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Tech Enthusiasts Skeptical About HD DVD and Blu-ray

CNET Survey Finds 81 Percent of Tech Enthusiasts Remain Skeptical About Which Next-Generation DVD Technology will be the Market Standard

— Format Wars, Price, Compatibility and Content Availability Stand in the Way of Consumer Adoption as New Products Enter the Market —

The overwhelming majority (81 percent) of tech enthusiasts remain skeptical about which next-generation DVD technology will be the market standard, according to a recent survey by CNET (Nasdaq:CNET) and the Consumer Electronics Association. The study, CEA / CNET Tech First Panel: Next-Generation DVD, gained information about early technology adopters awareness of, and interest in, high-definition capable DVD players as manufacturers prepare to release several players that run on varying formats.

Although awareness of the new technology is high at 85 percent, a number of issues are contributing to early adopters’ desire to own the new high-definition players. These include:

  • The Format Wars – The overwhelming majority (81 percent) say they are unsure of which of the available technologies will be the market standard
  • Price – Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) are concerned about the cost of next-generation DVD players; 62 percent worry about the cost of next-generation DVD movies
  • Compatibility – More than half (55 percent) wonder if the next-generation DVD players will be compatible with current CE products and whether they’re able to play standard DVD movies (54 percent)
  • Copyright Protection – Almost half (48 percent) are concerned about restrictions of the new formats

Despite popular belief, the least concerning factors among tech enthusiasts:

  • Availability of DVDs – Less than one-third (30 percent) are concerned about getting the information they want, when they want it.
  • Choice of Manufacturer – Only one out of five (20 percent) are worried about the available manufacturers.

“The studios, manufacturers, retailers and media companies have their own theories on how this will play out in the market,” said Claudia Haase, senior research manager at CNET. “But, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the consumer. We look to our tech enthusiasts as leaders in the industry. If they are hesitant to adopt, it is unrealistic to expect the less tech-savvy population will rush to market.”

The CEA / CNET Tech First Panel: Next-Generation DVD (October 2006) study was completed in September 2006. It was designed and formulated by CNET, where people go to discover the latest in tech and consumer electronics, and CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies.

About CNET
CNET is where people go to discover the latest in tech and consumer electronics. Driven by a trusted voice and a passionate community, CNET creates an open environment for people to find and use the best products to fit their lifestyle. The powerful combination of CNET’s award-winning news, lab-tested product reviews, safe and spyware-free downloads, and user-generated content give people information and inspiration to live and thrive in today’s digital world.

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