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Friday, November 16, 2007
Blu-ray Disc Association "Refutes" Statements From HD DVD


The Blu-ray Disc Association dismissed the recent press release sent out by the European HD DVD Promotional Group about the sales figures of HD DVD in Europe.

"The Blu-ray Disc Association European Promotions Committee refutes what it believes are incomplete and misleading comments made by the HD DVD promotional group in a press statement this week," the BDA said.

The Association believes its counterpart is distorting the facts and presenting information that is intended to portray a misleading message to consumers and the industry.

"The press statement by HD DVD ignores the fact that of High Definition discs bought by consumers year-to-date in Europe, 73% were in the Blu-ray Disc format and 27% were HD DVD, according to sales data provided by Media Control Gfk International," BDA added.

According to the HD DVD promotional group's press release, in Italy the HD DVD attach rate is 4.4 and Blu-ray is 0.4. In France, HD DVD stands with a rate of 5 while Blu-ray stands with a rate of 0.6. In Benelux, Blu-ray has an attach rate of 0.4, compared to 2.9 for HD DVD. The Germans also have an attach rate of 2.9 for HD DVD while Blu-ray sits at 0.6 there and finally, in the UK, HD DVD owners have bought an average of 3.7 movies each, compared to 0.8 for Blu-ray.

Another issue in dispute is the HD DVD promotional group's definition of what constitutes a Blu-ray Disc player. Until this week, HD DVD refused to acknowledge that PLAYSTATION 3 was a BD player, claiming that it was bought primarily as a gaming console. Since the PS3's European launch in March this year, sales of Bluray Discs compared to HD-DVD discs have increased to a ratio of 3:1, clearly demonstrating that the PS3 is being used as a movie viewing device.

"The facts are simple: whenever the consumer has a choice, they decide overwhelmingly in favour of Blu-ray Disc," commented Frank Simonis, Chairman of the BDA European Promotions Committee. "According to Gfk, in Europe, Blu-ray Disc movie titles have outsold HD-DVD movie titles by 2 to 1 during the year to date, and by 3 to 1 since PS3's launch in March. The trend is clear: customers continue to buy more Blu-ray Disc movies than HD-DVD movies, and that is what counts. Viewing attach rates in isolation is an inaccurate and crude measure of performance," he added.

"It is interesting to note the HD DVD promotional group's tacit acceptance that PS3 is a fully specified BD player," comments Simonis. Since the introduction of the 40GB PS3 model in Europe at €399, sales of PS3 in the European region have tripled, with that rate having been maintained since the introduction. Globally, Sony Computer Entertainment remains on course to have sold a total of over 14 million PS3 units by the end of March 2008.

"The stakes are high, so it is understandable that each camp wants to portray their product in the best light," concluded Simonis. "However, to deliberately mislead the market by misrepresenting the facts is inexcusable. Coming into the critical holiday season many people will be making important purchasing decisions and these need to be based on sound information, not spin and hype."


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