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Blog site EngadgetHD is reporting that Wal-Mart is offering refunds on HD DVD players purchased after November 1, 2008. They reference an article in the Wall Street Journal that says the same thing.
This announcement follows similar offers by Best Buy and Circuit City. It is also along the vein of what I was suggesting back in January in my Journal article titled "Some Ideas to Get HD DVD Owners to Help Blu-ray in Its Struggle Against DVD for Mainstream Acceptance."
Those looking to get refunds for their players will need to bring their player and receipt to a Wal-Mart store by April 30, 2008. Original packaging is not required, and there is no word on whether stores are expecting the accessories, such as the manual, remote, or cables. If you have them, it can't hurt to bring them along.
So, should you take them up on the deal?
If you paid more than $100 (like I did when I took advantage of their pre-Black Friday deal on November 2), I would say definitely yes. It's unfortunate that there aren't any Blu-ray players worth buying in the $200 price range, because that would make an easy upgrade to a product line with a future ahead of it. But unless you're in the market for the $400 PlayStation 3, you would probably be better off putting your refund into a 6-month Certificate of Deposit, which will mature at about the time when Blu-ray players will finally be full-featured and at more reasonable price points.
I'm not sure that I will return my player, however. I have my five free discs, plus a few discs that I purchased and continue to watch from time to time. I think it's worth keeping for the $100 purchase price, but maybe my opinion will change as the April 30th deadline approaches. The fact that I still have my original HD-A1 HD DVD player makes the decision to refund a little easier as well...
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