Hot on the heels of Circuit City’s plan to refund
all of its customers for their recent HD DVD purchases, Canadian big box
retailer Future Shop has announced its own trade-in deal for those looking to
unload their hardware.
Between March 7 and April 3, customers who own HD DVD
players are invited to return their hardware to Future Shop location and
receive $100 off either an LG or Samsung Blu-ray / HD DVD Combo player. The
retailer will even accept players not purchased at Future Shop as part of the
offer, though it is unclear if it applies to the Xbox 360 add-on drive, which
retails now for $50.
"Future Shop recently announced the change to
showcasing Blu-ray and liquidating HD DVD players," said Eric Stockner, director
of merchandising, home theater. "We recognize that some customers will
jump into Blu-ray but others who invested in HD DVD, and started to build a
library of movies, are interested in a transition and combo solution to the new
Blu-ray home theater and entertainment experience."
As noted by the offer, and unlike Circuit City’s policy,
Future Shop will only apply the $100 credit towards a combo player – so those
eying a standalone Blu-ray Disc or PlayStation 3 are out of luck.
"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," adds Stockner.
Right now, FutureShop.ca lists
two players applicable for the HD DVD trade-in offer: the LG Super Multi
Blue BH200 and the Samsung HD BD-UP5000. Both players are on sale for $499.99,
so a $100 credit would bring it $50 below the price of the cheapest Blu-ray
Disc standalone, the Samsung BD-P1400 at $449.99. Of course, $399.99 will also
buy a 40GB PlayStation 3 – arguably the smartest buy in Blu-ray Disc today.
While Circuit City will be returning all of its HD DVD
refunds to the vendor, Future Shop said that it would be donating all HD DVD
hardware to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada for use in their after-school
and evening programs.
There’s no word yet of if Future Shop’s parent company, Best
Buy, plans to follow suit at its retail locations.