BusinessWeek Says Blu-ray Ahead; Analysts Predict HD DVD FTW

Illustration for article titled BusinessWeek Says Blu-ray Ahead; Analysts Predict HD DVD FTW

Too long since your last shot of format-war speculation? BusinessWeek uses three indicators to call Blu-ray (and Sony) the current leading contender:
1. Blu-ray has sold more than twice as many discs as HD DVD this year.
2. While HD DVD has a larger number of dedicated players in the market, 2.3 million PS3s offer an overwhelming advantage.
3. Rumors suggest that Warner Bros. will go Blu-ray only, giving that side 70% of the home-video market.
At the very same time, though, analysts from the Diffusion Group released a report calling HD DVD the eventual victor:


The study says that, among those planning to hop to high-def discs in the next six months, "43% prefer HD DVD, 27% prefer Blu-ray, and 30% are undecided." Here's the funny part:

The most immediate wave, which is expected to be exhausted by early 2008, is comprised of the remaining early adopters a preference for Blu-ray. The second (and more sizable) wave will consist of early mass-market consumers who, while less enthusiastic about technology per se and very price sensitive, are more likely to favor HD DVD.

This corroborates what I said last week: when the masses start buying a high-def movie player for their high-def TVs, they are going to buy the cheap Chinese player, not the fancy $300 player from the recognizable brand. Also, Diffusion's research echoes an old argument: consumers who see HD DVD think "logical high-def extension of DVD format"; they see Blu-ray and think "WTF?" (Frankly, we're currently more partial to dual-disc players from Samsung and LG.)

That isn't to say that the BusinessWeek analysis wasn't good. I was taken aback by the Warner rumor, since Warner's HD DVDs are so much better than its identical Blu-ray releases, but if Warner does side with Sony, there will be some big trouble in the little HD DVD camp. [BusinessWeek and Diffusion Group]



I think the biggest strike against Blu-Ray is the name Blu-Ray. People are already used to saying DVD's, so HD DVD sounds like the more logical upgrade. While this doesn't necessarily make the format any better or worth actually buying, lots of people may see it as the more logical choice, just because of the name. Just a thought.