Warner Bros. Offers Discount Blu-ray Upgrade Program

Warner Bros. has thought of a way to boost sagging Blu-ray sales. The DVD2Blu program lets you mail up to 25 DVDs (discs only), with a prepaid shipping label, to a processing plant — after having paid $8 to $10 online for each film — to get new, factory-sealed Blu-ray versions sent back to you.

If you’re an HD junkie, DVD2Blu is a cost-effective way to rid your shelf of so-2005 DVD boxes and replace them with those slim, shiny blue cases. I spot-checked the Blu-ray prices on Amazon, and the program generally saves you on every title, some ($7 on Any Given Sunday) more than others ($2 on A Clockwork Orange).

Granted, it takes a mammoth 1080p TV to tell a noticeable difference between Blu-ray and an upconverted DVD. But do you videophiles out there find this program appealing?

DVD2Blu [Warner Bros.]
(Photo: frankieleon)
(Thanks, Colin!)

Comments

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  1. JimBoSlobish says:

    Not bad really. End up getting the best version for $8-10? I’d be down for that.

    • mariospants says:

      @JimBoSlobish: Agreed, sounds like a winner to me. I would only do it for those movies that would really benefit from the transfer. Chick flicks can stay on DVD format as far as I’m concerned.

    • coan_net says:

      @JimBoSlobish: Still a little too expensive for me – if it was more around $5… or maybe $3-$4 if you did a batch of 50 or more, then it might be something I would jump on.

      … have a lot of DVD’s – don’t know if I have that many that are WB movies….

  2. Brain.wav says:

    This is a good move. Dependent on titles, if I get a Blu-Ray player, I’ll be taking advantage of this.

    • Keavy_Rain says:

      @Brain.wav: I know you can get Blazing Saddles on Blu-Ray for the same price as WB wants, as I recently bought it on Blu-Ray.

      Only movie I own on DVD that’s on the list is Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. If this applied to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I would be all over this like flies on stink. Guess I’m gonna have to wait to upgrade those.

  3. samgmano says:

    Just because a movie is on a Blu-ray disc doesn’t mean the movie will look better than it’s DVD counterpart. If the studio did a quick-and-dirty transfer like Warner Bros. typically does you won’t gain anything by upgrading.

    I have several Warner Bros. Blu-ray discs that I got free with my PS3 and the picture quality is awful.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      @samgman:

      Some early Blu-Ray releases were of questionable quality, but is that the case with more recent releases?

    • Tiaris says:

      @samgman: Agreed. We have Firefly (series) on DVD, and we bought the Blu-Ray when that came out. The quality of the Blu-Ray release is appalling. The DVDs actually look better [thanks to upscaling] than the Blu-Ray discs. Such a waste of $60, and my husband won’t let me re-sell them o_O

      • Keen314 says:

        @Tiaris: No, the Firefly BR looks fantastic, you can see more of the fine structure from the film they recorded the show on. Grain isn’t bad. The only downside is they didn’t spend money on redoing the special effects, so those are low-resolution.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Keen314: I have Firefly on Blu-Ray and one of the charms of the series is the texture of the costumes and sets, much of which is lost on a small screen, and on regular format. Blu-Ray really makes the colors pop and the texture you see from the sets is fantastic.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @samgman: Especially if the original WASN’T filmed in HD (the vast majority of titles up until recently) so I don’t even know why they’re xferring them to BluRay anyway.

      Its a plot for money, that’s about it.

      • samgmano says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese has 2 cats! ahahaha.:

        GoodFellas and Blazing Saddles are older movies and look terrible, however Brade Runner is pretty old now but he 5-disc set is one of the best Blu-rays I’ve seen.

        • remington870_20ga says:

          @samgman: I dont buy anything filmed prior to 2007 on Blu-Ray as its no better than the dvd versions. Boondock Saints on Blu-ray!? Pass.

