New Release DVD vs. Budget Release DVD

Did you know there’s a difference between these two DVD releases of each film?

Ever wonder why you paid $15.99 for that DVD you now see in the $3.74 bin at WalMart? I’m going to show you why. Just wait and see here!

When a DVD is first released, a lot of marketing and design goes into the disc artwork, inserts, and sleeve The final product is usually a disc you feel was worth the new release price you paid even though at end of the days it’s 1’s and 0’s as digital bits on a silicone disc you are playing.

However when you see the same DVD in the $3.74 bin at Walmart you might wonder why you paid so much. Well let’s look at the original release of some Star Trek films vs. their counterparts. In each case the sleeve and barcode is the same (though one has been stickered over).

These two look the same but are not.

But then you look at the discs, the insert (or lack thereof) and realize that costs have been cut for the budget releases. The discs are now lacking artwork, the inserts are gone, even the cases are cheaper with overlapping discs.

On top is the budget release of Star Trek IV, the bottom is the new release version featuring artwork, insert, and a double disc sturdier case without the stacking / overlapping discs.

In the age of digital media, physical media still has a place. Often streaming services remove content, add content, rights holders change, and other strange movements happen but when you have a DVD you have it as long as your playback machine i.e. DVD, Blu Ray, 4k Blu Ray (or for that matter CED, Beta, VHS, LaserDisc, HD-DVD, VCD, or Philips CDI – did I miss any?) player works but you may notice over time that with a price drop comes a quality drop on packaging – even if the digital bits – the 1’s and 0’s encoded on that silicon disc – remain the same.