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HD DVD and Blu-Ray in a Futile Format War

JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, cautions that the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is not only causing confusion among consumers, but it will result in major challenges for manufacturers as they seek to stimulate mainstream adoption of either.

According to the JupiterResearch report “Next Generation DVD: Will the Winner Be HD DVD, Blu-ray, or None of the Above?,” while HD DVD and Blu-ray camps are attempting to win over the hearts and minds of consumers with next-generation, high-definition optical disks, HD content has little impact on purchasing decisions. In fact, a mere 24 percent of consumers cited HD content as a motivator to upgrade their home equipment. Because there is a far more extensive catalog of titles available on standard DVD than on either HD DVD or Blu-ray, there is little motivation for consumers to make the switch.

“CDs and DVDs both offered a clear value proposition to consumers when they were introduced to the marketplace. There was a visible difference in the experience that was easily grasped,” explained Michael Gartenberg, JupiterResearch Vice President and lead author of the report. “The real competitor that both these formats face is not each other, but rather low cost DVD players with up-scaling capabilities that pass the ‘good enough’ test for most consumers.”

Further confusing the issue is the growth and penetration of broadband, which is facilitating content delivery directly to consumers without the need for any optical disk. Combined with ease of use and the ability to move content from room to room as well as onto portable devices, the market for downloadable video content continues to grow each day.

“The abundance of material in such a wide variety of formats is going to make adoption of any single standard very difficult as consumers may well opt for a combination of what is already available,” said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch. “To be successful, manufacturers must offer a clear and visible improvement in quality and functionality as well as place greater emphasis on platform longevity and backward compatibility.”

The complete findings of this report are immediately available to JupiterResearch clients online at http://www.jupiterresearch.com. For details on JupiterResearch’s methodology, visit http://www.jupiterresearch.com/bin/item.pl/methodology or email press@jupiterresearch.com to request a detailed methodology statement. For additional information on this report or JupiterResearch’s Personal Technology research service, visit http://www.jupiterresearch.com or contact Kieran Kelly, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Client Service, at 1-800-481-1212 or researchsales@jupiterresearch.com.

About JupiterResearch
JupiterResearch provides unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on their business. The company helps online businesses make critical decisions about technology selection, spending, staffing, and Web site effectiveness; advises consumer-facing companies with online advertising, marketing, and customer service strategies to understand, attract, convert and retain customers; and guides technology vendors and service providers on market opportunity, positioning, product definition, and pricing. JupiterResearch is headquartered in New York City and has offices throughout the US and Europe. For more information, visit http://www.jupiterresearch.com.

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