Your Daily Phil

Is the format war more of a tiff?

Posted by lozenp on February 7, 2008

While much has been made of the battle between HD DVD and Blu Ray, it seems to the general public it’s more of a small squable.Take for instance the recent poll at Engadget HD. The question asked “Are you still happy with DVD?” Of the more than 46,000 respondants as of this post, 40 percent said they were fine with DVD. Another 36 percent said they were sitting out the format war. This means that 76 percent of people responding essentially will not be enjoying HD DVD or Blu Ray any time soon. Keep in mind these are results from a poll at a technology blog, people you would generally expect to be among the early adopters, looking for cutting-edge tech.While stats have shown that the adoption rate for HD media (HD DVD and Blu Ray) is on pace or better with VHS and DVD when they first came out, the fact is at this point it’s still a small market. For that matter there’s still a shocking number of people bringing home big new HDTVs and not hooking them up to an HD source. Those people surely are not going to purchase a new DVD player.

A recent NPD Group survey of 5,500 households with HDTVs showed that seven out of 10 saw no need to replace their current DVD player. In the last 20 years, 229 million DVD players have been sold and more than 90 million homes, or 84 percent of households, have at least one, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (via USA Today). To date, only 4.5 million HD players have been sold, but only 1 million of those are standalone players (the rest are Sony Playstation 3s or Xbox HD DVD add ons).

I still believe HDM is the way of the future (along with downloadable content), but now that the dust of the big holiday season and the Warner announcement have settled, I’ve had time to look at the big picture, and I see more waiting for HDM to become mainstream. Blu Ray is likely to overtake HD DVD by the end of this year, but it will be a long time before HDM takes over DVD.

Until that time, I’ll enjoy all the amazing features that come with HDM (amazing picture and sound, interactive features like U-Control) and share the virtues of the medium with anyone who will listen.

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One Response to “Is the format war more of a tiff?”

  1. Rich said

    Good Post. I can’t answer for everyone else, but for myself there’s two things I’m waiting on before I make the jump to buying a HD or Blue Ray DVD player. 1.) A clear winner in the format war. All signs are pointing to blue ray right now, but HD DVD is still holding on by a thread. 2.) Reasonable price for a player. I’ve come close on numerous occasions to buying a HD DVD player. In my mind those prices are reasonable, but #1 has kept me from making that jump. I feel Blue Ray is the way to go, but until the prices on blue ray players drop I’m not taking the plunge.

    I just bought an upconverting DVD player for $50. I’m perfectly content with that for now.

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