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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

looks like I picked the wrong week to say that I’ll never buy a blu-ray player…

Actually, I’ve been saying forever — for almost a year, at least — that I have no desire to own a blu-ray player. Yes, I’ve seen demos of blu-ray, and yes, it does look super cool, but I’m still not convinced that it’s better enough to make it worth the expense, not just for the player, but for the discs, too. I dread going through another format upgrade, and I really, really just want to wait for everything to be digital on-demand.

Also, until my laptop can play blu-ray discs, I need to stick with DVD, or I won’t be able to grab any more screencaps.

But Warner Bros., just now, may have headed off one of those objections: it’s gonna start offering blu-ray and DVD in the same package in early 2010, for the price of just one of them. I received this press release a little while ago:

WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES TWO BLU-RAY(TM) PACKAGING INNOVATIONS OFFERING CONSUMERS MORE VALUE AND PORTABILITY ON THE MOVIES THEY WANT TO SEE

Studio To Begin Offering Blu-ray(TM) Combo Packs On All Theatrical New Release Titles;

Blu-ray Disc, Standard Definition DVD, And Digital Copy All-In-One At No Additional Cost

Also Introducing The Industry’s First Line Of Affordably Priced “Blu-ray Double Features;”

Sets Will Include Two Of Warner’s Top Catalog Hits On Blu-ray Disc

Burbank, Calif. December 16, 2009 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment today announced two Blu-ray(TM) packaging initiatives that will give consumers greater value and portability when shopping for the best possible way to watch movies at home. Beginning in the first quarter of 2010, Warner Home Video will be releasing its entire Theatrical New Release slate as Blu-ray combo packs, containing a Blu-ray Disc of the film with exclusive special features and exciting BD-Live interactivity, a standard-definition DVD and a Digital Copy of the film. For no additional cost, Blu-ray combo packs offer consumers significantly more value by merging the unsurpassed quality of Blu-ray with the convenience of being able to watch the film in any format, on just about every playback device.

Warner Home Video is also launching the industry’s first line of Blu-ray Double Features, priced at $24.98 (SRP). Beginning February 23, the attractively packaged and entry-level priced Blu-ray Double Features pack will include a pair of well-matched catalog hits spanning multiple genres – comedy, action, drama/thriller and horror. The first wave will include “Dirty Harry” and “Magnum Force” starring Clint Eastwood; “Analyze This” and “Analyze That” starring Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro; “Presumed Innocent” and “Frantic” starring Harrison Ford; “Miss Congeniality” and “Miss Congeniality 2” starring Sandra Bullock; and Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.

“When people experience Blu-ray – they love it, and with Blu-ray combo packs on all of our top new releases, we are giving consumers the titles they want without having to sacrifice convenience and portability,” said Ron Sanders, President, Warner Home Video. “And our new Blu-ray Double Feature sets make it easier and more affordable than ever for consumers to build or expand their home movie libraries and discover why Blu-ray is simply the best way to watch movies at home.”

According to third quarter figures compiled by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), Blu-ray is on the rise. In 2009, Blu-ray Disc set-top player sales grew 112 percent over the same period last year and this holiday season consumers are seeing Blu-ray player prices starting around $100, making it that much easier for home audiences to see the films they love the way they were meant to be seen. Blu-ray devices are at the top of many consumers’ holiday wish lists this year are projected to be in 15 million U.S. homes by the end of this year.

On the other hand, if Warner Bros. can offer two formats in one package for the price of one, what the hell kind of markups have these discs been getting forever?



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