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New German Blu-ray market cautiously optimistic
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New German Blu-ray market cautiously optimistic - 29-January-2009, 10:40

German Blu-ray market cautiously optimistic

A detailed study from market researchers GfK states that the German market for Blu-ray players is in great shape, with strong sales in the final three months of 2008.

GfK says the development of the Blu-ray Player market in Germany has been quite positive in the last three months of 2008. With average prices approaching the 300 barrier, sales figures of Blu-ray Players finally reached the 100,000 mark in December when more than 30,000 units were sold. Meanwhile, 35 different models are being sold and the number of competitors increased from 8 in September to 12 in December 2008.

Despite this positive development in the last quarter of 2008 the new format is not yet a resounding success. In December there were already more than 11 million HD-ready or Full HD TV sets on the market in Germany compared to only 110,000 Blu-ray Players. On the one hand this shows the enormous potential - on the other hand it might be an indicator that for many customers the difference in quality between Blu-ray discs and DVD does not seem enough to justify paying through the nose for a Blu-ray Player compared to a DVD Player, says GfK.

This phenomenon is also supported by the increasing success of the 1080p upscaling functionality of DVD Players and Recorders. Already 17% of the standard DVD Players sold and even 53% of the DVD Recorders in December had the ability to upscale standard DVD signals to almost HD quality. The average price of 95 for a standard DVD Player with upscaling functionality was about 200 below the average price of a Blu-ray Player. Even DVD Recorders with an integrated Hard-Disc Drive were on average only marginally more expensive than Blu-ray Players.

In the long run however one can expect that the undisputed qualitative advantages of the Blu-ray disc which can especially be experienced by directly comparing SD to HD resolution will prevail. Further declining prices, an increasing model diversity as well as increased advertising efforts (especially with regards to the ever-growing number of film titles on Blu-ray disc) should help the German Blu-ray Player market to grow further in the coming months, GfK states.
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