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Blu-ray awareness rising

HD DVD dead...

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If you still haven’t made the switch from VHS to DVD, then chances are you’re not up to speed on Blu-ray either. But research has found that over half of UK film fans are at least aware of the HD format.

The study was conducted by research firm Interpret and questioned people aged between 18 and 54. Although the study was done in January, a month before Toshiba officially abandoned HD DVD, 56 per cent of British respondents claimed to be aware of Blu-ray.

In the US 60 per cent of those questioned claimed to be aware of Blu-ray. But in Germany that figure drops to 49 per cent and to 45 per cent in Japan. Only 30 per cent of French respondents were aware of the format.

Few people appear to have invested in a Blu-ray player yet, with only nine per cent of British and Japanese respondents having bought one. Only four per cent of French and German respondents had splashed out on a Blu-ray player. In the UK, 92 per cent said they had at least one DVD player though.

Jason Kramer, chief strategy officer at Interpret, said the format war may be over, but that “Blu-ray supporters still have a lot to do” in order to spur mass-market adoption.

Kramer hinted that some consumers haven’t taken up Blu-ray because they may also need to upgrade their telly to an HDTV. But he claimed that the ongoing digital switchover could cause more people to do so, spurring them to buy a Blu-ray player too.

Fortunately for Camp Blu-ray, UK sales of Freeview-branded hardware rose to 3.8m units during the Christmas quarter just gone.

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