Researcher: 'Second wave' HD adopters favour HD DVD
But rather a lot of people couldn't care less
More people thinking of buying an HD TV in the next six months are also thinking of buying an HD DVD player than those who are thinking of buying a Blu-ray Disc machine.
The claim comes from market watcher The Diffusion Group (TDG) by way of the HD DVD Promotional Group. It's based on research conducted with US consumers, 1500 in October and 2000 more in November this year.
TDG found that almost 30 per cent of respondents in households that don't already own an HD TV are planning to acquire one in the next six months. This is interesting of itself, because it indicates that more than two-thirds of them aren't after an HD TV. The surveys sampled adult "internet users" and "broadband users", so the folk questioned clearly have some interest in technology.
Focusing on that 30 per cent who do want an HD TV, an unspecified number said they also want to get a hi-def media player in the next six months. Of that second total, 43 per cent want an HD DVD machine, while 27 per want a Blu-ray box.
Tellingly, 30 per cent said they were undecided. So there's clearly a lot more for the two formats' backers to play for than the small gap between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc fanciers suggests.
TDG identified 517 people who already own either an HD DVD or Blu-ray box - 14.8 per cent of the total sample. A smaller number - 293 people, 8.4 per cent - want to buy one. TDG didn't identify these folk as non-HD TV owners, so we have to assume that some already have HD TVs. Either way, it's not a ringing consumer endorsement of HD discs, of either format.
What else can we say? More than half of the folk who've already bought into HD media playback kit consider themselves early adopters. No surprise there. Well over half of the people who are planning to buy an HD media player are 'second wavers' - consumers who prefer to wait for the technology to stabilise and, crucially, for the price to come down.
They, said TDG, are more likely to favour HD DVD.
We'll see. What's unclear from the research is whether the survey was made before the Thanksgiving buying period or after. Other data points to a Blu-ray win here, though there's still Christmas to play for, so no one can justifiably claim outright victory yet.
We'd also suggest that the figures indicate that HD TV ownership - reckoned to be high in the US - doesn't translate into demand for HD disc, of either format. Both the HD DVD and the Blu-ray camp are going to have their work cut out persuading these folks they need a better machine than their regular DVD player.
No, I'm suggesting that 1080p via component is inferior to 1080p via HDMI. I used to be a proponent of component video being as good as HDMI, and really it's not, even at 720p it's not.
I am also suggesting that playing HD media over anything other than HDMI is done at the sufferance of the content providers. As MS has shown in Vista, their systems, just like those from Sony and others, are more than capable of limiting output of HD audio/video to particular ports.
Are you actually suggesting that if you use a component lead or a VGA lead with the 360 then your picture is downgraded to SD? If not (and it isn't - unless outputting over VGA at 1920×1080 somehow isn't HD in your book), then I don't see the issue. Also, the 360 VGA cable comes with audio breakouts built into the lead anyway (comes with dual phono leads, or alternatively you can attach an optical lead to it), so that's hardly an issue either.
Bluray discs ARE available at Blockbuster in (England at least) and I can rent both HD-DVD and Bluray titles from lovefilm. I have both players and can't really choose between them for quality. Also, I like to buy my films whether I'll watch them once or not. I'd much rather pay 13quid for a physical disk than a fiver for a 'HD' download which will expire in 24 hours whether I've finished watching it or not.
The problem with HD-DVD/Blu Ray
Why do we need HD-TV's? Because standard definition pics look crap on LCD/Plasma displays. the picture from the old CRT is far far superior - from a contrast and a quality point of view. To get a decent picture you need a HD source (although some manufacturers are better at upscaling than others)
As for HD-DVD/Blu-ray, I don't think either will "take off". Video on demand is here or just about here (Sky box office HD for example is the only source of HD movies in Ireland) and I don't see going into the future that people will want to buy loads of discs that they will only watch at most once (I did when I got a DVD first in 1999 - most are still in their shrink wrap...) The only ones that are used regularly are the kids movies but I have ripped them to my PC as the discs were being destroyed.
So the rental stores won't carry HD disks, the only current source is via Sky etc and people are getting used to this so come 2 years, the rental stores will start boarding up (In Ireland most of the smaller stores have already gone...) Disc based movies are gone, just like the video tape and this is all due to the industry not providing a united front (and over charging for the disks).
Connor - regarding the 'unbiased' survey...
Yes, I thought that too. It's like the political question polls. When you hear that a poll commissioned by one party or the other says something, do you automatically believe it to be objective, or do you remember that you can get whatever answer you like by phrasing the question appropriately? Polls conducted in this manner are open to intentional and unintentional bias.
Q: Do you plan to buy an HD TV?
If Yes then ask
Q: Do you intent to buy an high definition DVD player?
So, do you mean a device that plays HD movies or an HD-DVD(TM) player? I mean, is that a BluRay playerin in your pocket or are you simply upscaling?
I'd be more interested if they published the exact questions asked. Perhaps something like.
Q: If you intend to buy an HD TV in the next 6 months, which type of high definition movie player do you intend to buy?
Perhaps they could give multiple choice answers with a brief explanation of each choice? Upscaling DVD, HD-DVD, BluRay, none of the above.