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Stranded HD DVD owners offered swap schemes

Future Shop, Canada's largest retailer and e-tailer of consumer electronics has introduced a practical solution to allow the transition to Blu-ray while still enjoying existing HD DVDs for the 35,000 Canadians who have bought a HD DVD player. Other swap deals offered in US, Switzerland, Germany.

From 7 March to 3 April, customers who own HD DVD players – whether purchased at Future Shop, or another retailer – are invited to return their HD DVD player to a Future Shop location and receive $100 off either an LG or Samsung Blu-ray/HD DVD Combo player. "The Blu-ray/ HD-DVD Combo player is a win for customers as it allows them the opportunity to continue to view their HD DVDs while entering into the Blu-ray market," says the company.

Returned HD DVD Players will be donated to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada for use in their after-school and evening programs. There are over 700 service locations of the Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada.

In the United States, Circuit City Stores is getting on the Blu-ray digital video format bandwagon by tripling the period in which customers who purchased rival HD DVD players can return them. The US's No. 2 electronics retailer has instructed its stores to accept returns of HD DVD players within 90 days of purchase, a company spokesman said.

In Switzerland, Sony offers HD DVD owners a 200 Swiss Francs (€127) voucher + Sfr15 for shipping toward the purchase of a Blu-ray player (BDP-S300 or BDP-S500). The HD DVD player must have been bought before 29 February and the Blu-ray player must be bought before 31 March. Six Blu-ray movie titles are bundled. The Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drives and PC HD DVD drives are excluded from the offer.

Sony's Swiss swap scheme mirrors the deal the company offers in Germany where it has teamed up with Saturn, a major electronics retailer in that market, to help owners of HD DVD players make the switch to Blu-ray by offering a credit of €150 on the purchase of Sony BDP-S300. This player normally retails for €499 so the exchange would lower it to €349. This player can already be purchased for €380 on German Internet shops, but Saturn also bundles eight Blu-ray movies.

Story filed 10.03.08

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