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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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • toxxel
    Would believe the price would deters people people from getting to know the difference between the two.
    Reply
  • scook9
    Thats because they havent seen blu ray on a HD tv yet. It is definately better. Even 720p is better. I have a blu ray drive in both my laptop (for traveling) and my HTPC, it is the way to go. And movies can be bought for as low as $15 now (depending on the title). And for the people who think that an upscaling dvd player is enough, you are idiots. The only advantage upscaling offers is that the LCD panel can now run at its native resolution as supposed to scaling down to the 640x480 (or less) resolution that DVDs come with. The color depth and sound are still much worse than HD (Blu Ray and even HD DVD if you can find them). I have watched "upscaled" DVD's on a very high end sony 52" LCD HDTV and in the dark areas of the screen there was very bad and obvious digital noise where the panel had to aproximate for a lack of color data for those pixels.

    Bottom line, Blu Ray is much better, if you dont think so, go to your local bestbuy and look at their demos. If you are really just too cheap, say that, don't try to act all high and mighty and say that Blu Ray is just overpriced DVDs.

    ALthough I do agree that paying for software to watch a movie from a disc that you paid for on a player that you paid for is bullshit. Thank god you can download any version of CyberDVD for free these days.
    Reply
  • erun
    @ scook9

    Sure, Blu Ray is much better for visual quality. However, some people don't mind the difference in quality and can enjoy a normal DVD as well. I don't necessarily watch a movie or TV for the visual quality, but more for the stories told, so despite being tech-savy and liking the higher resolution, I don't feel the need to shell out money for Blu-Ray.

    My point is that some people really mean it when they say DVD is good enough for them.
    Reply
  • radguy
    I don't think most people are confused. I bet that they didn't have a better answer on the questionare than "not very familiar" compared to other choices.
    Personally I still won't buy a blu-ray player until I can find one a good one under a hundred bucks.
    Reply
  • fuser
    I saw an article recently that suggested that many people really can't tell the difference because of eyesight problems.
    Reply
  • Even a nice low resolution youtube video can make most of the people happy. Does Full HD look better... yes, but it doesn't double the joy factor. Well, those shiny scifi movies may look awesome in HD but do people care at what resolution they are watching "Gilmore Girls"?
    On the other hand I was interested in blue-ray as backup medium, but HDDs have become so cheap...
    So I would say for an average person DVD does the job.
    Reply
  • grieve
    I often find myself saying “damn I love the picture” when watching a blue-ray on my PS3. As a matter of fact I notice such a difference it may take away from the movie because I’m busy noticing stones on the road or a needle in the haystack.

    I do not own a lot of discs however as they are simply too pricey still.

    If I had to choose blue-ray or DVD it would be a no brainer…. Blue-ray.
    Reply
  • zerapio
    scook9The only advantage upscaling offers is that the LCD panel can now run at its native resolution as supposed to scaling down to the 640x480 (or less) resolution that DVDs come with.

    The color depth and sound are still much worse than HD (Blu Ray and even HD DVD if you can find them).

    ALthough I do agree that paying for software to watch a movie from a disc that you paid for on a player that you paid for is bullshit. Thank god you can download any version of CyberDVD for free these days.LCD's don't "scale down", content is always scaled to the display resolution whether by the player (standalone or PC) or the display. Scalers on low end displays usually have very basic interpolation algorithms and that's why the resulting image looks bad compared to that from a player. Some players have sophisticated algorithms for interpolating that exploit spatial and temporal information from the pixels that produce pretty good upscaled images.

    I do agree with you that the Blue Ray format brings other improvements than image resolution. I do not agree that because you purchased a BD movie and a BD-ROM that you're entitled to pirating a player. If you feel that HD players should be free and paying for them is "bulshit" then go to SourceForge and start working on an open source one. It's an excellent way of protesting.
    Reply
  • Myrdek
    @ scook9

    Of course it's better, but if you compare to the earlier format evolution its a very small step forward. When DVD came out, it was one huge upgrade over VHS, making the leap was very tempting.

    Blu-Ray is a very small upgrade compared to DVD and most people don't really mind missing out on it unless its very cheap. That and the fact that most people don't even have the TV for it, or its not big enough to see a difference unless you sit right in front.

    I doubt companies will bother making a new format after this, and if they do people won't buyt it. Unless they invent real 3D or something :)
    Reply
  • Oh I'm sorry would you like an engine with that car?

    That will be at extra cost...

    Thankfully LG and ASUS are bundling decent HD player software with their products. ( But I have to pay EXTRA for 5.1! )
    Reply