Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Customers Can Convert Blu-Rays To Digital Media Through Wal-Mart

March 14, 2012

Wal-Mart announced it is attempting to bridge its online movie service with current Blu-ray and DVD disc owners.

Owners of Blu-ray discs and DVDs will be able to pay $2 per movie on Wal-Mart’s Vudu online streaming service in order to view them online permanently.

The offer applies to anyone, regardless of where customers bought the discs, but they must bring them in to a Wal-Mart store to get the discount.

Someone who owns a DVD will be able to upgrade to a high-definition version through Vudu for $5, while those who own Blu-ray will already be qualified for the high-definition version at just $2.

Wal-Mart hopes the move will give customers confidence that the discs they own today will not be obsolete in the next few years.

“Lots of people are facing this dilemma of ‘Do I buy a physical DVD, or what about this digital movie?’” John Aden, executive vice president for general merchandising at Wal-Mart Stores Inc, told The Associated Press. “We think this is a huge opportunity for us to break down that wall between those two.”

Wal-Mart is not the first to try and bridge online streaming with physical media.  Warner Brothers launched a new system called UltraViolet in October last year that allowed consumers to watch movies they bought on DVD or Blu-ray on multiple devices.

So far, only about 1 million people have signed up for UltraViolet, and it has been criticized for its integration on several devices.

Wal-Mart said it will offer the new conversion service starting on April 16 at the 3,500 outlets nationwide that have a photo center.

Employees are being trained to help customers sign up for an account with both Vudu and Ultraviolet.

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