Over half of US HD TV owners blurry on Blu-ray
Never heard of it
Fewer than ten per cent of US HD TV owners plan to buy a Blu-ray Disc player, local market watcher NPD has said.
The company bases its claim on an online survey carried out around the middle of March - a month after Toshiba effectively killed off the HD DVD format, but still almos three months ago. NPD's results allowed it to calculate that nine per cent of HD TV owning Americans plan to buy a BD player in the next six months.
Factor in the folk who don't already own an HD TV and the figure falls to just six per cent.
NPD was quick to point out, with 40m US homes now containing at least one HD TV, that nine per cent translates to around 3.6m units.
But there's still work for the content and hardware industries to do. NPD found that only 45 per cent of US HD TV owners said they were familiar with the HD optical disc format, indicating that over half of the people in said 40m homes don't know what it is.
True, this time last year, NPD found that 65 per cent of HD TV owners hadn't heard of Blu-ray, but one would have expected that figure to have fallen by more than ten percentage points given all the headlines the format gained by beating HD DVD earlier this year.
Interestingly, many of the people surveyed said they were happy enough with DVD picture quality - a fact given anecdotal confirmation by the large number of Register Hardware readers who say as much in comments to Blu-ray, HD DVD and PlayStation 3 news stories.
Perhaps Toshiba's post-HD DVD plan to push DVD upscaling will prove a more successful move than its promotion of the hi-def format.
Still, of those consumers who have bought into Blu-ray, they're switching their disc purchases accordingly, NPD found. Some 80 per cent of them said their next purchases will be BDs rather than DVDs. Picture quality was the chief reason for doing so.
Only 43 per cent of PS3 owners said they use their games console for viewing BD content at least once a month, so the Sony machine clearly isn't driving demand as much as some of the format's fans may have hoped it would.
...and the technical merits of Blu-ray really have nothing to do with your opinion that "poor" people should not be reading technical articles.
Actually I only re-read this comment page because a friend was interested, but just to pick up on some of your points:
I'm not impoverished, but like a lot of people I have *financial priorities*. And that is an important point. Why should I buy into HD when there is no great benefit?
Yes BD has a better resolution than DVD. I am not debunking the technical merits of Blu-ray at all. But why would I displace a working VHS/DVD/CRT setup with an all new, more expensive one? Because I get a higher resolution? That is not enough.
It doesn't make the drama more dramatic.
It doesn't make the comedy funnier.
It doesn't make the acting any better.
All I'm getting is a better picture. That is not a significant enough step change to justify ditching old but working kit. If we were talking about some wizzo-bang 3D-TV then that could be a whole different argument.
Back with BD, my storage requirements stay the same, unlike DVD to VHS. I don't save even more time by not having to rewind, like DVD to VHS. But even a VHS tape chewed by infants will play, DVD and BD are not so resilient.
By the time my existing kit goes on the blink I pretty much expect that BD will be about to be eclipsed or otherwise improved on. Then I'll consider buying it, not because it is new, but because I would have a real requirement.
I understand the "must have it because it is new" mentality. I just don't subscribe to it.
I know who I am. I am not someone who considers watching a movie in HD as a life fulfilling experience.
The fact that you're impoverished really has nothing to do with the technical merits of Blu-ray. Carry on with your wife's feet jammed wherever you like but really money talks and ... well, you know who you are.
"Saying that HD has no future vs. SD, now, is like saying in 1996 that DVD had no future vs. VHS because people had tiny, crappy TVs using RF adapters."
People still do. A *lot* of people. Mostly the over 60s. Little TV in the corner, and (when they're forced to) a freeview box that has an RF adapter (yes there are plenty of them), plus maybe a cheap DVD player probably with RF again or maybe using up the single non-RGB SCART socket if it's a more modern TV.
Blindingly obvious the difference may be, it still make stuff all difference to the vast majority of the population who have relatively small TVs tucked in the corner of the room. DVD on the other hand had a blatant advantage... no bulky tapes that got chewed up.
And what you see in Currys etc is *not* what the UK public have in their living room. Most people still have that TV they bought 5 or 10 years ago and have no plans on replacing it until it breaks. If they do they go with something that's flat because it looks nice, but don't give a stuff about HD.
@Bob you are sitting too close
60" TV with a viewing distance of 7'. The problem you are going to have is with your field of vision. To keep from having to move your eyes around to try and watch things on the screen, you need to sit further away. You are missing a good portion of activities at the sides of your TV, effectively making your nice big 60" widescreen TV into a much smaller 4x3 (you are only seeing the middle, unless you move your eyes). Sure you can "catch" something out of your perephrial vision and move your eyes, to focus on it but then you are missing something else.
You should be sitting 2-2.5x (depends upon who you talk to) the distance relative to the size of the TV. So at 60" or 5 feet you should really be at a 10-12.5 feet viewing distance... unless you like missing things happening on the screen.
Resolution? I don't need no stinkin' resolution.
Stuff this HD malarkey -- how about using all that capacity to give us the entire run of Monkey/Buffy/Friends/Ealing comedies/etc/etc/ad nauseum on a single disc at DVD quality?
We all know that a lot of the rereleased old stuff is just going to be software upscaled from TV quality for the master. Any HD player can do upscale, so why not employ the extra space usefully?