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Dual-format discs with Blu-ray and DVD content from Universal

By Damir Beciri
3 December 2009

blu-ray-discIn an attempt to elevate the Blu-ray Hi-Def format and provide consumers with the convenience and viewing flexibility, Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) announced the introduction of dual-format discs containing both Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD versions of some of Hollywood’s most iconic films. The “flipper” discs are announced to be launched on January 19, 2010 with the blockbuster super-spy thrillers The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, starring Matt Damon, premiering as individually packaged Blu-ray discs.

Consumers will have the ability to choose between Blu-ray and DVD formats, simply by flipping a single disc. With complete utility in one convenient package, the medium can be used on any DVD or Blu-ray compatible player, game platform or computer, making it ideal for anyone planning to upgrade to Blu-ray at a future date as well as current owners of both Blu-ray and DVD systems. Besides the ability to eventually look at your movies in better quality once you switch to Blu-ray, you can also use it in the future before portable Blu-ray players become as accessible as DVD players.

Universal’s flipper discs will feature two Blu-ray layers holding 50GB capacity in total in addition to a couple of DVD layers with up to 9GB of information. Each side of Universal’s flipper discs includes the entire movie as well as all available bonus features, with the Blu-ray side featuring exciting BD exclusives such as U-Control and BD-Live.

“Universal’s flipper discs are the perfect way for consumers to future-proof their collections while still enjoying their favorite movies on all their existing DVD players,” said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “The flipper disc offers an easy way for viewers to convert to Blu-ray now or at any time in the future, confident in the fact they will be able to experience their home entertainment purchases in the highest quality picture and sound when they do.”

Although they confidently announced this combo as the first and groundbreaking, it is a simple modification of their old plan to combine a DVD with a HD DVD. Universal was going to release up to 90% of their 2007 HD DVD titles on the hybrid discs – one side standard DVD and one side HD DVD. The studio has discontinued the production of hybrid discs and re-specified future disc for HD DVD only. Could we see the same story all over again?

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