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Early adopters overwhelming prefer HD optical disc; others continue to wait

A new report from The NPD Group sheds light on the slower than expected start of the consumer high-definition optical disc market.

The report, “High Definition Video Report Series,” found that the top reason high-definition owners purchase conventional DVDs is because the HD versions of the titles there seek do not yet exist. Additionally, The NDP Group identified a need on the part of studios to do a better job conveying the benefits of the HD optical formats.

When it comes to HDTV owners, the report found:

  • 52 percent are familiar with the availability of high-definition DVD players.
  • 11 percent have a strong interest in buying one in the next six months.
  • 73 percent said their conventional DVD player works fine so they don’t need to replace it.
  • 62 percent are waiting for high-definition disc player prices to drop before buying.

The awareness of the HD formats among the general consumer population is relatively low, with 29 percent saying they were aware of HD DVD and 20 percent saying they knew of Blu-ray Discs.

The report found a bright spot on the horizon for high-definition optical formats in the form of early adopters. The NDP Group’s research unveiled:

  • Early adopters plan to replace 23 percent of their existing DVD collection with HD-DVD or Blu-ray versions.
  • HD player owners also would like to buy 63 percent of upcoming releases in high definition while 37 percent would do so in the standard DVD format.

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