DVDs, Blu-rays, and Combo Packs

A few weeks ago I finally took the plunge. I swapped out my trusty TV/VCR/DVD combo with a 19″ CRT TV for a 32″ LED flat-panel and a smart Blu-ray player. Future, here I am!

Mostly I’ve been enjoying the streaming options afforded to me by the Blu-ray—Netflix, MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter—and watching a DVD or two from my current collection. But I admit, I’ve been excited to buy my first Blu-ray movie and really break this puppy in.

I decided I’d go buy 42, which I actually saw twice in the theater and totally loved. (Katie, you like baseball movies? Shocker!) So I went to quick go make sure I could get it at one of the stores nearer to me and an idea for the price. But here’s the thing: It’s available in a DVD-only option, and a Blu-Ray/DVD/Download combo pack. And that’s it. No Blu-ray by itself.

How stupid is that?

The combo pack on its own is not stupid. Some people may have more than one viewing area and maybe one of them still just has a DVD player. Maybe someone is still on a DVD player but knows that soon they will be getting a Blu-ray, and this saves them money on upgrading the disc later. Maybe someone’s got friends who borrow their movies and then lose them; having the extra disc is a good help, there! And the download could be handy, too (I’m less annoyed by that part of it).

But I’m not any of those people. I have limited space and have just had to put all my TV series discs into binders just to make some room for my movies. What I definitely don’t need is an extra disc that I will probably never have a use for. So why are you forcing me to pay for this extra stuff just to get the newest technology?

My friend Alli tells me that before the combo packs came out, she remembers Blu-ray only versions being at the same price point as these packs now, so she feels like she’s getting a bonus for nothing. But I never paid attention to Blu-ray pricing before. All I know is that the price jumps from about $20 for a DVD to $30 for the combo, and 2 of those things in the combo I don’t need!

So why not have the DVD for $20, the Blu-ray for $30, and the combo for, say, $35? That’s still a huge deal for someone who would have a use for both disc types, but as someone who doesn’t need both, I can see that I’m not paying for something I don’t need, that the Blu-ray is just more expensive because of the technology behind it. Right now, though, I feel like I’m getting ripped off. I’m more likely to just buy the DVD and be annoyed that I got this new tech that I can’t even really use to its full potential—and right now, I’m actually MORE likely to stop at Redbox and pay less than $2 to watch it today. In fact… *type type type* Okay, it’s reserved for me. BOOM. Plus I got another movie, so DOUBLE-BOOM.

I’m sure, eventually, I’ll get used to this. Especially as I see new movies that are Blu-ray only at the same price as the combo packs. But for now, for today? REALLY. FRICKIN’. STUPID.

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