By Chris Nicholls

MINNEAPOLIS, USA: America’s largest electrical retailer, Best Buy, has decided to offer more than US$10 million in gift cards to customers who purchased an HD DVD player or plug-in drive from their stores prior to February 28.

The majority of the US$50 gift vouchers will be mailed to each registered owner, i.e. customers who purchased an HD DVD player with a rewards program card, also purchased a Performance Service Plan or purchased online, while other customers can contact a special phone number and confirm their purchase by quoting a receipt number or their credit card number used. 

"At Best Buy, we understood and shared our customers’ frustrations as they were being asked to choose one format or the other. Now that the format war is over, we hope these gift cards will reassure our customers that we will help them make a smooth transition into the right technology for their needs," said Best Buy president and chief operating officer, Brian J. Dunn.

"The beauty of this offer is that it doesn’t require our customers to give up their HD-DVD player," said chief marketing officer, Barry Judge.

"We know that many people who purchased these players have HD-DVD movies that they would like to continue to watch. We’re telling our customers they can keep their players to play these movies as well as their older DVDs and use the $50 to treat themselves to anything else in our stores."

Best Buy stated HD-DVD players can still be used to upscale Norman DVDs.

The program will complement Best Buy’s online trade-in program for HD DVD, also announced today, which means from tomorrow, customers who purchased an HD DVD player anywhere can receive a trade-in price on their machine at

Visitors to the site will receive instant estimates of the value of their HD-DVD players and movies. Those who agree with the estimates can then ship their goods to the trade-in centre free of charge by downloading a prepaid shipping label. They will also receive an additional gift card as payment for their trade-in.

At this stage in Australia, only Harvey Norman has openly confirmed they will assist HD DVD purchasers financially.