Did you pick the wrong DVD format?


Last summer I bought an add-on HD DVD player for my XBox 360. I decided on HD DVD only because I’d been offered an HD DVD game to try out and needed a player to play it on. ;o) Now that the war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD is over, I’m wondering how many people out there recently bought the ‘wrong’ player. If you happened to have bought one from a Best Buy before 2/22/08, I have some good news for you. Best Buy is going to give you a $50 gift card. For more info, keep reading…

Best Buy Stands Behind Customers By Awarding More Than $10 Million in Gift Cards to HD-DVD Purchasers

Leading Consumer Electronics Retailer will Send $50 Gift Cards to Customers Who Purchased an HD-DVD Player from Best Buy in the U.S.

MINNEAPOLIS – March 19, 2008 – With Blu-ray declaring victory over HD-DVD in the high definition movie format war, Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer, is giving $50 gift cards to customers who purchased an HD-DVD player or HD-DVD attachment from its U.S. stores before February 23, 2008. Customers will get a gift card for each player or HD-DVD attachment that they purchased. Through this program, Best Buy will distribute more than $10 million in gift cards to customers across the country.

“The DVD format war has divided our customers in a way we haven’t seen since Betamax took on VHS more than 20 years ago,” said Brian J. Dunn, president and chief operating officer for Best Buy. “At Best Buy, we understood and shared our customers’ frustrations as they were being asked to choose one format or the other. Now that the format war is over, we hope these gift cards will reassure our customers that we will help them make a smooth transition into the right technology for their needs.”

Most Best Buy customers won’t have to do anything to receive their gift card. As a demonstration of its commitment to its customers, Best Buy will proactively mail cards to all customers that the company can identify as having purchased an HD-DVD player. Members of the Best Buy Reward Zone program, customers who purchased Performance Service Plans (PSPs) or who made their purchase on BestBuy.com should look for their gift cards in the mail by May 1. Other customers who may not be easily identified can call (888) BEST BUY to receive their gift cards with proof of purchase through a credit card or their Best Buy receipt.

“The beauty of this offer is that it doesn’t require our customers to give up their HD-DVD player,” said Barry Judge, chief marketing officer for Best Buy. “We know that many people who purchased these players have HD-DVD movies that they would like to continue to watch. We’re telling our customers they can keep their players to play these movies as well as their older DVDs and use the $50 to treat themselves to anything else in our stores.”

HD-DVD players can actually deliver greatly enhanced video performance with standard DVDs by upconverting the video resolution.
Beginning on March 21, customers who do want to get rid of their HD-DVD players can visit Best Buy’s Online Trade-In Center at www.bestbuytradein.com. Visitors to the site will receive instant estimates of the value of their HD-DVD players and movies. Those who agree with the estimates can then ship their goods to the Trade-In Center free of charge by downloading a prepaid shipping label and will receive an additional gift card as payment for their trade-in. This service is open to HD-DVD owners regardless of where they bought their player.
For more information visit www.bestbuy.com/hddvd.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) operates a global portfolio of brands with a commitment to growth and innovation. Our employees strive to provide customers around the world with superior experiences by responding to their unique needs and aspirations. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services through nearly 1,300 retail stores across the United States, throughout Canada and in China. Our multi-channel operations include: Best Buy (BestBuy.com, BestBuy.ca and BestBuy.com.cn), Future Shop (FutureShop.ca), Geek Squad (GeekSquad.com and GeekSquad.ca), Pacific Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers (PacificSales.com), Magnolia Audio Video (Magnoliaav.com), Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co. (Five-Star.cn) and Speakeasy (Speakeasy.net). Best Buy supports the communities in which its employees work and live through volunteerism and grants that benefit children and education.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Claire March 21, 2008, 9:16 am

    I’m one of those who waited to see what would happen…not to mention I own around 200 DVDs now, and it would cost way too much to replace even just my favorite ones with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.

    I am impressed with the steps Best Buy is taking to keep their customers happy. IIRC, the xbox360 add-on was $150, but $50 certainly helps offset the cost.

  • FubarGuy March 21, 2008, 9:23 pm

    We’re still on plain old DVD and <gasp> non-HD in our house. We’ve looked at HD sets and honestly, having to upgrade set-top converters from Fios, and Tivos to HD units just makes it less than appealing for the amount of time we spend watching TV.

    I guess the biggest benefit to being a really, really late adopter is – the tech only gets cheaper!

  • John Kes March 25, 2008, 12:14 pm

    We only upgraded to an HDTV and an upconverting DVD player (Sony 5 disc changer, $125). I didn’t want to upgrade to DirecTV HD (+$10/month) and replace the Tivo with TivoHD ($300).

    Also wanted the HD-DVD vs BR-DVD war to settle before spending any money on the players. Interesting to note that I spent $360 on our first DVD player in 1997. I wouldn’t have minded spending that much on a new player if I had known which format was going to win. Throwing out the losing player just adds to the e-waste problem. That’s also the reason I didn’t want to upgrade to TivoHD.

  • Julie March 25, 2008, 1:05 pm

    I’ve decided that I’m probably not going to buy a Blu-Ray player anytime soon. I had cancelled my NetFlix account a few weeks ago due to the fact that I wasn’t really watching but 1 movie a month anyway. I’m even contemplating dropping the premium movie channels on my DirecTV subscription because I don’t seem to watch all that many movies. I have a $25 credit on my iTunes account, so I can use that to purchase a movie through my AppleTV when I am in the mood to watch something.

  • Rob Tillotson March 25, 2008, 6:37 pm

    Count me as another who made the wrong choice — I have the XBox HD-DVD drive and a few discs. I’m looking forward to my Best Buy gift card, but that won’t help with the other $200 I wasted.

    I ended up getting a PS3 at some point after that, so I’m not really unhappy about Blu-Ray winning. Now, we just need the studio to re-release Serenity in that format.

    To be honest though, I’m still fine with normal DVDs, and I don’t have HD satellite or Tivo. Now, gaming in HD is an entirely different matter…

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