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HDTV Popular but Blu-ray Adoption Lukewarm, HD DVD Still Growing!?

Jun 18 2009, 6:09am CDT | by , in News | Home Entertainment

HDTV Popular but Blu-ray Adoption Lukewarm, HD DVD Still Growing!?
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According to Harris Interactive, the Blu-ray format may have won the format war, but consumers are still very slow to adopt the format. According to the firm 11% of Americans own a HD DVD player and 7% own a Blu-ray player while 9% own the PS3 meaning 16% of Americans can play Blu-ray films.

The strange fact from Harris is that HD DVD player sales are UP 11% in 2009. Sales are up on a format that's been defunct since late 2007? Harris claims that the increase in HD DVD player sales is about the same as the increase in Blu-ray sales.

Nearly half of consumers now own a HDTV with 47% of respondents to the survey saying they have an HDTV. The study also found that HDTV ownership is tied to household income with 27% of homes under $35,000 yearly owning an HDTV and 62% of homes with more than $75,000 in income owning an HDTV.

Via Harris Interactive

Full PR Text below:

While HDTV Resides in More Households, Interest in Blu-ray Remains Lukewarm

Few Likely to Purchase a Blu-ray Player within the Next Year

ROCHESTER, N.Y. --(Business Wire)-- Jun 18, 2009 While Blu-ray was declared the big “winner” in the high definition format war last year, consumers may be slow to be part of the winning team. In fact, Americans are not jumping on board with any of the high definition DVD players. Just one in ten Americans (11%) own a HD DVD player while 7% own a Blu-ray player. Looking at the other devices for playing HD DVDs, 9% own a Sony PLAYSTATION®3 (which plays Blu-ray ) and 3% have the external HD DVD drive for the Xbox® 360 (which plays HD DVDs).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,401 U.S. adults surveyed online between April 13 and 21, 2009 by Harris Interactive®.

While slow to catch on, ownership of all these high definition disc players is up from May 2008. Interestingly, while Blu-ray was the clear “format war” winner over HD DVD, sales of HD DVD players (11% in 2009 vs. 6% in 2008) are up over 2008 by about the same margin as Blu-ray players (7% in 2009 vs. 4% in 2008). Both were rivaled by the Sony PLAYSTATION®3 (9% vs. 5%). However, only 3% purchased the external HD DVD drive for the Xbox® 360, up from 1% in 2008. There is no expected surge of interest pending -- only 7% of non-Blu-ray player owners report a likely purchase of a Blu-ray disc player within the next year, down from 9% in May 2008

Ownership of HDTVs

Looking at high definition television sets, almost half of consumers now report owning a high definition television (47%), up decidedly from May of 2008 (35%). HDTV ownership rises dramatically with household income (27% for those with less than $35K vs. 62% among those with more than $75K).

Are Blu-ray Player Owners Switching from Standard DVDs to Blu-ray Discs?

On average, consumers purchased approximately 6 Standard Format DVD’s in the last six months compared with 1 in HD format (HD DVD .7 vs. Blu-ray .5). However, plans to purchase Standard Format DVD’s is down by half compared to past six month purchases, while interest in HD DVD’s (.6) and Blu-ray (.7) are holding their own. Notably, HD DVD format purchases reflect the continued sales of the HD DVD players within the past year.

When Blu-ray player or PS3™ owners are asked specifically about standard versus Blu-ray format purchases, the results suggest a mixed bag of behaviors with some price sensitivity indicated:

* Only one quarter plan to switch to Blu-ray completely (25%), while one third of Blu-ray or PS3 owners claim that most of their movie purchases are now on Blu-ray format (32%);

* Two in five are waiting for Blu-ray format prices to come down before they buy more (43%) – and a quarter buy Blu-ray regardless of price (25%); and,

* Only 1 in 5 appear to be replacing or duplicating their existing standard format DVD library with Blu-ray format (21%), and over a third say they only buy movies on Blu-ray format that they currently do not own on standard definition (37%).

So What?

In addition to financial issues that may be slowing consumer adoption, Milton Ellis, Vice President and Senior Consultant, Harris Interactive Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice added, “Blu-ray also faces competition from alternative technologies such as cable, satellite, and the Internet. Consumers today can easily watch high definition TV channels or use the Internet or video-on-demand to access high definition movies. In the near future, access to high definition movies may be a download or streaming delivery of one’s favorite movies to a home media server that eliminates the need for a Blu-ray player and Blu-ray disc. One thing is for sure, the market will be highly competitive and consumers will have a wide variety of choices for their entertainment experience.”

The Harris Poll® #63, June 18, 2009 By Joan Barten Kline, VP, Research, Business and Industry Sector, Harris Interactive

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