JB Hi-Fi commits to Blu-ray, snubs HD-DVD

By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: JB Hi-Fi marketing director, Scott Browning, today confirmed that JB Hi-Fi will commit itself exclusively to the Blu-ray format, stating that HD-DVD products will not grace JB Hi-Fi shelves, at the official Australian Blu-ray launch held in Sydney.

“At a store level we will not be stocking HD-DVD, we will only be stocking Blu-ray,” he said.

“Blu-ray represents a total experience. It’s fundamentally a parody product [compared with VHS to DVD change-over] with a high definition offer which gives consumers a wide variety of choice and an enhanced experience.

“From a commercial point of view, the powerful combination of industry support, provides a breakthrough where everyone is working together to create something which is manifestly superior for the consumer going forward."

Browning believes the next 10 years represents a powerful cycle where consumers will start to cement their digital lifestyles.
“[The launch of Blu-ray] fundamentally permeates a whole range of areas which haven’t been around before. The digital lifestyle was not heard of 10 years ago when DVD came through, but now we have a digital lifestyle environment,” he said.

From a retail perspective, Browning believes that Blu-ray will encourage and drive sales of big ticket items and further entice consumers who may be looking to enter the 1080p market.

“Blu-ray seems to be driving consumer’s decisions regarding the upgrade to a $5,000 or $6,000 TV and 1080p seems to be a big part of that. I can only imagine that with PlayStation 3 on the way, consumer interest in 1080p will get stronger.”


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