More Studios Releasing Blu-ray/DVD Combination Packs

At the end of 2008 I noted that, although Blu-ray emerged as the winner in the war for high definition recording format, it was far from becoming the dominant format. Among the reasons many are reluctant to pay the higher cost for both players and disks is that DVD’s, especially on up-scaling players, already are excellent quality and high definition is available from other sources such as cable and digital downloads.

I  pointed out that the move to Blue-ray presents another problem for many of us. DVD players are ubiquitous. I currently have DVD players hooked up to high definition televisions in four rooms, plus we have four  notebooks and portable DVD players. A DVD purchased can be played on any of these (along with the desktops if ever desired). There is little point in replacing every DVD player with a Blu-ray player. The DVD players do a fine enough job and we would notice little if any difference on the HD televisions which are under 50 inches. It is worthwhile to use a Blue-ray player in the main television watching room, but it is not worth the money to replace all the DVD players. Under this circumstance, I’d rather buy a DVD which can be played on any player as opposed to a Blu-ray disk which looks better in one room but cannot be played anywhere else.

In a follow up post the following week I noted that Disney was responding to this problem with the obvious solution–packaging regular DVD’s along with Blu-ray disks. Today Engadget is reporting that additional studies are doing the same:

Reportedly, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment along with Lionsgate and MGM Home Entertainment are all prepping rather large releases in the Blu-ray / DVD 2-disc form, with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment — who is credited with pioneering the practice last fall — hoping to release about seven of the bundles throughout 2009. Fox is even taking things a step further by tossing in Digital Copy on top of a BD and a DVD with Marley & Me. Mary Daily, the studio’s executive VP of marketing for North America, noted that it’s simply looking to become “flexible to adapt to the changing [habits]” of the consumer.

This is a move in the right direction. The studios need to focus on selling the movie for home viewing as opposed to selling a particular format, with purchasers able to watch the movie on any device they desire.

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