Whether it's lower prices, more people with 1080p HDTV, or a little of both, the explosion of Blu-ray sales the industry has long been waiting for seems to have finally begun. According to market research firm NPD Group, Blu-ray player sales in the first quarter of 2009 jumped 72 percent over sales in the first quarter of 2008. In fact, an NPD analyst thinks the biggest catalyst has been word of mouth, rather than advertising dollars, about Blu-ray's superiority to standard DVDs. Despite predictions that Blu-ray may never catch on fast enough to compete with the emergence of HD streaming video, it looks like the format will stick around for a while after all.
With plummeting prices and greater demand, you know Wal-mart's interest in Blu-ray can't be far behind. Right now, the mega-chain has roughly 20 to 30 percent of the market, which is less than the 40 percent share of the overall DVD market. It still trails Best Buy, which controls 50 percent of the market, with Amazon nipping at its heels with 15 to 20 percent. (Target lags behind at 10 percent.) If Wal-mart wants to put its mighty marketing muscle behind Blu-ray, it can eat into Best Buy's market share as it's done with some other electronics categories.
Have you recently made the leap to Blu-ray? If so, what made you finally do it? If you haven't yet, what are waiting for before you buy in? Let us know in the TalkBack section.