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Analysts Project 29 Million Blu-ray Homes By End Of Year


London (England) - Strategy Analytics, a London-based research firm, said that it expects 29.4 million households to own a Blu-ray player by the end of the year. That number, it says, will mushroom to over 132 million by 2012.

The analyst firm made the prediction in its report, "Blu-ray Devices: Forecasting Sales and Ownership," a document published by its Connected Home Devices division. The firm attributes the demise of HD DVD and a climbing number of HDTV owners to the quick adoption rate expected in the next few years.

"HD-DVD’s withdrawal leaves the way open for Blu-ray to become a major revenue earner for technology vendors and content owners alike," said the firm’s head analyst David Mercer.

In the Strategy Analytics report, it estimates that 18.8 million Blu-ray devices will be sold in 2008 alone, only four million of which will be standalone players. Most of the rest will be attributed to the Playstation 3, it says.

Later this year, Blu-ray movies will carry a new slate of advanced features, most notable being the ability to connect to the Internet. However, none of the Blu-ray players on the market today (with the exception of the PS3) can connect online. This means that not only will they be unable to access Web-enabled features in the future but they also cannot receive firmware upgrades.

The PS3, on the other hand, received a firmware update this week that now allows it to access enhanced Blu-ray Disc features, the first of which will be in select Sony Pictures titles coming out in the next few weeks.