Poll: What Do You Do with the DVD in Blu-ray Combo Packs?

These days, home video studios love to package Blu-rays together with DVDs and/or Digital Copies into Combo Pack releases, hoping that the promise of “added value content” will appeal to consumers. When you get these, do you actually use the DVD?

I can see this from the marketing department’s perspective. In theory, someone who buys a Blu-ray may not necessarily have Blu-ray players in every room of the house, or may want to take a DVD copy of the movie when traveling. DVDs are also useful to foist off on kids in the house who aren’t so picky about picture quality. At the same time, Combo Packs are intended to appeal to DVD shoppers who haven’t yet upgraded to Blu-ray but are thinking about doing so in the future.

Realistically, however, it seems to me that most people who buy Blu-rays only really care about the Blu-ray copies and don’t have much use for the DVDs. I certainly don’t. And anyone who hasn’t upgraded to Blu-ray by now probably doesn’t care about high definition in the first place.

My OCD compels me to keep the DVD in the original case with the Blu-ray, but I’ll never use it. Do you get more use out of these pack-in DVDs than I do?

What Do You Do with the DVD in Blu-ray Combo Packs?

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31 comments

  1. William Henley

    I give the DVDs to my parents. While they have upgraded to HD, they wanted to keep their old entertainment center, so the LCD in the living room is 32 inch. I did win a 42 inch LCD from HDD a few years back, and I gave that to my parents – its setup in the bedroom. I bought them both of their Blu-Ray players for Christmas, the surround sound HTiB for the living room, and a sound bar for the bedroom. I then started buying my mom the Little House on the Prairie Blu-Ray even though she has the entire series on DVD, and that is when she started noticing the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD (granted, the DVDs were taken from the tapes, the Blu-Rays from camera negatives, and the shows have been restored to their original lengths, so you see stuff that has been unseen for 35 years).

    Now, as for the digital copies, if they are Ultraviolet codes, I use those! After the fire last winter, I lost everything. When the new television came in, I fired up Vudu and had 30 of my movies! (out of 500). So I am a huge fanboy of Digital Content now. Some movies, such as Dune, I haven’t bothered to rebuy (the Vudu version looks better than the HD-DVD, so why bother rebuying), and some movies were only released on DVD but Vudu has them in HD (Several of the American Girl movies, and several other have been released in the past year that were previously unavailable in HD other than on Vudu)

      • William Henley

        LOL, yeah, I should have known that I can’t make a comment about Dune without clarifying.

        The transfer that VUDU has seems to be a lot cleaner than the one they used on HD-DVD (I have not seen the Blu-Ray version, I assumed it was the same transfer). Image is sharper, colors seem to be more accurate, and it seems that some special effects shots were recomposited (I watched it on Vudu just a few days ago, I remember some of the Blu-Screen effects feeling rougher than they looked here). The strange color issue that ran down the right side of the screen in the HD-DVD seemed to be gone in all but a couple of scenes (usually in the desert).

        If it is a different transfer, it wouldn’t be the first time that Vudu has used a different transfer than what is released to home video.

        Keep in mind that my HD-DVD player only did 1080i, so that may have something to do with the sharpness. I have no info one way or the other if this is a different transfer, I am just saying it is much better than my experience with HD-DVD (whether it was the player or a new transfer, I cannot say, but it SEEMS like its a different transfer).

        Should at least check it out, you have it on multiple medias, its only $3 to convert a Blu to digital.

  2. Conner

    I like to buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo packs. If it is a movie the kids enjoy, we keep the Blu-ray in the house and put the DVD copy in the car!

  3. I keep the DVD, maybe out of slight ocd-ness. Moviestop will take a few dollars off on new releases if you give them the dvd, but I’ll keep it. Although once in a while, I take them to my mother’s house as she doesn’t have a bluray player. I do get slight use out of them.

  4. NJScorpio

    The DVD in the combo is what I would loan people interested in the movie. First, I’d rather risk damage to the DVD than the Blu-Ray. Some people, I swear, they get 30 finger prints on a disc they handle for one viewing. Ugh. Second, I’ve loaned Blu-Rays to people only for them to return it to me saying “Oh, we don’t have a Blu-Ray player”. Some people don’t even know what they have at home. So, I don’t have that issue if I just loan them the DVD.

    • William Henley

      I actually did that a couple of weeks ago on the Dune Miniseries, just to find out that the DVD was only the Bonus Features (it does state it on the disc, just not clearly), and that it was region locked to Europe (granted, I did order it from France as there is no American release of it).

      Funny that I discussed both the Dune Movie and the Dune Miniseries in the same topic, but in different posts, regarding different issues

      • NJScorpio

        I’m currently working my way through Twin Peaks, and will be picking up Criterion’s release of Eraserhead…but I never saw Dune.

