In an industry first, Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced today the introduction of "groundbreaking" dual-format discs containing both Blu-ray and DVD versions of some of the studio's most iconic films. The new "flipper" discs will launch on January 19, 2010 with the spy thrillers 'The Bourne Identity', 'The Bourne Supremacy' and 'The Bourne Ultimatum', premiering in the US as individually packaged Blu-ray discs (see blu-ray.com, November 29).
According to Universal. this makes 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. Each side of Universal's flipper discs includes the entire movie as well as all available bonus features.
"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."
Flipper BD/DVD discs were tested in the early days of DVD, but they were deemed impractical. It is unknown what development has made them possible now, and if any other company has worked in the development.
In 2006-2008, when Universal supported HD DVD exclusively, they were the major studio that most often went for combo editions, using it for most of its new releases and even some catalog titles.
I liked to have HD-DVD/DVD combo discs when Universal and Warner supported HD-DVD. If properly encoded and priced (the downfall of the concept on HD-DVD was that studios charged a premium price for combos, making them $5-10 more expensive that standalone HD media) this idea could take off on Blu-ray.