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Survey: Consumers prefer DVDs to downloads

Despite trend toward digital downloads, U.S. consumers still prefer to watch favorite TV shows and movies on DVD, says market researcher NPD.

Consumers have spoken. They'd still rather pop a disc into a DVD player than download or watch a video online, according to a new survey.

Sales and rentals of DVDs and Blu-ray discs in the U.S. made up 88 percent of consumer home video spending over the past three months, according to the survey released Tuesday by market researcher NPD Group.

Your average U.S. consumer paid about $25 per month on video purchases and rentals, with 63 percent on DVD purchases, 7 percent on Blu-ray Disc purchases, 18 percent on rentals, 9 percent on video on demand, and only 3 percent on digital downloads.

Despite the continued popularity of DVD and Blu-ray, online viewing has gained a foothold. In the past three months, 9 percent of connected consumers said they watched movies online versus 5 percent last year. Eight percent rented a movie online, a jump of 4 percent since last year, NPD reported.

"Discs are still and by far the dominant way Americans enjoy home video, but there is an increasing appetite for digital options," said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD. "The good news is that the consumers engaging with digital video today also tend to be heavy consumers of DVDs and Blu-ray Disc, but it remains to be seen just how long physical discs and digital formats can co-exist."

The information was taken from an update to a recent NPD Group report entitled "Entertainment Trends In America," which measured home video usage for the previous three months. Conducted online, the survey was based on responses from more than 11,000 U.S. consumers.

Sales of Blu-ray players are themselves growing here in the U.S., with prices down and more consumers craving to watch their favorites in high-definition.