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Blu-ray sales nearly double from a year ago

Despite the recession, the Blu-ray format appears to be enjoying relatively decent sales numbers, with 9 million units sold in the first quarter of 2009.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is one of the big Blu-ray releases slated for later this year.

Blu-ray detractors and backers, here's the latest status report on the format:

According to Adams Media Research, about 9 million Blu-ray discs sold in the U.S. from January through March--up from 4.8 million units sold in the first quarter of last year.

As Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits says, those numbers are particularly good considering the ongoing recession and the relatively weak title slate early in the year. He adds that the overall rollout for the format is slightly behind DVD "due to the recession," but ahead of VHS.

Adams is also reporting that there are 10.5 million Blu-ray "households." That figure includes both standalone Blu-ray players and Blu-ray-enabled PlayStation 3s.

Here's what I think: With cheaper Blu-ray players on the way and a better slate of Blu-ray discs on tap for later this year, the format's future appears relatively bright. But detractors will surely point to the high price of Blu-ray discs, as well as improvements in digital downloads and streaming services as continued stumbling blocks.

Comments? Is Blu-ray in good shape or doomed to fail?

(Source: Video Business via The Digital Bits)