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I Was Burned On HD DVD: Now What?

Jul 29, 2008
"The format war was confusing for buyers," says a Samsung insider, when talking about Sony Blu Ray format vs. Toshiba/Microsoft's HD DVD. When the dust settled, 1.3 million consumers had dropped hundreds of dollars on an obsolete machine. Despite being able to play old DVDs and purchase roughly 386 titles on HD DVD, people won't be able to get any new movies coming out. "Now there are still HD DVD discs that people want to read; but no one wants to write to that format," the Samsung insider revealed.

They were told that new competitors would change the way consumers saw/heard movies in their own living rooms. However, Sony's Bluray player won the war in a surprisingly short amount of time. Despite HD DVD's short-lived life span, retailers are offering some reprieve for disgruntled shoppers.

Best Buy is offering a $50 gift card to people who purchased an HD DVD player or HD DVD Xbox360 unit before February 23rd. The gift cards should all be automatically mailed out by May 1st to "Reward Zone" customers or people who bought warranties. Other customers must call 1-888-BestBuy and have a receipt or credit card information ready, as proof of purchase.

Best Buy offers a trade-in center to scrap the old player, although you will not be getting a particularly good return on your investment. For example, a Toshiba HD XA2 unit, originally priced at $1,000, may fetch you $148.50 and HD DVDs $2.70 each.

Similarly, Wal-Mart shoppers will receive full refunds on returns of HD DVD machines, provided that customers still have their receipts. Anyone who purchased an HD DVD player on or after November 1st can return their player by April 30th to receive their money back and dispose of the old machine. Customers who were unfortunate enough to lose their receipts may want to turn to Best Buy's trade-in center for a reprieve.

What about all those XBOX360 users who hoped HD DVD would make their machines more updated and with better quality? Microsoft hasn't exactly been bashful about their bitterness and contempt for the Blu Ray disc format.

Customers understood that there were two competing formats and understood that one of them would probably prevail, so they made the decision to go with HD DVD." Despite their lack of sympathy, at least confidence in the generosity of retail giants can continue. Though it has cost retailers thousands, if not millions, they have done the right thing to keep consumers happy and coming back to the store for Blu Ray media, if nothing else.
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