        I see it for $8 at B&N, I really should grab it…but I hear it’s great if you read the books, boring and confusing if you haven’t.

        • The movie is great, but it is really hard to follow if you haven’t read the book. I suggest picking up the dune miniseries from amazon.fr (its not available in the us) and watching that, and follow part 3 immediately with the movie. Not only will you understand it, but will develop an appreciation for the movie that most don’t have if they watch it first.

          Of course your best bet is to read the book, and its fantastic. The problem with the movie is that there is so much going on in the book, they didn’t even try to cover it in the movie, instead just covering certain scenes. If you know the story, its fantastic, if you don’t, your lost.

          So yeah, highly recommend the book or the miniseries first. Just keep in mind the miniseries is pretty low budget as that was the same yeah SciFi spent most of their budget acquiring Stargate

  5. Lord Bowler

    I keep the DVD with the package in case I ever need it for someplace that doesn’t have a Blu-Ray player.

    I bought some Blu dual disc cases, to merge my old dvds into the blu-ray case of an upgraded movie that didn’t come with a DVD. Otherwise, I give away or sell off the DVD if the blu-ray has a DVD in the package.

    The exception is when the DVD has special packaging or features unique to the DVD, then I keep both.

  6. Bill

    I use the DVD for the portable DVD player I have mounted on my treadmill. I keep thinking I should buy that Sony portable bluray player but it is not high on my shopping list.

    One other thing I often do is to keep the supplemental DVD discs when the BD does not provide the same special features. I put them in a paper CD sleeve. It fits perfectly in the standard BD plastic case.

  7. Jailer

    I use the DVD to make my own DRM free digital copies. Once you get the settings right on Handbrake the results are amazing. I share my movies over my home network on multiple devices and since they are saved on an external drive they are portable too.

    • Bryan

      Exactly what I do too … It’s not even that I care so much about being DRM-free (although that’s a plus too), but now that everything has an “HD digital copy”, frankly the files are just too big for most portable devices. My kids each have a tablet and the space gets used up extremely fast. I can make an SD digital copy at about 1/4 the size that will look just as good on the tablet screen. Much easier for sharing and getting onto multiple devices.

  8. Paul J Anderson

    I keep the DVD due to OCD as well. I will sometimes watch it in my Mac since it doesn’t have a Blu_ray player while traveling or laying in bed. No tv in my area of slumber. I recently discovered that some Digital Copies expire after awhile, which is total bullshit!

    • Trance Sends

      uh-huh, mine too

      BUT if there’s ever an issue with the digital copy (which I make myself to my own specifications), I can always re-rip it from disc which I keep in storage. No 3rd party can EVER decide I can’t watch MY digital copies, because I actually OWN mine (unlike those who have only long-term LEASES providing PROVISIONAL access to digital copies, but have no physical disc).

  9. PJ Schatz

    Usually buy blu-rays used at a video store (yes they do still exist), and the DVD copy has been removed. If per chance I buy one new, I just keep it or give it to a friend.

  10. Guy

    The DVDs in my combo packs got a lot more use before my parents finally went to an HD living room setup during pre-Super Bowl sales earlier this year. My dad would borrow movies he was interested in, but not going to buy himself like Skyfall and my nieces and nephew could be entertained by Marvel or Pixar movies when I came to visit. Now there’s an HDTV and Blu-ray setup at my place and theirs, so those DVDs just serve as extra artwork inside the case.

    (siderant: …except disc art is the exception rather than the rule these days it seems. When I get an eco-case, no artwork on the back of the slick, zero inserts and a plain Universal or Paramount disc, I really feel a profound sense of disappointment. I’ve had, “Are you buying a movie or buying a box,” said to me before, but, um, I sort of feel like I’m buying both. It’s that sick collector mindset. I’d like for them to church it up a little.)

  11. Steve-O

    Sometimes I’ll take a kids movie and use that in our minivan so the extra copy comes in handy. Once a fellow shopper and I split the cost of the Blu-ray combo pack because she needed the DVD and I needed the Blu-ray. I bought it at the check-out and we swapped the disc for $$. Free exchange between two individuals Capitalism at it’s finest.

  12. Jakdonark

    I do a bit of all. If it’s one of my favorite movies or if there are extras or an alternate cut I will keep the DVD. I almost sold my Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels DVD from the combo then noticed it was the extended cut. Same with Waterworld. I keep my Disney movies or other kids’ movies so my daughter can watch them in the van. Have to be careful with some of those too. I sold my Little Mermaid DVD a few months before the combo pack came out, then found out about the scene changes they had done. I’ve sold a number of DVDs to upgrade to Disney combo packs and found they often cut features from the previous release. Now I hang on to the old one until the new version comes out so I can compare. I kept my two disc Mary Poppins DVD and sold the copy that came with the blu. The rest I sell. Especially with new releases, it eases the cost a bit. And with a family, my movie budget is extremely small. Unless there is something collectible about the release I clear out the DVD.

