Studios to Offer Blu-ray DVD in Same Package

It's kind of like front-loading a backward-compatible product. While Blu-ray Disc players can play standard DVD discs (a vital necessity, considering most disc libraries these days are still largely DVD), some studios are trying to get Blu-ray discs into the home even before the home gets its first Blu-ray player.

Ratcheting up the consumer appeal (and future functionality) of packaged content for both Blu-ray and standard DVD consumers, some studios are beginning to market both Blu-ray and standard disc versions of their titles in the same packaging. Thus, future Blu-ray users get a next-gen copy of a given title for later use, while still being able to view the DVD on their standard disc players. And Blu-ray users get a shiny new Blu-ray version for their BD players.

While Disney began a dual-disc technology approach a few months ago on a limited basis, more studios are taking the plunge early this year. Included in this marketing strategy are such titles as "Marley & Me" (Twentieth Century Fox), "The Princess Bride" (MGM) and "Limited Edition T2 Complete Collector's Set" (Lionsgate).

Disney, for its part, plans to release at least seven Blu-ray/DVD combination packs this year, according to some Blu-ray Web sites, including the animated classics "Pinocchio" in March and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" next fall.