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Old 04-11-2008   #1
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Default Blu-ray Now In 10 Million Homes

Blu-ray players are now in 10,000,000 homes according to a market research study by the firm, Interpret. The study shows more than half of U.S. consumers are aware of Blu-ray, up from zero percent just two years ago. Clearly, those ad dollars are working to both beat off Toshiba and Microsoft as well as to make people know that there is a better way to watch movies.

Prices on Blu-ray players have not dropped significantly since Toshiba pulled the plug on its competing format, HD DVD earlier in 2008. Playstation 3 console sales have helped significantly with increasing marketshare and studios work to release films that speak to the gaming community. HD DVD players were selling for under $100 for a capable machine while Blu-ray players are selling for between $300 to $400 for starters currently in the market place.

But if anyone thinks Blu-ray has won the battle at this stage consider that 10,000,000 homes represent about nine percent of the total households in the market. The reigning home video champion, DVD, is sporting a 91 percent marketshare. At some point the studios will have to work to put Blu-ray titles out first, get solid distribution in the warehouse stores like Wal-mart and Costco and put downward pressure on player prices. At that stage Blu-ray can and will gain more marketshare. The question is: will lower resolution 720p and 1080i downloads and or pay-per-view options trump the higher resolution and overall better quality Blu-ray disc. Apple and others are betting convenience will out sell quality again (think 1/4 the resolution of CD tracks being sold ala carte on iTunes) with their pending 720p downloads. The studios need to be careful in order to nurture Blu-ray into a viable format for the next five to 10 years. Signs from this study show that they are doing a pretty good job.

by: Jerry Del Colliano
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