  13. The dvd never comes off the spool. I like the drink coaster idea but there’s a hole in the middle so it’s not really viable. The wall art is pretty funny as well but that’s creepy, sort of like the guy that puts mirrors on all the walls and ceiling.

    I just had a recent debate with someone about the fact people are idiots as they have a 65 inch high def tv and keep running low-def dvds on them. Their excuse was the Blu Rays are considerably more expensive, to which I said that many of them are this way because they also keep including the dvd in them as well for people that are in a transition. Even today you can walk into a Walmart and find many Blu Ray titles starting at $4.88. During release week many titles are similar in price between the dvd and the Blu.
    So, consumers need to let the studios know these “transition” combo packs have gone long enough and to start phasing out low-def dvds. The market saturation for hi-def tvs is high enough.
    Stop releasing combo packs to reduce the Blu prices and phase out the dvd little by little.

    Then they said they did not have a Blu Ray player. To which I asked what they did when their VHS format went away? A CHEAPIE Blu Ray player can be had for about $35 – invalid excuse. I also asked what they paid for their tv. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    • frankie

      Another person who thinks everyone should “upgrade”, and if they aren’t….they are idiots. If anyone is an idiot, it’s people who run out and buy every new format every five years just so they can sell their collection for pennies or throw them away to upgrade to the next “latest and greatest”. HD DVD was a real barn burner! Not EVERYONE needs or wants blu-rays. Just because you have a HD tv doesn’t mean everyone has to NEED or WANT to watch HD content. Anyone who bought a TV the last bunch of years knows your only choice in a store is an HD tv. Guess what……most old people who buy tvs don’t care or can’t see the hi-def anyway! So what if they own a 65″. Sure, you say you asked these people why they are buying and watching what they are, but don’t just assume that guy looking at and buying DVDs in Wal-mart is doing it out of ignorance. Sorry, but DVD’s aren’t dead yet and they aren’t holding back blu-rays either. Consumers also like choices. You have yours, and everyone else has theirs. I myself buy blu-rays, and don’t have a use for combo packs but I’m also open minded enough that there are people who like and use them even if they were meant just to “get people into blu-ray and phase out dvds”. If you wanna bitch about something, bitch about the people who watch 4:3 content stretched to fill a 16:9 screen!

      • Trance Sends

        I’d normally agree with your “the more choices the better” argument, but we’re a little past the dvd vs. blu argument now. It’s been more than “5 years”…more than a decade, in fact. The current contention is BD vs. 4KBD. So seriously, for everyone who hasn’t upgraded to an HDTV and blu-ray, it’s time, past time, maybe even a little too late. I have some BDs that are now out of print (again underlining the point that the blu-ray format is OLD already). Oh, and about the aspect ratio complaint, I agree that’s an ongoing issue. Some people would rather cut off huge chunks of the image than see “black bars”, and unfortunately publishers sometimes chop up releases on disc to appease those people (1.78 vs 2.40) <—now that's something to "bitch" about (imo).

  14. We watch the DVD more than the BluRay. Once or twice a year I have to drive 1000 miles from TX to KY (and then back again) and the players in the car only watch DVDs.

  15. Michael C

    I personally hate the inclusion of DVDs and digital copies with blu-ray titles because I recognize it for what it is… blu-ray marketers justifying keeping prices high on new titles by stuffing value add items into the package. $25 is not that high a price when you consider that you are actually getting 3 copies of the movie whether you need them or not. Blu-ray 3d suggested retail prices are obscene but they justify the price because you also get a regular blu-ray and DVD and Ultraviolet copy. If you own a 3D blu-ray player you know that you have the option of playing it in non-3d on most units making a standard blu-ray copy unnecessary. I believe adoption of 3d blu-ray has been stunted by media costs. The difference between a blu-ray and a 3d blu-ray copy is the content not the disc. How else do they justify the inflated prices.

    I say offer both a single disc of a new title and a combo pack and let the consumer decide which they want. Then see what’s left on the shelf a month after release and adjust marketing accordingly.

  16. Kyle

    I buy a lot of my blu-rays from movie stores for cheap, but they tend to have the dvd missing already. If i do buy one that has both i keep it as it was part of what i paid for. Occasionaly i have friends want to borrow a movie that only own a dvd player, so it works out better for them when i have the combo packs as i pretty much stopped buying dvd.

  17. Mark

    For older movies being released in Blu-Ray combos for the first time, I keep the DVD because there’s occasionally SD bonus features that weren’t ported over to the Blu-Ray.

  18. Trance Sends

    i generally try to avoid buying blu-rays packaged with DVDs because for me it is wasteful; so I delay buying the movie disc until it is re-released in a blu-ray-only package. Simply put, if the only options are Blu+DVD or nothing, I choose the later.

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