          • FredaAquila says:

            @remington870_20ga: If done properly, older films can look (and sound) amazing. PBS had a special on the Star Wars in Concert tour, and showed snippets of the HD remasters – they looked like they were brand new movies. Most of these high quality remastering jobs involve scanning the original film at 4k or 8k resolution.

          • blanglois says:

            @remington870_20ga:

            I wanted to add that the idea of something being “Filmed in HD” is erroneous. Movies on film have a significantly higher resolution than HD TV can even display, and that is true for movies dating back a long time. Film captures more detail than any digital format available today and you in fact are still losing clarity on Blu-Ray compared to any movie on film (assuming the film is in good condition).

            ALL of these films can benefit from a good HD transfer compared to their DVD counterparts. It’s really all in the transfer, which some studios are half-assing for older titles (either because of the work involved or the lower potential sales). Take a look at the new Gone with the Wind of Wizard of Oz Blu-rays. They look much better than they did on DVD.

            I just want to help with everryone’s home video purchases. Rememebr to check reviews to find out how well transfers were handled, especially for older movies. They’re getting much better about it though ans most Blu-Ray titles are looking significantly better now.

      • Westonian says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese has 2 cats! ahahaha.: While that’s true for video sources (usually television shows), almost all movies will benefit from a good HD transfer because 35mm film actually resolves significantly more detail than even 1080p can display.

        And Warner is actually one of the better studio at remastering older films that look absolutely gorgeous in HD (Casablanca, 2001, Wizard of Oz, Blade Runner…)

    • icruise says:

      @samgman: It’s true that there are some BR movies that are of questionable quality (although I don’t think I’ve seen any that are actually worse than DVD). But really good BR movies are a LOT better than their DVD counterparts.

  4. bishophicks says:

    A good idea, but I do not own any of the 55 titles they are including in the offer. Hoping to upgrade The Matrix or Harry Potter titles? Don’t bother.

  5. PinkBox says:

    *eyes her massive dvd collection*

    My Ps3 plays Blu-ray, but I haven’t been able to convince myself that I need to upgrade yet.

    I’m happy enough with DVDs.

    • Elcheecho says:

      @PinkBox: also, our ps3s do great upconverting.

      • sn1per says:

        @Elcheecho: I dunno, I can definitely tell a difference between bluray and upconverted DVD on my ps3. Of course, I’m sitting the recommended distance away from my HDTV (no more than 2x the screen size away), so maybe that’s why a lot of people claim to see no improvement with bluray?

  6. Taliskan says:

    I did their Red2Blu program to get my HDDVD’s replaced… now time to go through the DVD library and get those replaced (if really need be). I’m excited about this. In fact, this is officially the highlight of my day. :D

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  8. sicknick says:

    If this was industry wide and included all movies, that would be fantastic. As someone already said, the most popular movies (and the ones they take the most time to make look pretty in the Blu version) aren’t included.

    Now, if I had a Ps3 or was given a BluRay player, I’d be all about paying 8-10 bucks for BluRay versions of the few titles I had on the list, but I wouldn’t be going out to buy a BluRay player just for this program and it wouldn’t even be a selling point, it would just be a nifty bonus thing.

    Plus, looking at the list, do you really need a BluRay version of Christmas Story over an upconverted DVD version they already own? Seriously?

  9. Colonel Jack O'Neill says:

    I was just watching Stargate in blu-ray that I’ve downloaded the other day, and I cannot tell the difference between that and a regular DVD.
    Or maybe on a 32″ LCD you can’t see the difference.

  10. diasdiem says:

    All the new movies I feel are worth owning I get on Blu-Ray. Won’t be replacing my existing DVDs for some time. I like the current trend of Disney including a DVD version with their Blu-Ray titles.

    • nbs2 says:

      @diasdiem: I do like this new Disney model. We don’t have a BR player/PS3, but we buy the BD editions because they come with the DVD that we can use for now. If I could get more than a couple bucks for the copy of Monsters Inc that we have, I’d sell it and buy the BD copy of that as well.

