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High-Def DVD? So What!

10 Aug, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner


Six percent of online consumers plan to buy new or upgraded DVD players in the next 12 months and only 11 percent of online households have HD-capable TVs or set-top boxes, suggesting consumer interest in adoption of next-generation DVD formats is low, according to JupiterResearch.

In a report called "Next-Generation DVD: Conflicting Formats Will Create Confusion and Slow Adoption" the research company cites the obstacles that manufacturers and media companies backing the two competing standards, Blu-ray and HD-DVD, must overcome to effectively launch a product given minimal consumer interest.

"Historically, consumers have resisted investing in format shifts. The release of multiple HD media formats at high prices adds to consumer confusion and ultimately slows adoption of any format," said Joni Blecher, associate analyst at JupiterResearch. "Although there is consumer interest in the improved viewing experience that's offered by HD, it's not enough to spark a media format shift at present. As a result, consumer electronics manufacturers and media companies will have a difficult time garnering adoption for any single next-generation HD format, let alone two competing versions."

Backward compatibility and low prices are the key success factors for any next-generation DVD format. According to a recent consumer survey cited in the report, 57 percent of online consumers cited low cost and 54 percent cited the ability to work with existing players as the DVD features they are most interested in.

Vendors and media companies are attempting to use hype to sell HD technology to consumers when what they want is low price and backward compatibility, according to Jupiter.


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