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Blu-ray Household Penetration Tops 17%

29 Sep, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The number of U.S. households with at least one Blu-ray Disc player has doubled since 2008, reaching 17% in July, according to a new report.

Though less than one-in-five homes, the percentage exceeds the domestic household penetration of Netflix, which is about 15%. DVD household penetration exceeds 95%, still ranking as the top consumer electronics product launch in history. Indeed, Apple-based computers, at the end of 2009 and prior to the launch of the iPad, had 12% household penetration, compared with 85% for Windows-based computers, according to The NPD Group.

About 20 million U.S. households own both a Blu-ray player and DVD player.

A Centris white paper found that among Blu-ray households, nearly equal percentages (45% and 47%) watch discs on a Blu-ray player or Sony PlayStation 3 with a BD drive. Parity was only reach during the past six months following a near two-to-one advantage of PS3 players over BD consoles. About 1.7 million U.S. households own both a PS3 and Blu-ray player.

The report said that for Blu-ray player to grow significantly, its ownership base will have to move well beyond the PS3 platform.

Overall DVD purchases and rentals continue to lead Blu-ray, but each Blu-ray household rents and buys discs in greater numbers than DVD households, according to the report. The format continues to be the format of choice for younger, wealthier households with children.

Centris found that 85% of Blu-ray households own a HDTV and video game system (75%), compared with 62% among DVD households (47%). More than 25% OF HDTV households own a Blu-ray player, up from 15% two years ago.

About 26% of DVD households bought at least one DVD movie in the past 30 days, while 33% rented at least one DVD during the same time period. Among Blu-ray player households, 21% rented a BD title compred to 14% who purchased a title in the past 30 days. Overall, however, BD households rented and purchased slightly more packaged media than DVD households, according to the report.

"Although more Blu-ray households rented or purchase DVDs than they did Blu-ray Discs, BD households actually rented or purchased more Blu-ray titles and DVD on average," according to the white paper.

The report also showed Blu-ray households are more likely to have broadband connections (84%) than are DVD households (65%). In addition, 25% of high-definition packaged media households watched a transactional video-on-demand (VOD) movie in the past 30 days, compared with 15% in DVD households. BD homes (13%) also downloaded a movie in the past month, versus 6% among DVD homes.

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