High Definition Customer Confusion Report
When Russ Crupnick, an entertainment industry analyst for the NPD Group, saw recent figures on customer desire for next generation DVD technology, he was shocked. “Fewer than 10 percent of DVD buyers intend to purchase an HD player in the next six months,” says Crupnick. “This is a startling low figure!” Crupnick, speaking at a forum about the current market for HD products and content, says one of the reasons for the lack of buy-in isn’t the Blu Ray/HD-DVD format war, but the fact that many consumers still believe upconverting DVD’s is the same as a high definition viewing experience.
“You can’t sell them something they think they already have,” says Crupnick. “It was much easier to contrast DVD with VHS. Retailers have a huge job to do in education.”
Crupnick believes that once more HD titles (both movies and gaming) as well as more peripheral products featuring HDMI connectivity and 16x9 aspect ratios become widely available, demand for next generation DVD players and other HD hardware will finally catch fire. “The packaged media side is about two years behind HDTV,” he says. “HD is here now, but we’re really just beginning.” --Audrey Gray