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Universal to bond Blu-ray Discs to DVDs

Glue-ray disc concept returns

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Nearly three years after Warner proposed combo HD DVD/Blu-ray Discs as a way to end the format war, Universal Studios is trying out the notion, this time bonding Blu-ray with DVD.

Warner's scheme was called Total HD and involved sticking an HD DVD and BD together, back to back. It allowed the one platter to be played in either variety of HD player. Glue-ray disc, we called it, but no other suppliers adhered to the concept. Warner never released THD product.

Universal is going to release DVD-BD combos in the US, starting with the Bourne trilogy. The company's pitch is that the method will allow punters to buy Blu-ray even if they lack a player. They watch the DVD version now and then the HD incarnation down the line when they've upgraded their hardware.

It will also appeal, we think, to folk with, say, a BD player in the living room and a DVD player in the bedroom.

In fact, these users are surely more likely to buy into the notion. Universal is pricing the combos above Blu-ray level - though retailers may lower the price to match other BDs - so essentially it's a BD with a cheap or free DVD. If you don't own a Blu-ray player, wouldn't you just opt for a cheap DVD now and worry about Blu-ray later? ®

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