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WHV Announcement: Warner to offer Blu-ray combo packs on all new release titles (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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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.
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment/videogames, direct-to-DVD production, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. WBHEG is responsible for the global distribution of content through DVD, electronic sell-through and VOD, and delivery of theatrical content to wireless and online channels, and is also a significant worldwide publisher for both internal and third party videogame titles.
 

mdnitoil

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Probably not a bad idea. Personally, I've gone to getting the absolute cheapest version possible of Warner new SD releases due to the fact that the encodes have been so bad. I presume this would replace the traditional single-disc bare bones version and will likely cost me more for the same poor quality. Can't wait.
 

James Luckard

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Excited to see FRANTIC, one of my favorite films, coming to Blu-Ray so quickly. I hope it's finally a widescreen transfer so I can replace my pan-and-scan American DVD and my PAL sped-up widescreen British disc. I can't imagine it'll be the same awful, grainy 4:3 transfer they used for the VHS and DVD now that most people have 16:9 TVs.
 

TheBat

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universalHD played frantic months ago.. It looked great. it will be better then the 4:3 dvd.

Jacob
 

MarcoBiscotti

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So will they be BD/SDVD compatible or simply include extra discs for SD?

If they would have adopted this earlier on with titles like Cool Hand Luke and How The West Was Won, I'm sure it would';ve increased sales ten-fold. Unfortunately this indicates that it's for new release titles only and since WHV doesn't ackowledge it's catalog titles anymore, I really see no advantage in that to me... But it's a good idea and should've been the set standard for all BluRay releases by combining them with SD to get them out to everyone rather than dividing consumers. It should save cost on having to produce multiple packages for both formats as well.
 

Mark-P

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DVD Beaver has screencaps up for Frantic/Presumed Innocent. I would like to see the studios use this model more often: Release a double bill of catalog titles at an affordable price by just putting the films out on BD as they are. Grain intact, no expensive digital restoration, no 5.1 remix. Just simple high-definition transfers and lossless audio of the original theatrical mix (in this case Dolby Surround 2.0)
 

Thomas T

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Are they saying that a SD of a new film will not be stand alone release but part of a blu-ray/digital copy trio only? What a waste! What am I supposed to do with the blu-ray and digital copy? Give 'em away? Throw 'em away? Use them as coasters? The future is downloading and streaming, Warners but nice try. Oh sure, the tekkies and film geeks will always want a physical copy in their hands but DVD, as we know it, is dead.

I suspect that their profits from the Warner Archives sales subsidize the risks they are taking on the blu-ray market.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Originally Posted by Thomas T

Are they saying that a SD of a new film will not be stand alone release but part of a blu-ray/digital copy trio only? What a waste! What am I supposed to do with the blu-ray and digital copy? Give 'em away? Throw 'em away? Use them as coasters? The future is downloading and streaming, Warners but nice try. Oh sure, the tekkies and film geeks will always want a physical copy in their hands but DVD, as we know it, is dead.

I suspect that their profits from the Warner Archives sales subsidize the risks they are taking on the blu-ray market.

No. There will still be DVD only versions available. Its just that if you opt to buy the BD version of a new release (not catalog) you will get a copy of the film on DVD too.
 

MLamarre

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I'd love a double feature of Treasure Island (1934) / Treasure Island (1990). That may be the only feasible way to get the 90 version on (pressed) disc.
 

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