Consumers Still Shy on Blu-Ray; Missing Out on Glorious High Definition Cinema

Paul_Lilly

What good is winning the war if there's no one to celebrate with afterward? That's the dilemma the Blu-ray camp has found itself in after having whipped HD-DVD out of contention in the high definition DVD market. According to a new consumer survey from ABI Research, there exists a widespread reluctance among consumers to jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon, with over half of the 1,000 respondents saying they have no plans to purchase one citing "other priorities."

So why the reluctance? Steve Wilson, principal analyst with ABI Research, believes it can be attributed to consumers' perceptions about the value proposition, which ties directly in with the high cost of both Blu-ray players and HDTVs. "We expect that player prices will remain above $300 for Tier One models for the remainder of this year," Says Wilson.

These are viable reasons, but what the survey didn't touch on is the recent movement towards digital downloads. Michael Bay, best known for directing Transformers, predicted the impact downloadable movies would have on the industry, and the medium has been picking up momentum. In addition to a plethora of services to choose from, Netflix subscribers can have movies delivered to their TV sets via a $99 set-top player that comes HD ready, and this fall Microsoft will update its Xbox 360's dashboard to accommodate Netflix subscribers as well. And then there are those that are content with the quality of up-converted DVDs.

This all brings up an interesting question: Would the situation be the same if HD-DVD would have won the format war? Post your thoughts below.

Image Credit: Flickr biladay

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