Hastings made his remarks in a Wall Street analyst call following the release of the company's third quarter report.
"As prices come down, people who even are just DVD watchers are going to get a Blu-Ray player because the prices are low and it upscales the DVD very nicely," Hastings said. "So we really pretty optimistic, as prices come down, on Blu-Ray players replacing DVD players."
Best Buy recently reduced the price of its Insignia-branded Blu-ray player to $199 and other manufacturers are now offering players below $300. Most analysts believe that prices will fall even further when the holiday shopping period begins next month.
Despite Hastings' upbeat forecast on Blu-ray, the Netflix executive also revealed yesterday that he expects that roughly 500,000 of its 8.7 million subscribers at quarter's end will be Blu-ray owners. He called that number a "relatively small percentage."
But Hastings, whose company recently added a $1 monthly surcharge for Blu-ray subscribers, said the high-def disc is starting to pick up steam.
"Player prices are falling; They (Blu-ray makers) are starting to get some volume," he said. "It’s the same cycle that we really have seen on DVD."
In addition to offering Blu-ray rental discs via its web site, Netflix has partnered with LG Electronics to introduce a Blu-ray player that permits instant viewing of Netflix movies over high-speed Internet connections. (However, Blu-ray movies are not yet available on the LG/Netflix service.)
"Part of our long-term strategy is to get our streaming client embedded in as many Blu-Ray players as possible. LG Electronics was our first such partner and we’ll announce more Blu-Ray partnerships as they are ready for consumers," Hastings said.
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