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Blu-ray Adoption Helps Drive Over-the-Top Video

Sales of Blu-ray disc (BD) players, excluding PS3, are expected to total nearly 24 million units this year across the three key growth regions -- USA, Europe and Japan -- according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting.

"Last year's crucial Q4 period accounted for nearly half of all BD players that were sold globally in 2009, and the upward trend is continuing, with our projections showing in excess of 80 percent unit growth across this year," says Jack Wetherill, Research Consultant at Futuresource.

This view is based on inputs from a wide range of companies operating in the global Blu-ray hardware business, including vendors, retailers and component suppliers, and forms part of their ongoing research in this area.

All attention will once again be on the holiday season, with Futuresource predicting sales in excess of 11 million units in that quarter alone, a healthy year-on-year growth that will continue to drive BD adoption into the mass market.

"Sales of HD-capable and 3D-capable TVs, coupled with dramatic reductions in BD player prices are continuing to fuel interest," Wetherill continues. "Add to that the burgeoning 3D Blu-ray market segment, and we'll see the format continue to gather momentum in all major markets across the globe."

At least 10 percent of all Blu-ray devices shipped this year are expected to offer 3D playback, rising to more than 25 percent in 2011.

By 2014, nearly 40 percent of homes across the three key global markets -- Western Europe, the USA and Japan -- will own a 3D Blu-ray player, recorder or home theatre.

Futuresource believes that there is a long-term opportunity for the industry to further sustain consumer interest in Blu-ray. I would add, part of that interest will be driven by using these devices to stream online video content from low-cost OTT subscription services, such as Netflix and LOVEFiLM.

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