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Thursday, July 14, 2005
Survey: Blu-ray Format More Familiar to Consumers

An early poll suggests that as the battle between Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD heats up, consumers prefer Blu-ray Disc as their format of choice.

The poll was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, a strategic polling firm. Consumers were given a side-by-side comparison of the two formats on the following dimensions: technology company support, Hollywood studio support, gaming console support, disc capacity, potential movie title availability and anticipated launch dates.

In this side-by-side format comparison, 58% of the 1200 consumers surveyed preferred Blu-ray Disc, 26% were undecided and 16% preferred HD-DVD. Of those consumers who indicated that they are extremely interested in purchasing the next-generation format, 66% favored Blu-ray, 19% were undecided and 15% preferred HD-DVD.

The poll, conducted in the US, also examined consumer attitudes toward high-definition television and next-generation disc formats. According to the survey, among the key reasons consumers preferred Blu-ray were the ability to play the discs in more CE devices, personal computers and gaming consoles, backward compatibility with current DVD media, disc capacity and the ability to record large amounts of high-definition or standard definition video and data. However, none of the above claims have been proven until now, especially the claim for wide compatibility of the Blu-ray disc with players. Early testings indicate that the Blu-Ray could suffer from compatibility and readability, due to their different structure.

In addition, the survey does not take into account the fact that the media/hardware price will be the key factor for success of any rival formats. Moreover, a leading format in the PC market should be backed by video software companies, that will offer the consumers the chance to easily author their HD videos. These are some of the numerous questions that should be answered soon.

Blu-ray disc is backed by a broad selection of movie and broadcast content from Walt Disney Pictures and Television, Miramax, Touchstone,MGM, ESPN and Sony Pictures. A selection of Blu-ray players, recorders and computer drives are expected from Sony, Hitachi, Sharp, Panasonic, LG Electronics, Pioneer, Philips, Mitsubishi, and Samsung as well as PC hardware from Dell and HP.

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