Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD: Does anyone care?

Coming from someone who just spent close to $500 to be an early adopter of the Blu-ray high-definition video disc format, these recent trends at Netflix.com came as something of a disappointment. Not only are very few Netflix shoppers — among the most enthusiastic of home video consumers — interested in Blu-ray, but the competing HD-DVD format is actually the more popular choice among the few Netflix visitors who care. During the period of June through August 2007, Compete observed the following:

  • Among the 14 million monthly average visitors to Netflix.com during those three recent months, only 0.3% viewed either of the two competing high-definition genres.
  • Those who looked at Blu-ray titles outnumber those looking at HD-DVD by a factor of 1.8 to 1.
  • Those who set an HD format as their preferred format selected HD-DVD over Blu-ray by a factor of 2.4 to 1.
  • Those who looked at the HD-DVD genre were 4.4 times more likely than Blu-ray browsers to actually set this as their preferred format.
  • Over this time period, Blu-ray adoption rates have remained flat while HD-DVD has grown.

In what is increasingly shaping up as another “VHS vs. Beta” all-around confusing situation for the consumer, neither next-generation video format appears to be gaining any real traction whatsoever. And that’s unfortunate because the picture from my new Blu-ray player is stunning. Almost as good as watching the Patriots trounce the Bills last Sunday in glorious, big-screen 1080i HD!

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