Converting DVD to Blu-Ray

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but one of the things I have struggled with over the years is when to convert to the next technology.  I was slow going from cassette to CD, and even bought the same album twice so that I could have one of each.  In the 90s I started growing my VHS collection, only to see DVD get released in the late 90s.  I made the plunge to DVD in 2000 when Disney started making its animated features available.  Over the next 4 years my collection grew to over 650 DVDs.  I ended up selling off half of the collection in 2007, but I still continued to add to it slowly.

Avoiding Blu-Ray for the first few years was easy because of the war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.  Once Blu-Ray won, it was hard to resist the lure.  I managed to reduce my movie buying even more, since I was not in a position to also upgrade my TV and DVD player.  I only bought a Blu-Ray if it also included a digital copy – that way I could enjoy the movie, but be prepared when I finally made the leap in technology with my hardware.

Now that everything is upgraded from a hardware standpoint, I find myself faced with the same dilemma as before: do I upgrade my existing DVDs to Blu-Ray or do I let them go gently into the night?

Well, Warner Brothers made it a little easier for me.  Knowing that people like me dreaded paying the full amount for a movie they already own, WB created a program to allow for “upgrades” at a palatable price.  By going to their site (, you can choose up to 25 titles to upgrade, all for either $4.95 or $6.95.  You then send them the discs and they send you the new ones.

There are some catches:

  • It must be one of the titles they specify
  • They do not plan on changing any available titles
  • You can only get 1 upgrade per title, regardless of the number of copies you have
  • You can only do it from the US and Puerto Rico
  • You are without the movie for 6-8 weeks

I found 12 titles that qualified, so I paid the $70 (shipping and tax are added on).  that’s less than $6 per movie to get the Blu-Ray versus the  retail store costs.

Now, Disney has their own version of this deal at one of their sites (  Their program is little more customer-friendly:

  • No limit on number of titles
  • No limit on number of upgrades per title
  • Instead of sending discs, you send in the Proof-of-Purchase tabs
  • The selection of titles will continue to grow
  • You get to keep the DVD and the Blu-Ray

The only negative is that instead of being shipped a disc, Disney will send you coupons worth $8 per movie.  The idea is that you buy the Blu-Ray at the retailer but save $8 when you do so.  This is similar to what they do with new releases the first week of release.  The problem with only getting $8 off is that the retailers have the Blu-Rays marked close to $30 each, so I am actually better off waiting for sales or not upgrading.

My advice:  Examine each program yourself – the WB one only makes sense if you are getting at least 4 titles; the Disney one only makes sense if you need help with one title….

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