Wednesday morning at 3am I got the best and worst news yet about my growing collection of high-definition home video titles: Warner Brothers is offering a brand new program where consumers can exchange their old HD DVDs for Blu-rays at a cost of around five bucks. For a person like yours truly whose apartment has been referred to as a "crack den for cinephiles," this is obviously a great thing, since it means that I can replace classic movies like The Ant Bully and Scooby-Doo: The Movie without having to eat the cost of two high-def discs.
But for a person like yours truly who not only embraced HD DVD wholeheartedly, buying as many titles as possible just weeks before the format was officially abandoned by the studios, but then immediately replaced virtually all titles in my collection of any real value when I later got a Blu-ray player, this is sort of like telling me that I didn't commit enough to a dying format. As of April 2009, I have owned four versions of every Stanley Kubrick movie, two on standard-def and two in HD, and no fewer than six of Peter Jackson's King Kong.
Mind you, I'm not complaining. This is the closest thing to a mea culpa any of the studios have offered for folks who foolishly invested in the Betamax of high definition formats, and more importantly, the process seems amazingly simple: go to red2blu.com, click on the titles you want to exchange at a cost of around $5 apiece, send in the cover art (apparently they realize the discs aren't worth anything too) and you'll get your replacements in approximately four to five weeks.