Blu-ray awareness greatest in United States, UK

The United States and the UK have the greatest market penetration of HDTV with 39 percent and 35 percent, respectively, and a majority of consumers in each country are aware of Blu-ray Disc technology, according to new research from Interpret.

The research reveals that 60 percent of U.S. consumers and 56 percent of consumers in the UK are aware of the HD disc format and that 9 percent of consumers in both countries own the format. In Japan, where 28 percent of households have HDTVs, consumer awareness of Blu-ray stands at 45 percent.

In France and Germany, HDTV penetration is relatively low, the study found, with 21 percent of French consumers and 18 percent of German consumers owning HDTVs. Awareness of Blu-ray in Germany stood at 49 percent, and in France only 30 percent of consumers have heard of the format.

When it comes to buying HD disc-based content, the survey found mixed results. In the United States over the past six months, HD disc sales exceeded SD sales at a rate of 8.7 to 7.7. In the UK, the situation was reversed with SD discs outselling HD discs during the same period — 11.4 to 7.9. In Japan, the rate was 5.3 to .6 for SD versus HD disc sales.