Blu-ray Disc's prospects for the future appear bright, despite slower-than-expected sales attributed in part to the down economy.
An independent study found that high definition television owners who are familiar with Blu-ray favor the format over downloading and streaming by a margin of nearly 10 to 1. About 70% of respondents cited the fact that there’s a physical disc to keep as a key factor in their decision to buy Blu-ray.
The study, conducted this fall by market research firm SmithGeiger on behalf of DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, surveyed more than 1,100 HDTV owners in the United States and another 500 in Japan and 500 in the United Kingdom.
Respondents were asked to share their views on various forms of HD media, including digital downloading, streaming and Blu-ray Disc.
The study found 96% of Blu-ray Disc users are familiar with downloading and streaming services, but that two-thirds believe watching a movie on Blu-ray is a better overall entertainment experience. Nearly nine out of 10 Blu-ray users said they would likely recommend the format to potential buyers.
Blu-ray Disc has been in the market since June 2006, but adoption was stymied by a brutal format war with another high-definition disc format, HD DVD. Both formats offered picture quality about six times better than standard DVD. The format war ended last February when HD DVD backer Toshiba pulled out of the race, and Blu-ray Disc now enjoys the exclusive support of all six major studios as well as minimajor Lionsgate and a growing number of independent suppliers.
The DEG findings are contained a white paper report, "HDTV Owners: The Prospects for High Definition Media," that is being presented today to media and analysts in Los Angeles.
By Thomas K. ArnoldPhoto: Blu-ray discs are one display at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. (File photo, Getty Images)
Study: HDTV owners favor Blu-ray