Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Report: Blu-ray Must Drop Prices or Disappear

New York, NY (September 26, 2007)

In a new report, Forrester Research predicts that the format war between Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD will continue for at least 18 more months. In 2005, the researcher predicted that Blu-ray would win; now, Forrester is advising the Blu-ray camp to "employ more aggressive promotional tactics to counter HD DVD's recent momentum."

According to the report, Blu-ray's content advantages are somewhat diminished since the recent decision by Paramount to commit exclusively to HD DVD. Further, HD DVD hardware prices have dropped directly into consumers' preferred price range, according to Forrester's Technographics survey data.

The Washington Post, quoting Reuters, reports that Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder still backs Blu-ray to win despite Paramount's defection and the hardware price differential. Gownder reportedly states in the research, "Weakened by these developments, Blu-ray needs to offer a viable hardware model at the $250 price point by Christmas 2007. The Blu-ray camp must also stave off further studio defections, and employ more aggressive promotional tactics to counter HD DVD's recent momentum."

The Forrester research suggests that typical owners of high-definition televisions are not willing to pay more than $200 on average for a new HD DVD or Blu-ray player. Currently, a BD player sells for around $500 while HD DVD players can be purchased for under $300. Prices are expected to drop for the coming holiday season."Failure to alter strategy would open up Blu-ray to a possible upset defeat at the hands of HD DVD," Gownder said.

Forrester Research (from ProSound News)