A new study from The Diffusion Group reports on the preferences of consumers who are planning on buying their first HDTV within the next six months. In this group, the study reports that among those who describe themselves as likely to buy a high-definition DVD player within the next six months, 43% prefer HD DVD and 27% prefer Blu-ray. The remaining 30% are undecided.
The Diffusion Group finds that compared with the early adopters who have already bought HDTVs, this next wave of buyers tends to be younger with lower annual incomes. They “focus on practical considerations such as price“. The early adopters tend to be fans of technology and power users who like to be first; these seem to be drawn more to Blu-ray, which has helped create an early lead for that camp. The Diffusion Group sees the second wave of buyers starting to act in 2008 as prices drop to a point where they are comfortable buying, swinging the market decidedly in favor of the lower-priced HD DVD players.
This research report puts numbers to the position I’ve been taking based on informed intuition since earlier this year. In the long haul, Americans will choose to pay less even if there is an alternative that may have technical advantages. (I’m still not convinced that the extra capacity of Blu-ray is an advantage, except in attracting the techies who care about specifications like that.) This new study only bolsters my conviction that HD DVD will eventually win the high definition DVD format battle.