Blu-ray Growing, but 58% Still Confused

For our shiny 1080P HDTVs, there’s nothing better for them than a Blu-ray Disc movie (or HD DVD, if you’re feeling nostalgic). And it appears more people are getting onboard the high-definition movie train.

According to the latest NPD data collected from point-of-sale tracking data, first quarter sales of stand-alone Blu-ray players in the U.S. grew to more than 400,000 units, an increase of 72 percent over the same quarter last year.

The dollar sales for the period only increased by 14 percent, however, reflecting the large difference in hardware price from 2008 to 2009. The average selling price for a stand-alone BD player (meaning no PC drives or PS3s) fell nearly 34 percent – from $393 dollars in Q1 2008 to $261 in Q1 2009.

Of consumers surveyed by NPD, 6 percent of respondents said they were “extremely or very likely” to buy a Blu-ray player in the next six months. On the other hand, 58 percent of respondents said that they were “not very familiar” with the Blu-ray format.

NPD also revealed that when consumers were queried about the reasons for not upgrading to Blu-ray, responses included that the current DVD player is “good enough,” or that the hardware and software was too expensive.