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Blu-ray players are not flying off retailers’ shelves, at least not in the numbers the industry might hope for. Apparently, only about 25% of consumers, according to a survey by ABI Research, plan to acquire a Blu-ray player shortly, whereas the other plan to wait. A poll by X-bit labs revealed even lower percentage of respondents planning to get themselves a Blu-ray supporting device.

The new consumer survey from ABI Research has revealed a widespread reluctance to commit to a Blu-ray player in the near future: over half of the 1000 respondents, citing “other priorities,” say they have no plans to purchase one; a further 23% are likely to buy, but not until sometime in 2009. This means that only about one quarter of respondents actually plan to jump the Blu-ray disk (BD) high-definition video bandwagon.

A survey by X-bit labs web-site, which polled about 4000 of respondents, revealed that only 2.2% plan to buy a standalone Blu-ray player, 7.2% intend to get Sony PlayStation 3 and about 7.3% aim at personal computers with BD drives. Only 14.1% of respondents already have a Blu-ray supporting device, but whopping 30% do not plan to buy BD claiming that they are happy with DVD, whereas 37% keep away from the Blu-ray disk due to high prices.

“Consumers were happy to embrace standard DVD when that format arrived because the improvement in quality over VHS videotapes was dramatic. Standard DVD didn’t require the purchase of a new TV either. In contrast, while half of the respondents to our survey rated Blu-ray’s quality as ‘much better’ than standard DVD, another 40% termed it only ‘somewhat better,’ and most are very satisfied with the performance of their current DVD players,” said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.

High Blu-ray player prices and the need for an accompanying high-definition television were also leading barriers to wider adoption, the survey showed.

“We expect that player prices will remain above $300 for Tier One models for the remainder of this year. Look for disc bundling to become the buyers’ incentive,” said Wilson.

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