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Thursday, June 07, 2007
High Prices Keep Consumers Away From Blu-Ray Recorders

According to a survey conducted in Japan, consumers are interested in the next generation optical formats but high prices deter them from buying the new HD players/recorders.

The survey was conducted by Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc. from December 2006 to January 2007 targeting 10,202 persons, both males and females, aged between 10 and 69.

According to the survey, only the 3.7% of all respondents is considering to buy a Blu-Ray recorder in the next 1 or 2 years. On the other hand, the 39.4% seems to be "interested in BD recorders."

The results could be shocking for Japanese giants like Sony who have invested millions of Yens in the promotion of the Blu-Ray disc format. And if BD recorders are not very popular nowadays even in Japan, the situation is not much better when it comes to BD players. Respondents who "consider purchasing a BD player in 1 to 2 years" accounted for just 3.1% of all respondents, slightly less than the respondents considering purchasing a BD recorder, according to the survey. Again, "the interest in BD players" seems to be higher, reaching the 35.6%.

Asked to what factors they give priority when purchasing next-generation optical disc equipment, most respondents (52.9%) answered "image quality," followed by "capacity" (47.5%) and "audio quality" (35.9%).

But high prices remain the basic factor that keeps consumers away from stores that sell Blu-Ray recorders. Japanese could spend 92,000 yen ($760 US) for a next generation recorder, while an ideal price for them would be around 68,000 Yen ($561 US). Prices lower than 68,000 Yen arise concerns among Japanese consumers related to the quality of the product, according to the survey.

The fact that the specific survey was held in Japan, which has traditionally consumers interested in high-tech products, indicate that the worldwide market is not mature enough to widely accept the next generation DVD products in the next 1-2 years.

Mizuho Information & Research estimates that BD recorders will spread rapidly as soon as their price drops below 100,000 Yen ($826 US).

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