      • diasdiem says:

        @nbs2: I have a PS3, but can’t afford to have a BD player for every TV in my apartment. This lets me watch the movie back in my office while I’m screwing around on my computer. I can also take movies home when I visit my parents without having to haul my PS3 with me.

  11. Traveshamockery says:

    Granted, it takes a mammoth 1080p TV to tell a noticeable difference between Blu-ray and an upconverted DVD.

    False.

    My 42″ 720p plasma shows a remarkable difference between even well-done DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

  12. Etoiles says:

    This might intrigue me, actually. We *do* have a 1080p TV (I have a film background and my husband works in TV) hooked up to our PS3 and I might be persuadable to upgrading my rather extensive DVD library.

    But that said, we still only have one blu-ray player — the PS3 — and one HDTV. Anything I upgrade, I can no longer play in any of our computers or in the bedroom. So it’s still a disadvantage, in 2009.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Etoiles: But you can have a tube TV hooked up to blu-ray and it’ll still look better than a tube TV hooked up to a regular DVD player. With prices dropping on blu-ray players, you can get a new or refurb one for the bedroom. The computer thing is different, but a lot of blu-rays come with digital copies for the computer and those aren’t blu-ray.

      • yasth says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Well for one there are tube HDTVs, some of the best ever made actually as far as color reproduction. For a much more important other, with well mastered examples of both you will see no benefit at all of playing a blu-ray vs a dvd on an SD display. A dvd is 480p, and SD is defined as 480i/480p (in this country at least). Now a blu-ray player might well have higher quality DVD playback than an early example DVD player, but between reasonable examples, there is not a single technical reason for there to be a different/better.

  13. lannister80 says:

    1080p? Please.

    It’s trivial to tell the difference between an DVD up-scaled to 720p and an actual 720p source, let alone 1080p.

    • ElPresidente408 says:

      @lannister80:

      You’re comparing a lower resolution to a higher one?

      Anyways once you pass the 40″ mark on a 1080p set, you can see the difference between upscaled and Blu-ray. I recently upgraded my TV from 32 to 42 inches. At 32 (720p) unscaled DVDs looked just like Blu-Ray. However now I can really see a difference.

  14. Westonian says:

    I love the amazing fidelity of Blu-ray, and I did participate in Warner’s Red2Blu program. Those upgrades were typically $5 and you got to keep your HD DVD discs.

    This program however is not such a good deal. You pay $8 to $10, plus $5 shipping, and you give up the actual movie. Take Beetlejuice for example. $8 to upgrade + $5 shipping with no DVD copy. You’ll get the Blu-ray in 5 weeks.

    Or you could order Beetlejuice for $10.49 from Amazon, pay their minimum shipping, keep your DVD and get the Blu-ray in a few days.

    Before anyone takes Warner up on this offer, do some price searching and make sure it’s actually a bargain.

    • Taliskan says:

      @Westonian: I did the same with the Red2Blu program. I got some better deals off of Amazon first. Or even better, I looked at the price of the HD-DVD getting upgraded to Bluray versus the just buying the Bluray outright. I ended up getting bargain HD-DVDs ($2-3) and sendign them out for Bluray. I don’t mind waiting.

  15. MBPedia says:

    Most of these are budget titles anyway, that sell on Amazon for $8-$13. Seems like a lot of work for a little pay off – I’d rather pass my DVD along to a friend or trade it at a local shop for store credit.

    And count me shocked at the suggestion that one would find it difficult “to tell a noticeable difference between Blu-ray and an upconverted DVD”. The differences are huge in the video department, and one thing people over look is that even the grainer, dirtier Blu-ray releases also provide a distinct bump in audio quality.

    HD lossless audio is truly amazing, and has to be experienced. It was even enough to get me through Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen!

