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The high definition disc format war is heating up with the recent release of the least expensive Blu-ray player to date, a Father's Day promotion that saw prices of HD DVD players drop to under $300, and now the Blu-ray camp is offering up five free movies with the purchase of a Blu-ray player.
From July 1 through September 30, 2007, consumers will be able receive five free Blu-ray discs by mail from a list of the following titles:
This promotion matches the ongoing promotion on the HD DVD side of things, which offers five free movies by mail with the purchase of any HD DVD player until July 31, 2007. (The $299 price for the least expensive HD DVD player, the Toshiba HD-A2, is still in effect at retailers like Amazon.com)
Keep in mind that there is a format war of sorts going on, so the movies available on one format may not be available for the other (some movie studios have chosen sides, so if you don't pick their side, they don't want to sell you their movies).
I recommend that you look at the list of available Blu-ray movies and determine if they are movies you are interested in watching. I also recommend subscribing to a rental service like Netflix, which offers a wide selection of Blu-ray (and HD DVD) movies, so you can save your purchases for must-have titles of favorites and great demo material. I have been doing this since I picked my Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD player last fall, and it's a great way to minimize the cost of enjoying movies in wonderful high definition!
One last thing, before you run out and buy a shiny new Blu-ray player, keep in mind that none of the player available today adhere to the requirements that the Blu-ray Association has put in place for all players sold after October 31, 2007 in regards to interactivity, local storage, and other options (known as Blu-ray Profile 1.1). Should this stop you from buying a Blu-ray player before that date? That's up to you, but the promise of five free movies won't get me to pull out my wallet for a player that, at the cheapest, is $499, and will be essentially out of date (one could almost say obsolete) within just a few months. When they have a player that matches the feature set of my HD DVD player, then we'll talk...
However, if you were itching to buy a Blu-ray player, this promotion will likely push you over the edge!
Be warned, though, once you watch movies in high definition, you want to watch every movie in high definition! Even what's called HD on cable and satellite does not compare to the picture quality and audio performance of Blu-ray and HD DVD.
I've included the full press release below for your reading pleasure.
Major Hollywood Studios and Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Announce Blu-Ray Summer Promotion
Summer-Long Consumer Promotion Ties Into The Growing Momentum For The Blu-ray Disc(R) Format
Campaign supported by major print and online media campaigns
LOS ANGELES, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven of the major Hollywood studios and six top consumer electronics manufacturers today announced the launch of the Blu-ray Disc Promotion, a summer-long promotional program intended to encourage customers to experience the unparalleled high-definition experience that Blu-ray(TM) provides. The promotion gives consumers the opportunity to jump-start their high definition library by receiving five free Blu-ray Discs from a list of over 20 of the most popular titles offered by participating studios when they purchase qualifying Blu-ray players between July 1 and September 30, 2007.
Participating studios include Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, MGM Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video. Hardware manufacturers include Panasonic Consumer Electronics, Phillips Electronics, Pioneer, Samsung, Sony Electronics and Sony Computer Entertainment.
Consumers who purchase any one of the many qualifying Blu-ray players from participating hardware companies will be able to select five of the following Blu-ray titles, which include new releases and fan favorites. Among the 21 titles in this mail-in offer are: Babel, Black Rain, Blazing Saddles, Chicken Little, The Corpse Bride, The Devil's Rejects, The Guardian, Hart's War, Invincible, The Italian Job, Kiss of the Dragon, The Last Waltz, The Omen , Pearl Harbor, The Phantom of the Opera, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Species, Stealth, Stir of Echoes, The Transporter 2 and Underworld: Evolution.
The promotion will kick off on July 1, 2007 and will be supported by a major print and online media campaign that will also launch in July. This campaign will be seen in such popular print publications as Maxim, GQ, Rolling Stone and online sites such as CNET and Google among others.
The Blu-ray Disc technology has quickly become a leader in the high definition marketplace and is supported by over 170 companies spanning consumer electronics, computers, gaming, music and movie studios. It represents many of the major brands that consumers have grown to love and trust. Brands such as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Pioneer, Phillips, Warner Bros., Paramount, Disney, Fox, MGM and Lionsgate are just a few that are supporting this revolutionary technology.
For more information on Blu-ray Disc, visit http://www.blu-raydisc.com. Details on the Summer Blu-ray Disc Promotion will be available starting July 1 at http://www.bluraysavings.com or http://www.blu-raydisc.com.
Source: Blu-ray Disc Association
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