Survey: HD DVD ‘Intent-to-Buy’ Sentiment Still Leads Blu-ray

Despite what now appears to be an unmistaken tide of announcements in favor of Blu-ray Disc, especially in North America, HD DVD has done a rather good job of holding its own in North America and globally when it comes to sales of standalone players.

While that edge still remains in some parts of the world, a recent survey by the NPD Group indicates that consumers are expressing more of a desire now to purchase Blu-ray players than before—especially following Warner Bros.’ January alert that it will side exclusively with Blu-ray soon.

Yet Sony’s decision early in the HD disc war to include Blu-ray drives in all PlayStation 3 game consoles resulted in giving Blu-ray a huge lead in players-in-home (albeit not standalone units, per se) over HD DVD.

But all things are relative, and the NPD survey also points out there remains a very weak demand for both Blu-ray and HD DVD players, since many consumers appear satisfied with their standard (increasingly progressive-scan) disc players, especially when viewing content on HD screens. Surveyed right after the holiday season in early January, less than 10 percent of NPD’s respondents said they were planning to buy a standalone player (in either format) over the next six months.

Yet NPD said its report now points to a “diverging intent” in favor of Blu-ray, where those surveyed consumers (who all own standard DVD players) who intend to buy a Blu-ray player grew from 6.3 to 8.1 percent over the past year.

Still, although it’s a slow swing of the pendulum, this quirky stat remains: HD DVD’s “intent-to-buy” by consumers continues to be higher than Blu-ray intent-to-buy. Go figure. Stay tuned… but maybe not much longer.