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Bad news for Blu-ray in Harris Poll

Blu-ray may have come up trumps in the high-defnition format war, but a new survey indicates the victory is bittersweet

Bad news for Blu-ray in Harris Poll
Despite winning the format war, only a quarter of those surveyed by Harris Interactive plan on making the full switch to Blu-ray.

Blu-ray is Sony’s high-definition optical format, often seen as being in the ‘next-generation’ class of optical storage – beyond that of standard DVDs. But according to poll results released by Harris Interactive, only around a quarter of consumers plan to switch to Blu-ray, and only one third of existing Blu-ray owners buy most of their movies in the format.

Harris said that 25% of respondents indicated they plan on switching to Blu-ray completely, while 32% of existing Blu-ray player or Playstation 3 owners claim that most of their movie purchases are on Sony’s pet format.

“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,” said Milton Ellis, vice president and senior consultant of media and telecom practice at Harris Interactive Technology.

Sony’s Blu-ray technology emerged victorious in a prolonged format war with Toshiba’s rival High-Definition DVD (HD DVD), with the latter eventually ceasing production and virtually assuring Blu-ray as the successor to DVDs. That victory has not translated into all-out market domination according to the Harris survey, which queried 2,401 people about next-generation optical formats.

The Harris poll found that while 47% of respondents owned high definition television, only 9% owned a Blu-ray capable Playstation 3 and 7% possessed a standalone Blu-ray player. Despite being shelved by Toshiba, 11% of those surveyed reporting owning a HD DVD player.

“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,” added Ellis.

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