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Majority of Americans still clueless about Blu-ray

Though awareness is growing, the victorious next-gen video format still faces the challenge of consumer education.

A new report released Tuesday says that less than half of high-definition television owners in the U.S. know what Blu-ray Disc is.

While that's an improvement over a year ago, it still means that more than half of that group--the target audience for high-definition video vendors--still has no idea what Blu-ray is.

Blu-ray Disc player

According to The NPD Group, a market research company that tracks consumer awareness, while 45 percent of HDTV owners surveyed said they were "familiar" with the format, only 9 percent said they planned on buying a Blu-ray player in the next six months. That's only slightly higher than the general population, 6 percent of which said they planned a similar purchase.

HDTV owners familiar with Blu-ray stood at 35 percent as of June 2007. So what's more odd is that that group's awareness of the format has creeped up only 10 percent in the past year, in spite of the most intense battles between Blu-ray and now-defunct HD DVD taking place at the end of 2007, and early 2008.

The report suggests that Blu-ray is still facing the same problem of a year ago: prices are still too high compared with less expensive upscaling DVD players that are "good enough" for most consumers.