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Global BD player sales expected to hit 24m units this year

Sales of Blu-ray players in the USA, Japan, and Western Europe are expected to top nearly 24 million units in 2010, including sales of 11 million players in the fourth quarter, according to a new report. US household penetration of Blu-ray players exceeds 17%, according to a separate report.

“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% unit growth across this year," said Jack Wetherill, researcher with Futuresource Consulting, which authored the report.

Significantly, at least 10% of all Blu-ray players shipped this year are expected to offer 3D playback, increasing to more than 25% in 2011, according to Futuresource. By 2014, nearly 40% of homes across the aforementioned regions will own a 3D Blu-ray player, recorder or home theater.

These projections bode well for the rollout of 3D technology in the home, which remains in its early phase despite the popularity of 3D movies in theaters. Studios, perhaps keying on increased interest in 3D in the home, are slated to dramatically increase availability of 3D content in 2011. In addition ESPN continues to televise select college football games, including the BCS championship game, in 3D on a separate standalone channel devoted to the format.

Futuresource said the numbers do not include Sony PlayStation 3 video game systems, which feature a Blu-ray drive.

“Sales of HD-capable and 3D-capable TVs, coupled with dramatic reductions in BD player prices, are continuing to fuel interest,” Wetherill said. “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.”

Story filed 05.10.10

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