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While all market studies can be skewed to produce a "desired outcome" it does no good to ignore even the most blatant of them. Below is a summary of the latest consumer survey from one of the key market trend spotters in the nation. They say HD DVD is the value winner in the format war between it and Blu-Ray. This report comes on the heals of the formation of the HD DVD Promotion Association, a group vitally interested in the success of the HD DVD format. As a new owner of a true 1080 X 1920 display (Sony's SXRD 60" rear projector) I can attest to the fact that the old DVD format is now past its useful life. _Dale

In a national online survey among households either owning or intending to buy a High Definition TV, we asked respondents about their purchase interest in High Definition movie systems. To qualify, respondents had to have an active role in the decision making process when purchasing new electronics products for the household.

The final sample of 469 was screened from 1,341 respondents. The survey was conducted in two cells of approximately 235 each, which tested these scenarios: 1) All major Hollywood studios equally supporting both formats; and 2) Major studio support split between the two formats (i.e. today's situation). In each of these scenarios, respondents were properly educated as if they would be making a purchase decision (e.g. title key art, pricing, quantities, player compatibility).

The survey was conducted from June 28 to July 2 by Ipsos-Vantis, a company that specializes in forecasting demand for new products and sizing emerging categories. They have evaluated over 1,200 new consumer electronics products worldwide and have successfully predicted the size of the overall market and the individual platforms in emerging categories including DVD. Ipsos-Vantis forecasts have been tracked extensively against in-market sales, and have consistently produced a level of accuracy that is unmatched by any other firm in the world.


1. In response to the question "Which statement best describes how likely you would be to buy an HD DVD player," respondents were over seven times more likely to buy an HD DVD player vs. a Blu-Ray player when all studios support both formats.

a. 57% would definitely or probably buy an HD DVD player vs. 8% for Blu-Ray.

b. 25% would definitely buy HD DVD vs. 2% for Blu-Ray.

2. Purchase interest in HD DVD remains three times higher than Blu-Ray -- even without HD DVD studio support from Disney and Fox.

a. 56% of respondents would definitely or probably buy an HD DVD player vs. 18%
for Blu-Ray.

b. 20% would definitely buy HD DVD vs. 6% for Blu-Ray.

3. The main reason consumers prefer HD DVD over Blu-Ray is its superior value.

a. In response to the question, "Which statement best describes how you feel about the value of an HD DVD player," nearly 57% of respondents indicated that HD DVD was a "very good" or "fairly good" value vs. 14% for Blu-Ray.

b. Conversely, 68% indicated that Blu-Ray was a "somewhat poor" or "very poor" value vs. 19% for HD DVD.

4. In the 4th quarter 2006, the quantity of titles in the HD DVD format is assumed to be two times more than Blu-Ray (200+ for HD DVD vs. approximately 100 for Blu-Ray).


In a related item....

Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Paramount Home Entertainment, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Toshiba today announced the formation of a new trade organization, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group, Inc., at the Video Software Dealers Association 2006 conference.

The non-profit group will promote the companies' common interests in the success of HD DVD and educate consumers on the quality and value of HD DVD.

At the forefront of the group's efforts will be a new marketing campaign positioning HD DVD as "The Look and Sound of Perfect." Details on "The Look and Sound of Perfect" campaign:

The group and its member companies plan to back the campaign with an anticipated $150M in trade and consumer marketing, advertising and promotion through the 2006 Holiday season and into 2007.

The campaign will promote the format across all major consumer media outlets - television, print, online, and outdoor - co-marketing HD DVD hardware with hundreds of HD DVD titles expected on store shelves by year-end 2006.

The HD DVD Mobile Experience, an 18-wheeler to begin traveling throughout the country, will be equipped with the latest in high definition home theater technology, PCs, laptops and the Xbox 360, enabling audiences to experience first-hand "The Look and Sound of Perfect."

The full press release is below.

HD DVD Turns Up The Heat with

"The Look and Sound of Perfect" Marketing Campaign

Leading Content, Consumer Electronics and Information Technology Companies Unveil New HD DVD Marketing Organization and Multi-Million Dollar Advertising and Publicity Campaign; Hollywood Studios Showcase Upcoming HD DVD Titles

LAS VEGAS - July 11, 2006 - Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Paramount Home Entertainment, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Toshiba today announced the formation of a new trade organization, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group, Inc., at the Video Software Dealers Association 2006 conference. The non-profit group will promote the companies' common interests in the success of HD DVD and to educate consumers on the quality and value of HD DVD.

A new advertising and marketing campaign, also unveiled today, showcases HD DVD as "The Look and Sound of Perfect™". The campaign will be the cornerstone of efforts to be undertaken by the group. The group and its member companies plan to back the campaign with an anticipated $150M in trade and consumer marketing, advertising and promotion through the 2006 Holiday season and into 2007. The campaign will promote the format across all major consumer media outlets - television, print, online, and outdoor - co-marketing HD DVD hardware with hundreds of HD DVD titles expected on store shelves by year-end 2006.

"Following this spring's market introduction, we're now adding advertising and marketing muscle to HD DVD to demonstrate our full commitment to bring consumers the best in high definition entertainment," said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "Surveys are showing that HD DVD is already the #1 recognized brand name for high definition packaged media. In addition, the continued support from Hollywood, CE and IT industries will make HD DVD a true win for consumers this Holiday season."

In the shadow of a huge 18-wheeler called the HD DVD Mobile Experience, the group also announced a nationwide publicity campaign that will hit the road this summer. The HD DVD Mobile Experience will be equipped with the latest in high definition home theater technology, PCs, laptops and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, enabling audiences throughout the country to experience first-hand "The Look and Sound of Perfect".

"I welcome the formation of the North American HD DVD Promotional Group," said Yoshihide Fujii, Chairman of the HD DVD Promotion Group. "More and more consumers are buying large-screen high definition TVs, and their expectations for better, more realistic picture quality is increasing. The wide-ranging activities of the new group will take HD DVD into the homes of people across North America, and make it crystal clear that HD DVD is the future in movies, home entertainment, computing and gaming."

The award-winning advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners will work for the North American HD DVD Promotional Group, Inc. in planning and executing its marketing campaign. The agency, based in San Francisco, is widely recognized for its "Got Milk?" campaign, and as one of the world's leading advertising and marketing communications agencies, has a long tradition of offering integrated services and creative campaigns for clients such as HP, Saturn, Comcast, Motorola, Netflix, and Starbucks.

Posted by Dale Cripps, July 11, 2006 10:13 AM

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About Dale Cripps

Dale Cripps is a professional journalist who has focused two thirds of his career on the subject of high-definition television. Upon completing his education in business and service in the military he formed Cripps and Associates, South Pasadena, California, in 1964, which operated as a market-development company for aerospace services. In 1983 he turned to television and began what has become a 20 year campaign to pioneer HDTV. For fifteen of those years he published the well-regarded HDTV Newsletter (an international monthly written for television professionals). During much of this same time he also served as the HDTV-Technical Editor for "Widescreen Review Magazine." On November 16, 1998 he launched the Internet distributed HDTV Magazine, which remains the only consumer publication devoted exclusively to high-definition television. In April of 2002 he co-founded with Tedson Meyers of Coudert Bros, the High-definition Television Association of America, which is presently based in Washington DC. Cripps is the president of this organization. Mr. Cripps is a charter member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers and honored by that organization with the DTV Press Leadership Award of 2002. He makes his home in Oregon.