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At Least Blu-ray and HD DVD Camps Agree on a Few Things

18 Jul, 2005 By: Stephanie Prange

The Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD camps came out with competing research last week — each not coincidentally supporting their format. However, if there was a common theme in both reports, it was that consumers wanted backward compatibility with DVD and that they didn't want a format war.

In the Blu-ray survey, more than two-thirds of respondents — 67 percent — declared themselves split between the two formats, based on the divided studio support. Warner's survey found that 45 percent of respondents would not purchase either high-def format player if support were split vs. only 23 percent if there were agreement on a format.

The competing format backers' own research is telling them to compromise or risk failure. Maybe they will finally take heed.

On one bright note, however, both surveys found strong support among consumers for high def. Blu-ray supporter Andy Parsons, SVP at Pioneer Electronics, said the high-def picture got a “very visceral response” in focus groups. HD DVD backer Steve Nickerson, SVP market management, Warner Home Video, said much the same thing.

Clearly, consumers are ready for an HD disc. They just need one — and only one — they can count on.

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