the consumer. A real gesture of good will would have come earlier, not when folks are buying up Warner discs on HD DVD at $5 to $10 a pop. If you trade in that cheap disc, when you add $5 plus shipping to a bargain, it isn't a bargain anymore.
But I am sure you will see discs without cover art showing up all over the place now, as people try to get back the $5 plus shipping surcharge to trade red for blue. Of course, when you can get the same disc new with cover art from an online supplier for $5 to $10, what would consumers be willing to pay for a disc without the art? $3? $2? $1? Who knows?
If people are ashamed to have red covers on their shelf, it would cost a lot less just to replace the red covers with blue ones. You can buy lots of ten, twenty or a hundred for low cost online. Other than the color of the case, I can't see why people would pay extra to get the same transfer and PQ (in most cases).
So I ask, apart from "good will," what is Warner afraid of? Why the sudden change of heart? Are these the same new execs who are willing to press CHDVD discs for China? Will they ask the Chinese to trade in their CHDVD discs for blu-ray for a certain amount of yuan plus shipping?
You state, "hopefully you will start buying Blu-ray's at a higher rate..." Warner's concern is that bargain buys in HD DVD will hurt, however insignificantly and however short-term, their blu-ray sales. So, it is hoped that trading for a few blu-ray discs will increase the appetite to buy more blu-ray. The problem is that cheap HD DVD's have made many retail blu-rays look unappetizing, especially when the same title appears in both colors.
The problem is not ours, for holding onto our HD DVD's, but the studios', for pricing their discs the way they do in a very tight economy. Blu-ray is selling quite well, all things considered. This may be due to the fact that the wealthy folk who buy such things haven't felt the impact of the economy yet. But, for many people out there, the cheapest equivalent is the best buy. It is -- and always has been -- an issue of best bang for the buck.