  16. Zeratul010 says:

    Blu-Ray sales are sagging because the movie industry is charging a premium for a quality increase over “good enough”. If they want people to buy Blu-Ray movies, -price them the same as DVDs-.

    • morlo says:

      @Zeratul010: Then it will all have been in vain

    • vastrightwing says:

      @Zeratul010: THIS! Yes, this is exactly the problem: DVD is good enough for most people. BluRay is better, not worth the premium price of upgrading your TV, Media player and all the extra expenses like HD content and stuff. Naw. I’ll wait until my SD equipment is replaced as it dies and then I’ll still watch low res versions of movies on HULU/YouTube.

  17. bfwebster says:

    In a word . . . no. My overall DVD buying has dropped during the past year or so. I got a BluRay deck a few months ago after my Panasonic DVR’s DVD player died. I’m buying BR for new movies I really care about, but — as per the comments above — for most of the existing DVDs I have, the deck’s upconvert function is just fine. ..bruce..

  18. jpdanzig says:

    I agree with the other commenter’s note about the high price of BR.

    If BR sales are sagging, it’s because the studios were greedy and stupid enough to charge a premium for higher resolution with little or no added content.

    And let’s face it, folks: the content available seldom warrants deluxe treatment. How many good movies come out a month? Perhaps one or two — in a good month. How many TV series are worth owning? Precious few — most network programs these days are garbage.

    I haven’t even upgraded to a flat-screen TV yet, because of the expense and hassle. Plus I keep hearing about flat screens failing after only a year or two, occasioning huge repair bills.

    Phooey!

  19. arsonisfun says:

    It’s frustrating how money-grubbing the movie industry is … They’d make a lot more people adopt Blu-Ray if new movies weren’t $40 each.

    The studios are making significant profit from this trade-in program too …

    $8-10 to exchange, material cost for the movie is in the $1.75-2.75 range, so they are seeing $6-8 profit per unit exchanged … maybe if they cut that profit margin down to $3-4 I’d consider upgrading some of my ~300 or so DVDs

  20. Willzyx says:

    Missed opportunity, Warner. If you opened this program up to Canada, you’d have my patronage for sure.

    • zerok00l420 says:

      @Willzyx:
      id start calling people. they can probably do it.
      or have a program underway for canada, maybe the currency needs to be updated with dif pricing.(conversion rates)

  21. superberg says:

    I’d love to take advantage of this offer, but I only have one DVD on that list. It would cost me $13 to update The Lost Boys. No thanks. Best Buy is already having 9.99 Blu-Ray sales, I’ll just wait for one that features that movie.

  22. Nakko says:

    I’m interested in trying this out! Already owning certain things on DVD is a reason why I don’t feel comfortable paying $25 or more for a Blu-Ray version. Seriously, I see a title I’d like, and I think, “Oh, but I already have that on DVD, I can’t justify this.”

    Now to see if their list of eligible titles is totally sad and tiny…

  23. Sian says:

    @Oranges w/ Cheese has 2 cats! ahahaha.: the film master is much better quality than even 1080p. The quality depends on the transfer from film to digital. ex: aside from the remastering, the original film was much sharper and more detailed than even the recent 1080 release.

  24. benchatt says:

    Just more proof that Blu-Ray is the optical BetaMax. Better, yes. Worth it? No.

  25. kryptonianjorel says:

    Or I download a BR copy of a movie I already own…

  26. Spike3185 says:

    I’d be all over that if they offered any of the movies i own.

  27. tijag says:

    “Granted, it takes a mammoth 1080p TV to tell a noticeable difference between Blu-ray and an upconverted DVD.”

    Is it really so rare for someone to have a 42″ or larger TV @1080p? The prices on these sets keep falling lower and lower, the quality is getting better and better, and the difference in quality is very noticeable from DVD – > BD. I can tell the difference from broadcast HD on showtime or hbo, and the real BD [Wall-E on Showtime vs. BD comes to mind].

