Americans Adopting HDTVs, But Not So Keen on Blu-ray

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Remember back in early 2008 when Warner Bros. effectively ended the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war by pledging to offer its movies exclusively in Blu-ray format? Toshiba may have thrown in the towel in HD DVD shortly thereafter, but a new poll from Harris Interactive (PDF) finds American consumers have yet to solidly embrace Blu-ray…and, in fact, HD DVD is still kinda holding its own against the format war “winner” despite having been dead for over a year.

The Harris Interactive poll surveyed 2,401 U.S. adults in mid-April, and found that some 7 percent own a Blu-ray player and another 9 percent have a PlayStation 3 video game console, which includes a Blu-ray player. However, some 11 percent of those surveyed actually own an HD DVD player, and another three percent have an HD DVD player for their Xbox 360. Add that up, that’s 16 percent of surveyed households with Blu-ray capability, and 14 percent with HD DVD capability. And while the death of the HD DVD format means future sales of HD DVD players and titles are dwindling to oblivion, Americans don’t seem too keen on adopting Blu-ray: among non-Blu-ray owners, only 7 percent indicated they were likely to purchase a Blu-ray player in the next year—that’s actually lower than the 9 percent who said they were likely to do so back in 2008!

However, Americans do seem to be embracing high-definition televisions, with some 47 percent of respondents saying they own an HDTV> The number is a sharp increase from May of 2008, when some 35 percent of respondents reported owning a HDTV. Unsurprisingly, having disposable income seems to be a strong predictor of HDTV ownership: some 62 percent of households reporting incomes over $75,000 per year have an HDTV, compared to just 27 percent for those with incomes under $35,000 per year.

The survey also found that among existing Blu-ray player and PS3 owners only about one in five are working to replace or duplicate their standard DVD libraries with Blu-ray editions, although over one third indicate they only buy new titles in Blu-ray format. However, 43 percent of Blu-ray owners say they are waiting for Blu-ray title prices to drop because they buy more titles.