Warner offers HD DVD disc bailout

A new Web site lets you trade in HD DVD movies for Blu-ray discs

If you were burned during the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray format war, hold off on using all those red HD DVD discs as a wall covering. Warner has introduced a new Web site called Red2Blu that lets you trade in HD DVD movies for Blu-ray discs-for a price.

For US$4.95 per movie plus $6.95 shipping and handling per order ($8.95 in Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico) Warner will switch your HD DVD discs for Blu Ray copies of the same movie. Warner is accepting trade-ins for 128 titles including Batman Begins, I Am Legend, The Matrix, Syriana, and Unforgiven. If your Warner title is not on the Red2Blu list Warner says that movie will not be eligible for trade-in.

You don't need to send in your discs, but Warner does want the cover art from your DVD with the UPC code intact. Warner is limiting the Red2Blu program to 25 titles per household with only one copy per individual title. This is also a straight-up trade movie for movie with no cross-title trading. So if you were hoping to trade in that copy of Troy for something else or you stocked up on extra copies of Batman Begins you're out of luck. Red2Blu is for U.S. residents only.

The high-definition format war ended just over a year ago, so Warner is a little late with its trade-in scheme. Best Buy and Circuit City had similar programs shortly after Toshiba's HD DVD surrendered to Sony's Blu-ray format by allowing people to trade in their HD DVD players for store credit and gift cards. This is the first trade-in program from a movie studio, but I wouldn't be surprised if the other studios come out with their own trade-in plans over the next few months.

Along with Red2Blu, Warner also introduced a buy 5 Blu-ray discs get 1 free program for U.S. and Canadian residents. The offer extends to discs bought between April 7, 2009 and April 6, 2010. For a list of eligible titles and further details visit Warner.com/rewards.

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