High costs and consumer perception that Blu-ray DVDs are not that much different from normal DVDs has created a dim outlook for the product, according to an article published in the New York Times’ Technology section.
The New York Times reports that a study released from ABI Research revealed consumers don’t really notice the better picture quality Blu-ray DVDs purport to have. The NDP Group (another research corporation) also released sales figures last week showing that the sales of Blu-ray players nosedived by 40 per cent from January to February. Sales managed to recover by 2 per cent from February to March, but this was accredited largely to Toshiba’s decision to discontinue its support for the HD DVD format, according to the New York Times article.
The sales of the Blu-ray DVDs are actually so low that the NDP group hasn’t released the actual numbers in fear that individual retailers would be indentified for low sales. The actual figures will be released later this year, according to the New York Times article.
Another factor in the low consumer interest in Blu-ray DVDs and players appears to be the hefty cost. The price of upgrading a normal DVD player to Blu-ray is around $70, and a brand-new Blu-ray player costs around $300. There also seems to be an inconsistency with the product, as not every player is equipped with Blu-ray all features such as Internet connectivity. The price of the Blu-ray DVD player is expected to drop to around $200 around Christmas time this year, at which time the future of Blu-ray will be more predictable, according to the NDP group.
ABI Research, however, gives Blu-Ray a slightly darker outlook. The research firm stated that Blu-ray won’t be a solid market contender until at least October 2009, according to the New York Times.