It appears Blu-ray being the "winner" of the high-def DVD wars early last year hasn't led to mass adoptionor even delivered a knockout blow to the "loser," HD-DVD. According to a study just released by market research firm Harris Interactive, more consumers have a dedicated HD-DVD player (11 percent) than a Blu-ray one (7 percent). Particularly eye-opening is the fact that there was more growth in standalone market share for HD-DVD players than Blu-ray units.
Including households with PlayStation 3 consoles (9 percent) gives Blu-ray a slight overall advantage, as only 3 percent of respondents said they own the HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360. But the survey says that consumers still purchase slightly more HD-DVDs than Blu-ray discs. Of course, the dying format has had the advantage of being sold at closeout prices, while most Blu-ray players still cost over $200 and Blu-ray movies are priced at $20 or more. Of Blu-ray/PS3 owners who responded, 43 percent say they're waiting for the cost of Blu-ray discs to drop before purchasing more of them.
So while some think Blu-ray's woes are related to the influx of ways to stream movies from the Internet—why bother buying discs?—the persistence of now bargain-bin HD-DVD as a format suggests that price is still the primary inhibitor to wider Blu-ray adoption. The fact is that Blu-ray doesn't provide the same value proposition that updating from inferior videotape to DVD was, especially when players haven't hit the $99 sweet spot yet. Any thoughts on why Blu-ray isn't exactly surging in popularity? Take the poll below and then let us know more in the TalkBack section.