While the NPD group reports this week that Blu-ray hardware sales are far slower than expected following the demise of HD DVD, the Blu-ray Disc Association says Blu-ray Disc movie sales trebled in the US in the first three months of 2008.

"According to research from US-based Home Media Magazine, US Blu-ray disc sales jumped 351 per cent in the first three months of this year. The high-def disc format benefited from increased awareness of the category and Toshiba's decision to exit the HD DVD business at the end of March," the BDA announced.

Hardware sales prediction

"Home Media reports that the rise in Blu-ray Disc sales led to the first increase in consumer spending on home video in two years. In 2007, total sales fell 0.5 per cent and they decreased 0.4 per cent in 2006," adds the release.

The Blu-ray Disc Association says that Blu-ray players will be in roughly 25 per cent of US homes in three years, though the current estimate for the end of this year is still only that Blu-ray players will be in 1 per cent of US households, which seems to be more in line with the recent NPD reports.

Analysts estimate that the average price of a Blu-ray disc will drop from $28.50 (£14.34) this year to $24.43 (£12.30) in 2011.