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Report: Blu-ray Adoption Delayed

29 Apr, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A new report says widespread consumer adoption of the Blu-ray format is at least 12 to 18 months away.

The study from Applied Business Intelligence (ABI), a New York-based research firm, said the continued presence of discounted HD DVD players and first edition Blu-ray players lacking upgrades such as BD Live and Bonus View (picture-in-picture) negate the ability of most retailers to proactively sell the format.

Steve Wilson, principal analyst with ABI Research, said manufacturers would rather sell fully featured 2.0 models than push early adopter models and contend with disgruntled customers later.

“BD player prices remain high and supplies are limited,” Wilson said. ”This is good for the market because most current players do not support all the functions that studios place on the discs.”

The report said that unless second-generation Blu-ray players retail around $200 and movies in the low $20 range, non-HDTV owners will continue to favor standard-definition DVD players.

Circuit City Stores this week began offering a free Blu-ray movie with the purchase of two other BD titles. Rival Best Buy is including a $10 gift card with the purchase of select Sony Blu-ray movies.

In addition the study said the current economic downturn in the United States would likely result in HDTV and prospective HDTV owners to opt for upconverting standard DVD players instead of purchasing higher-ticket Blu-ray.

On the PC side, despite optical disc drive manufacturers cutting prices for BD-ROM drives, the report said they are still three to four times more expensive than red laser drives in addition to requiring advanced graphics.

In the interim, Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console, which has a Blu-ray drive, is projected to represent 85% of the BD player market this year and through 2013 until overtaken by third-party and PC-based BD players.

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