Advanced BluRay features of limited consumer appeal, claims study

In the clamour to encourage us all to upgrade to high-definition BluRay players, manufacturers and disc producers themselves are touting the extra functionality above and beyond improved picture quality. Interactive web-connected games, messaging and "behind the scenes" extras all promise to enhance the movie experience. However, recent research suggest that, far from being a central factor driving upgraditis, all these extras – particularly those depending on web-based interaction – may actually have no effect on consumer appeal.

According to market researchers The Diffusion Group, opinions are divided on whether new functionality is making BluRay compelling or just adding up to overkill. Obviously there are some predictable factors: those people planning a new purchase are more interested in functionality than those so-called "DVD neutrals". But regardless of gender, overly web-based applications – including IM apps and other was of socialising with others online to discuss the content – are considered unappealing.

Interest overall decreases as age climbs, meaning manufacturers may have to think again if they want to sell their high-priced, function-packed hardware to the people who can actually afford it. TDG examined on-demand movie previews, updated interviews with key actors, online fan-site access, favourite scene sharing, IM apps, movie ringtones and wallpapers, retail tie-ins and downloadable language tracks. The report is available to buy now.