Why doesn't anyone want a Blu-ray Player?

US adoption of Sony's Blu-ray format remains slow

While Blu-ray holds plenty of appeal for AV enthusiasts, mainstream consumers remain hesitant to adopt.

While Blu-ray holds plenty of appeal for AV enthusiasts, mainstream consumers remain hesitant to adopt.

Blu-ray may have won the war against HD-DVD, but American consumers aren't exactly warming to the high-definition disc format.

According to a new Harris Poll, more U.S. homes have a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player compared to a year ago, but adoption is slow. Only 7 percent of Americans own a Blu-ray player, up from 4 percent in 2008; while 11 percent have an HD-DVD unit, up from 6 percent a year ago.

We suspect that HD-DVD's higher popularity is due to the fact that HD-DVD players were cheaper than their Blu-ray competitors, and hence were more appealing to early adopters. Plus, the format's discontinuation saw prices plummet dramatically, leading to a spike in bargain-basement sales. Of course, now that HD-DVD has gone the way of Betamax, it's certain to fade away quickly.

The popularity of high-def physical media gets a boost if you factor in the 9 percent of U.S. consumers who own a Sony PlayStation 3, which plays Blu-ray discs too. Still, consumers' lack of interest in Blu-ray is bad news for proponents of the HD disc format. Only 7 percent of survey respondents who don't own a Blu-ray player say they're likely to buy a Blu-ray unit within the next year, down from 9 percent in May 2008.

HDTV Yes, Blu-ray No

Nearly half of U.S. consumers now own a high-definition TV, according to the Harris poll. Add that to the fact that prices of both Blu-ray players and Blu-ray discs are falling rapidly, and consumer indifference to HD players is a telling sign.

The online poll by Harris Interactive surveyed 2,401 U.S. adults between April 13 and 21, 2009. A statement by Harris Interactive vice president and senior consultant Milton Ellis nicely sums up the challenges facing Blu-ray:

"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. 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."

Bingo. Home theater buffs and early adopters may take to Blu-ray, but most consumers will likely bypass HD discs altogether and advance directly to movie streaming and download services.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?