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Survey: HD Packaged Media to Soar — in the U.K.

4 Mar, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Consumption of Blu-ray movies in the United Kingdom should increase significantly after a new survey ranked watching movies on next-generation disc the No. 1 start-up activity over the next six months.

The comprehensive digital entertainment survey of 1,608 adults, compiled by London-based Entertainment Media Research, found 24% of respondents said they would watch HD packaged media, compared to 7% who plan to stream or watch video-on-demand (VOD) on the Internet.

About 6% said they would stream TV programs, 4% plan to rent a standard DVD movie and 2% said they would watch a pirated DVD. Nearly 40% of respondents own or have access to an HDTV.

Over the course of the year, 43% of respondents said they would watch more Blu-ray movies while 35% said they would increase HD DVD viewing. Only 4% said they would watch fewer Blu-ray, 3% for HD DVD.

An equal number said they would increase or decrease DVD rentals over the period.

The study was conducted before Toshiba Corp. conceded defeat of its HD DVD format when Warner Bros. threw its support to rival Blu-ray Disc backed by Sony Corp.

Steve Evans, director of research, EMR, said 62% of respondents were put off buying HD packaged media and player for fear of buying something obsolete.“We believe that Blu-ray now has a very rosy future,” Evans said, adding that 35% of respondents are waiting for BD player prices to fall before committing.

The report also revealed that prior to Toshiba's decision, HD DVD had been the format of choice among respondents, with 16% regularly and occasionally watching movies in the format, compared to 8% who watched Blu-ray.

Indeed, 32% said they owned, had access to or planned to buy an HD DVD player, compared to 18% for a standalone Blu-ray player.

DVD Not Dead Yet

Evans contends the shelf life for standard DVD remains extensive due to consumer adoption of HD packaged media not likely to emulate the transition from VHS to DVD.

He said 34% of consumers are satisfied with DVD and 28% have no desire to upgrade to Blu-ray at all.

“There is a great deal of emotional connection to DVD, especially those with large DVD collections,” Evans said

.Separately, 84% of respondents said they would be interested in new and recent VOD movies released the same time as DVD.

About 70% said they would watch ad-supported VOD, while 15% said they would opt for an ad-free monthly subscription and/or pay-per-view.

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