Thursday, March 6, 2008

EXCLUSIVE!: Future Shop to Offer HD DVD Trade-ins

Future Shop has exclusively informed Marketnews (sister magazine to this blog) that the retailer will be offering an HD DVD player trade-in program, similar to Circuit City's recent announcement in the U.S., starting tomorrow (March 7). The program, which will run up until April 3, 2008, will afford customers who have previously purchased an HD DVD player from Future Shop with the opportunity to exchange it in-store for a $100 credit toward an HD DVD/Blu-ray combo player from either Samsung (the BD-UP5000) or LG (BH-200). This, however, excludes the HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 gaming console, which has been reduced to $50 as of late.

It's a pity that there isn't a promotion involving the return of an HD DVD player for credit toward a dedicated Blu-ray player, but you have to admit that the offer is still pretty darned compelling. Think about it: you can buy one of the players (LG's is currently selling for $430 and Samsung's for $800, which are realistically in and around the same price points as Blu-ray-only players anyway) and you're still able to play back all of the HD DVD discs you already have, as well as newly-acquired discs in the Blu-ray format. It's the best-of-both-worlds scenario for people who have taken the HD DVD plunge; and especially for those who have stocked up on tons and tons of HD DVD movies.

As for Blu-ray only players, Future Shop will be offering $50 off on all Blu-ray players (including the aforementioned combo models). Unfortunately, this excludes the Sony Playstation 3 gaming console, which has a Blu-ray player built in. When asked whether the retailer had any plans to offer a trade-in program for dedicated Blu-ray players, Ken Sorhus, Merchandise Manager for Home Audio, DVD & Blu-ray said that Future Shop will indeed investigate the possibility, but it has "no plans at the moment".

Will consumers see value in this existing promotion? Probably not all of them. But if the situation fits, it's certainly an incentive. Right now, if you want the high-def movie experience, Blu-ray is your only option. If you already have an HD DVD player, rather than let it collect dust, or position it next to a fancy new Blu-ray player you plan to buy anyway, why not just trade it in and use one device?

As for the returned players, what does Future Shop plan to do with them? The retailer has partnered up with The Boys and Girls Club of Canada, and will be donating the players for use in after-school and evening programs. Kudos on that philanthropic decision.

[Photo: Future Shop's Ram Manaktahla poses beside Samsung's BD-UP5000 combo Blu-ray/HD DVD player].


Sean said...

Looks like FS upped the price on the LG player its now $799.

Not much of a deal now.

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Hi Sean,

I just checked and the player is indeed on sale for $499 ($799 is the regular price). If you click that same link again, it does indeed show the proper price. Perhaps you caught the listing before the sales price was put up...?