blu-1The Blu-ray high-definition movie format has had a rough time due to high hardware prices, a growth in consumer movie download alternatives, and slower-than-originally-expected sales of the PlayStation 3.

But Blu-ray is starting to get more popular, and with price cuts, demand could grow further, according to data collected by consumer shopping site Retrevo.

About 40 percent of the popular DVD players are Blu-ray players (as Blu-ray discs can play either the older DVD formats or the new Blu-ray format). That compares to only 15 percent last year. And Blu-ray player prices have fallen more than 35 percent in the past year. Retrevo’s survey suggests that Blu-ray manufacturers should cut prices more, since 34 percent of its Gadgetology survey respondents said $150 is the most they would pay for a player.

Many players are still above $200. That’s surprising, since the ceiling on Blu-ray prices should really be $299, which is the price for the cheapest PlayStation 3 model now. The logic is that if you are willing to dish out $299, you might as well buy a PS 3 and get a game console with your movie player.

Consumer awareness is still a problem. About 49 percent of consumers say they’ve never seen a Blu-ray movie. Another 18 percent say they’ve seen one but were not very impressed. While younger consumers like Blu-ray, about 62 percent of seniors believe that regular DVDs are all they need. Retrevo notes that the clock is ticking for Blu-ray adoption, since downloading movies over broadband connections is becoming more popular.

The Retrevo Gadgetology survey interviewed 771 people and has an confidence level of 95 percent, plus or minus 3 percentage points.