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Beneath the surface Blu-ray, HD-DVD poll shows consumer split

Findings of a new poll suggest a 4-to-1-consumer preference for the Blu-ray disc over HD-DVD. The poll may also deliver a louder message to proponents of the competing blue-laser disc camps that consumers do not want to choose between incompatible, competing next-generation disc formats for pre-recorded entertainment.

The poll, conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates for the Blu-ray Disc Association, revealed:

  • At least 58 percent favor Blu-ray disc
  • At least 16 percent preferred HD-DVD
  • Up to 26 percent were undecided

Of those who describe themselves as extremely interested in buying a next-generation recording format, 66 percent favored Blu-ray disc as opposed to 15 percent who preferred HD-DVD, and 19 percent who were undecided.

Consumers making these format preference selections were shown this product comparison grid and asked to respond with their preferences.

Researchers did not ask respondents about how retail prices for hardware or media would factor into their preferences. Nor did the survey address other significant factors that might impact consumer preferences, such as the inclusion of blue-ray laser disc recorders in new-generation personal computers.

However, the poll seemed to confirm consumer reluctance to be caught between two competing, incompatible formats for pre-recorded movie releases, as they were 30 years ago when VHS and Betamax emerged.

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