The drop in the average price of Blu-Ray players is, not surprisingly, fuelling sales of the high-def disks.

But figures out from NPD show that the effect of cheaper players could finally be giving the format mass market appeal.

High hardware prices has long been given as a barrier to Blu-Ray technology becoming widely accepted.

The average price of Blu-ray players dropped nearly 34 per cent over the last year, falling from USD $393 in Q1 2008 to USD $261 in Q1 2009.

This, according to NPD’s Blu-ray Report, helped Q1 2009 sales of standalone Blu-ray players (not including PS3) to reach more than 400,000 units, marking a 72 per cent increase over Q1 2008.

Sales totaled USD $107.2 million in the first quarter.

Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD, said the rising penetration of high-definition televisions and lower Blu-ray player prices are broadening the format’s market opportunity.

"Even as options expand for accessing movies digitally, Blu-ray is carrying forward the widespread appeal of DVD into the high-definition marketplace."

Amidst these positive notes for Blu-Ray, NPD reports that 58 per cent of adults surveyed were still "not very familiar" with Blu-ray.

Some work still to be done then.

Subscribe to our Newsletter