Thursday, September 27, 2007

Consumers Need More Motives to Migrate to High-Definition Video Analysts

Both Blu-ray disc (BD) and HD DVD camps are currently offering rather alluring deals to get players at decent prices along with free high-definition movies. But while Sony and Toshiba are fighting to make their backed formats dominant, they also have to popularize high-definition content overall, as apparently only half of those who may be interested in high-definition players know about them.

HDTV Owners Not Aware about High-Definition Video Formats

“As HDTV penetration continues to grow, manufacturers and studios will need to do a better job imparting the benefits of these formats to a consumer base that still reports a high satisfaction with the current DVD standard,” said Ross Rubin, director, industry analysis, consumer electronics.

According to a report by NPD Group released on Monday, among those who currently own HDTVs, only 52% are familiar with the availability of high-definition DVD players, but only 11% expressed strong intentions to buy one in the next six months. Around 73% of HDTV owners reported that their current traditional-format DVD player still works well for them, so they do not need to replace it; while 62% said they are waiting for the prices of high-definition players to fall.

NPD survey revealed that consumers’ knowledge of the HD DVD format is more prevalent than for the Blu-ray disc format: 29% of respondents were aware of HD DVD, whereas just 20% had heard of Blu-ray disc. Consumers who purchased a Blu-ray disc player reported that they did so because they believed it was superior to HD DVD; while those who purchased an HD DVD player did so because the price was lower than a BD player.

Familiarity with the latest formats is primarily coming from exposure to marketing – especially television commercials. 41% of consumers who say they are familiar with Blu-ray disc players and content gained awareness through ads and commercials. The same – 20% – is true for HD DVD. Nearly 20% consumers reported learning about the devices from friends and family.

More High-Definition Content Needed on the Market

Difficulty in communicating the high-definition message is compounded by the relatively small amount of available content in either of the two formats. NPD’s research shows that 64% of DVDs purchased by high-definition owners are standard definition; however, the primary reason consumers reported buying a traditional DVD was that the high-definition disc was not available.

“Early adopters aren’t choosing to evangelize high-definition players to others, in large part because they are unhappy with the available selection,” said Russ Crupnick, vice president and senior entertainment industry analyst. “The good news is that the industry can address this concern by releasing HD DVD and Blu-ray disc titles more aggressively.”

One encouraging signal for the industry is that existing HD DVD and BD consumers are trading up from standard definition. According to NPD, early adopters plan to replace nearly a quarter (23%) of their current collections with high-definition format DVDs (either HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc), and there is an appetite for more.

For NPD’s High Definition Video Player Report Series, more than 5,500 adults were surveyed between June 18 and June 28, 2007. Among the sample were 542 pre-identified owners of high-definition players and high-definition capable video game consoles. NPD’s new High Definition Video Report Series examines consumer awareness, ownership, usage patterns, and intent to purchase high-definition players and content, since these new technologies

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