Blu-ray earns high marks from consumers

Study finds that users prefer discs to streaming 10-to-1

A new industry-commissioned study shows bright prospects for such high-definition media as HDTV and Blu-ray Discs, based on respondents' familiarity with and preference for the products.

The SmithGeiger survey of 1,600 HDTV owners in the U.S., U.K. and Japan was commissioned by the home entertainment trade organization Digital Entertainment Group. Its results were summarized for analysts and press at a briefing Friday in Century City.

Respondents were asked to assess their overall satisfaction with HDTV, related programming services and Blu-ray, a next-generation home-entertainment format promoted by DEG.

In a key finding underscored by DEG, respondents expressed a 10-to-1 preference for Blu-ray over downloading or streaming for their home entertainment. Of those, 70% said they valued the physical portability of film and TV content on disc.

"The results of this global study clearly show that HDTV owners are enthusiastic about high-definition content and are familiar with a variety of HD delivery systems," DEG executive director Amy Jo Smith said. "The research further shows that HDTV is transforming the home-entertainment landscape and is paving the way for other emerging platforms such as Blu-ray Disc."

More than 1,000 titles have been released in the Blu-ray format so far, DEG said.

Studios, whose home entertainment execs participated in the conference, have scheduled an unprecedented number of Blu-ray titles for release this holiday gift-buying season. Many consumer electronics companies are using the season to introduce product price reductions on Blu-ray players and other HD systems.