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BDA, Adams Dispute Harris Survey on Blu-ray

25 Jun, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

The Blu-ray Disc Association is challenging the accuracy of a June 18 Harris Poll, which says that as of April, more Americans owned an HD DVD player (11%) than a Blu-ray Disc player (7%).

The BDA on June 25 said the Harris survey doesn’t mesh with actual shipping and sales numbers for Blu-ray, pointing to Adams Media Research data that puts the numbers closer to nearly 8% for Blu-ray and less than 1% for HD DVD. Calling the Harris data “grossly inaccurate,” the news release states that by the end of 2009, Blu-ray players will be in nearly 15% of American TV homes.

Tom Adams, president of Adams Media Research, blamed the survey findings on consumers’ inability to identify what exactly is next to their TVs.

"Some people believe a DVD player on an HDTV is high-def. There's just so much confusion out there," Adams said. "Everybody makes mistakes" he said of the Harris survey "but we have models that show those numbers just can't be true."

“This finding suggesting that HD DVD player penetration grew from 6% to 9% in the period since the Blu-ray victory in the format war simply can't be right,” he said. “Our research on shipments and retail sales of players suggests that some 340,000 homes had an HD DVD player by the end of 2008 vs. 3.1 million homes with a dedicated Blu-ray player, and 9 million homes with either a dedicated player, a PlayStation 3 or both.”

Adams’ research has dedicated Blu-ray players in 7.2 million homes by the end of 2009, and, with the PS3 included, that number jumps to more than 17 million.

“Meanwhile, HD DVD machines are long gone from store shelves and household penetration is shrinking dramatically,” Adams said. “By way of comparison to what had been the most successful format launch in consumer electronics history, at the same point in DVD’s lifespan, four years in, at the end of 2000, DVD-enabled homes, set-tops or game machines, numbered 13.7 million.”

The BDA also noted that the HD DVD Promotions Group, just 50 days before the HD DVD format went under, announced set-top sales of fewer than 1 million units.

A representative from Harris were not available for comment at press time. However, Milton Ellis, VP and senior consultant for media for Harris Interactive Technology, said findings show that Blu-ray is facing stiff competition from Internet and broadcast TV.

“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,” he said. “That eliminates the need for a Blu-ray player and Blu-ray Disc.”

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