High cost and a belief that standard-definition DVD is “good enough” are the main barriers to US consumers purchasing Blu-ray players.
These are the conclusions of a study by the NPD Group, which found that manufacturers still face challenges despite rising awareness of Blu-ray.
The market research company found that 45 per cent of HDTV owners in the US now claim to be familiar with Blu-ray Disc (BD), up from 35 percent in June 2007.
And, while only 6 per cent of all consumers surveyed said they plan to purchase a BD device in the next six months, NPD found purchase intent to be higher among the growing population of HDTV owners, boding well for the future of the format.
The report reveals that 9 per cent of HDTV owners plan to buy a BD-capable player in the next six months.
Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, said: “With HDTVs now in approximately 40 million US households, that percentage translates to a pool of almost 4 million potential BD player buyers.”
While manufacturers still face the challenge of convincing some consumers to ditch standard-definition DVD players and content, those who do appear pleased with the move.
Consumers who purchased a BD set-top player cited “leading-edge technology” and a “superior viewing experience” as primary reasons for making the purchase.
And they indicated a clear preference for BD content. In fact current BD set-top player owners expect that 80 per cent of their upcoming purchases will be in BD rather than standard DVD.
By comparison, 43 per cent of PS3 owners use the BD capability in their consoles at least once a month; however, they do not view BD movies as often as set-top device owners do.
“The door is open for studios to feed the consumer’s appetite for Blu-ray content, and we expect sales to increase, as prices for hardware and software moderate in the coming months,” said Crupnick.
“Even so it will take a concerted effort by manufacturers and retailers to ratchet awareness even further and convince all of those potential buyers of the superiority of Blu-ray Disc versus standard DVD.”

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