    What irritates me is what i perceive as the elitism of the luddite.

  28. biggeek3 says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how many great older films are languishing without a Blu-Ray release while the most craptastic movies are green lighted for blu.

    Honestly, how does a viewer benefit from a blu-ray release of “The Wedding Singer”?

  29. layton59 says:

    I watch all my movies through an ELECTRON MICROSCOPE SYSTEM and the detail is AMAZING. It makes Blew-Ray (blu-ray) look dismal. Hopefully the ELECTRON MICROSCOPE SYSTEM (EMS) will go main-stream to the public very soon. All those who bought blew-ray will then need to replace all those blue cases with the rainbow cases of EMS movies. It is cool to be an EARLY ADOPTER. I can feel superior to all the LATE ADOPTERS and the NEVER ADOPTERS. (Sarcasm, it’s not just for breakfast anymore.)

  30. Traveshamockery says:

    @Traveshamockery: don’t know why this posted down here…look up.

  31. Razor512 says:

    @Traveshamockery: Many places offer paid 1080P downloads of movies and tv shows, the problem is that some shows don’t have a true HD source and are then up converted.

  32. pullapint says:

    @Traveshamockery: Because downloading = stealing. So when I watch downloaded movies from Amazon VOD with my Tivo DVR I’m stealing. You punk ass bitch! Your phone is ringing. It’s the MPAA thanking you for your continued support.

  33. diasdiem says:

    @Traveshamockery: He probably doesn’t have enough bandwidth.

  34. Trai_Dep says:

    @Traveshamockery: It’s almost amusing to see him appear on every thread only to insert-foot-in-mouth.
    Almost.

  35. GitEmSteveDave_WantzTaunTaunBag says:

    @Smashville_Flippin the Bird Before Bud Adams: No, I’m actually associated with Cash4BowlingBalls.com

  36. Smashville says:

    @GitEmSteveDave_WantzTaunTaunBag: Will you accept golf balls that I have drilled finger holes in?

  37. Daggertrout says:

    @Oranges w/ Cheese has 2 cats! ahahaha.: Because fine details are so much more apparent on a 60″ TV than a 60′ theater screen? :P

  38. Darklighter says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: See Daggertrout’s comment below. Anything made for the big screen already had good enough makeup and effects for HD.

  39. Westonian says:

    @YouDidWhatNow?: On a 67″ HDTV the difference is even more noticeable.

    [www.dvdbeaver.com]

    You’re telling me you can’t see the significant improvement in each of those frames?

    And that doesn’t even take into account the significant audio improvements. The best audio DVD can offer is 1.5 Mbps DTS. The Kingdom of Heaven Blu-ray provides a lossless DTS Master Audio track that averages around 16 Mbps that is a bit for bit replica of the studio master recording.

    Many Blu-rays street at near, or even below the cost of their DVD counter parts if you’re willing to look for the deals. I paid $10 for UP on Blu-ray and it included a DVD and digital copy.

  40. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    @Westonian:

    If I saw them side-by side *maybe* I could tell the difference. But I’m not looking at them side-by-side.

    My system has the 67″ TV and a 7.1 Klipsch Audio surround system driven by a very swank Onkyo reciever with every certification in the book.

    It is *so* good that I don’t care about BD. If BD is 100%, what I have is 99.8%, and I am not about to start spending an extra BD tax on all my movies to get an additional %0.02 that i’m not going to care about.

  41. aka Cat says:

    @Tiaris: You can also download them to rent on the PS3 network.

  42. diasdiem says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I didn’t say it was a perfect philosophy. Although, considering that they’re not technically losing money from me downloading it, insisting that I shouldn’t get to see it at all seems like spite to me :-)

    For the record, I don’t actually download movies. I did once download a copy of Monster’s Inc, but that was after it left theaters and before it was released on video, and I was going to buy it when it came out anyway.

  43. katstermonster says:

    @diasdiem: +1