Amazon’s Attempt at Helping Its HD DVD Customers

Amazon Blu-ray HD DVD DealEarlier this week Best Buy announced that it would offer $50 gift cards to its customers that purchased HD DVD players before February 23. Not only that, the company is giving some trade-in value for HD DVD players or movies, regardless of where they were purchased. Apparently Amazon wanted in on the good PR and has come up with its own way to hook up its HD DVD customers.

Here’s the deal I was emailed from Amazon since I’m a “valued HD DVD customer.” Links are placed exactly as they were in the email:

Dear Amazon.com Customer,

Expand your high-def library with this amazing deal exclusively offered to our valued HD DVD customers. Receive two HD DVDs for free when you purchase any two Blu-ray discs sold by Amazon.com and the Samsung BD-UP5000 1080p HD-DVD Blu-Ray Disc Combo Player. Hurry–this offer is only good through April 2, or while supplies last. Discount will automatically be applied at check out.

Shop the sale now.

Gee, thanks, Amazon.

In defense of the deal, this Samsung player is the cheapest combo player I’ve ever seen at $450. But it’s funny that Amazon thinks I’m interested in a deal like this after I spent about one third this price for a player and 10 movies. I mean, I’ll go Blu-ray eventually. But we HD DVD price sensitive consumers need more than even this “amazing deal,” Amazon.

While this isn’t nearly as bad as Sony’s marketing mistake, it’s still a bit of an eye roller. In related news, don’t forget to check out Apple’s new way of “helping” its customers. This is quite the PR / marketing week with plenty of tech companies forgetting that not all consumers are clueless.

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  • http://www.techconsumer.com Paul Ellis

    I love how they are trying to do you a favor by off-loading another dud (the BD-UP5000 hasn’t been selling well and is scheduled to be discontinued in May) HD movie player on their “valued” customers. I can’t think of a reason why someone would want to buy a player that isn’t BD-Live (aka Profile 2.0) right now. Of course Amazon and Samsung never say what profile this player is. I had to search elsewhere on the web to find out what profile it really is, and the best I could tell is that there is supposed to be a firmware upgrade to Profile 1.1 that came out in January but Samsung’s release notes for their firmware never mention it. It could be a lowly 1.0 profile player.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    Wow, Paul, I didn’t even think about those issues when I originally wrote this. The fact that it’s going to be discontinued in two months and may be incompatible in certain ways…

    And Amazon acts like they’d be doing me a favor and not the other way around. Why couldn’t they just call it a liquidation event or something?

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Paul Ellis

    That’s the big problem with Blu-ray. Hopefully they stop making changes to the spec at BD-Live/Profile 2.0 so eventually this discussion will go away. It is like Blu-ray wasn’t designed for the average consumer. Can you imagine being an average consumer buying an HD-DVD player only to have Blu-ray win, to then buying a Blu-ray player where most of the special features on new discs didn’t work because it wasn’t BD-Live?

    That is why I was an HD-DVD fan, it’s spec was done; all players could run (not just play the main movie) all discs. So this Samsung player actually supports more advanced features for HD-DVD (it specifically cites HDi support) than it does for Blu-ray. Try explaining that to Joe Consumer.

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