Survey: Tepid Interest Seen in Next-Gen DVD

A survey of high-volume DVD users by online DVD disc-trading company Peerflix indicates that about 20 percent of likely DVD users "may buy" next-gen DVD players (either HD DVD or Blu-ray) and discs in calendar year 2006, according to Reuters.

Adoption of the new formats (or one eventual format, perhaps) is being watched closely by content providers and hardware makers because while standard DVD sales and rentals of motion pictures now reap higher income than the theatrical phases of most title runs, standard DVD sales have recently leveled off (albeit, only after one of the fastest acceptance rates by consumers of a new standard on record).

Peerflix, a two year-old firm based in Menlo Park, Calif., interprets the survey as signifying that any significant adoption by hard-core disc users of an HD format is at least one year away. The company did express surprise that among its hard-core DVD base, the vast majority did not plan a leap to a new HD disc format anytime soon. Peerflix surveyed about 1,100 of its most active users, each of whom reportedly purchases an average of five DVD discs, and rents an average of seven DVDs, monthly.

Adams Media Research predicts sales of between one and two million game consoles (which can play one new DVD format or the other) -- plus about a half-million stand-alone players for Blu-ray and HD DVD -- by the end of 2006, according to Reuters and other published reports.