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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Research Finds HD DVD and Blu-Ray in a Futile Format War


JupiterResearch cautions that the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is not only causing confusion among consumers, but it will result in major challenges for manufacturers as they seek to stimulate mainstream adoption of either.

According to the JupiterResearch report "Next Generation DVD: Will the Winner Be HD DVD, Blu-ray, or None of the Above?," while HD DVD and Blu-ray camps are attempting to win over the hearts and minds of consumers with next-generation, high-definition optical disks, HD content has little impact on purchasing decisions. In fact, a mere 24 percent of consumers cited HD content as a motivator to upgrade their home equipment. Because there is a far more extensive catalog of titles available on standard DVD than on either HD DVD or Blu-ray, there is little motivation for consumers to make the switch.

"CDs and DVDs both offered a clear value proposition to consumers when they were introduced to the marketplace. There was a visible difference in the experience that was easily grasped," explained Michael Gartenberg, JupiterResearch Vice President and lead author of the report. "The real competitor that both these formats face is not each other, but rather low cost DVD players with up-scaling capabilities that pass the 'good enough' test for most consumers."

Further confusing the issue is the growth and penetration of broadband, which is facilitating content delivery directly to consumers without the need for any optical disk. Combined with ease of use and the ability to move content from room to room as well as onto portable devices, the market for downloadable video content continues to grow each day.

"The abundance of material in such a wide variety of formats is going to make adoption of any single standard very difficult as consumers may well opt for a combination of what is already available," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch. "To be successful, manufacturers must offer a clear and visible improvement in quality and functionality as well as place greater emphasis on platform longevity and backward compatibility."

The complete findings of this report are available to JupiterResearch online at www.jupiterresearch.com.


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