U.S. sales of Blu-ray players soar: NPD Group

72 per cent sales increase

Kogan Technologies Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P

Kogan Technologies Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P

U.S. consumers are warming to Blu-ray disc players in a big way, according The NPD Group, a market research firm. First quarter 2009 sales of standalone Blu-ray players in the U.S. topped 400,000 units, a significant 72 per cent increase over Q1 2008.

Two trends are leading the sales surge: A rising number of HDTV owners seeking high-def content, and cheaper Blu-ray players.

"The rising penetration of high-definition televisions and lower Blu-ray player prices are broadening the format's market opportunity," said NPD Group analyst Ross Rubin in a prepared statement.

And while HD movie fans have a growing number of online alternatives to physical media, including high-def flicks on iTunes and Amazon Video on Demand, "Blu-ray is carrying forward the widespread appeal of DVD into the high-definition marketplace," says Rubin.

It's likely that part of that appeal is the fact that Blu-ray looks and acts like DVD. There's little if any learning curve, particularly if you simply want to play discs and not fuss with Blu-ray's more innovative features, such as Ethernet connectivity and Internet streaming via Netflix, CinemaNow, and other online providers.

If you're familiar with DVD -- and everybody is at this point -- the transition to Blu-ray appears painless. Simply slip a disc into the player, and you're good to go. While online services aren't necessarily complex, many users are reluctant to try something new.

The NPD Group report also illustrates how dramatically Blu-ray player prices have fallen in the past year. The average selling price has plummeted 34 percent -- from US$393 in Q1 2008 to US$261 in Q1 2009. Street prices are probably closer to $200 now, and some Blu-ray players could go for under $100 before the end of the year.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?