Blu-ray disc unit sales rocketed 167% last year, helping to steady the falling DVD market in Europe, home entertainment industry organisation the Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEGE)
Worth nearly £400 million in 2009, sales for the new high-definition Blu-ray format partially offset last year's nine per cent decline in DVD sales (two per cent by volume).
Overall, the home entertainment market across Europe was worth £5.5 billion in the last 12 months. However, this represented a seven per cent reduction on the 2008 figure.
DEGE chairman Yves Caillaud, speaking at the annual general meeting in London, said: "Blu-ray is gaining further momentum in Europe thanks to a concerted cross-industry promotional effort, near universal penetration of high-definition TVs, increased consumer awareness and greater player affordability."
He added: "Last year was never going to be easy, but in comparison to many other similar sized industries, the European home entertainment businesses in 2009 held up well."
Despite last year's sales drop, the industry is hopeful that the introduction of 3D TV will give the market a fresh injection.
Both Walt Disney and Sony Pictures have already announced 3D Blu-ray launches for later this year with the films A Christmas Carol and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.
The DEGE said: "Building on the record-breaking box office performance of Avatar and the success of Monsters vs Aliens, 2010 will be the year that marks the beginning of 3D's journey from theatres into European consumers' homes."
Despite DEGE's optimism, the need for new 3-D TVs and BD hardware as well as the requirement consumers to wear the special 3D glasses to enjoy 3D content makes the future of 3D Blu-ray at least uncertain.