The Best Buy retailer chain today said that it will be sending out $50 gift cards to over 200,000 of its customers who purchased HD DVD players and Xbox 360 HD DVD units before February 23 of this year.
“The DVD format war has divided our customers in a way we haven’t seen since Betamax took on VHS more than 20 years ago.” Best Buy president and chief operating officer, Brian Dunn said.
Dunn said that Best Buy shared its customers’ frustrations during the format war, being asked to choose one format or the other. Now that the format war is over, Best Buy hopes the new gift cards will reassure their customers when making the Blu-ray transition.
The retailer is sending out more than $10 million in gift cards to customers by May 1.
While HD DVD players won’t play Blu-ray movies, they enhance playback of standard DVDs by converting the video resolution, according to Best Buy. However, those who want to get rid of their HD DVD players will be able to do so starting March 21 by visiting Best Buy’s online trade-in center.
Visitors will receive estimates of the value of their players and HD DVD movies, and can download a prepaid shipping label to ship the goods back to Best Buy for an additional gift card for the estimated amount. This program is open to all HD DVD owners, regardless of where they bought their players.